sign up for races [Day543]

Blackbeard’s Revenge already seemed so far away. Tonight RD had a virtual meeting with a few of us who were willing to give feedbacks.

RD was surprised by the amount of negative feedbacks he was getting from some comments runners were leaving on the interweb (though not by us). For a few of us, we could run this race uncrewed and with minimal supports from the aid stations, no improvement is needed. We think everything was perfect.

However, I think a lot of people dropped from the race due to lack of nutrition (food) being received or lack of drop bags locations. And that left a lot frustrated runners.

I think they went out too fast too soon. I walked with many between mile 30 to 40 where many were about to tab out.

A lot of the changes next year would be toward the aid stations, consolidating them and making them bigger with more food and more volunteers. Currently there were 17 aid stations and 4 drop bag locations. Some had only one volunteer. Funny, RD was saying a lot decided to sign up to volunteer for the graveyard shifts and they lack volunteers during the day time. RD was thinking of reducing to 10-12 manned stations and adding one more on course dropbag (making 5). Made some of them water only.

A good point brought up, and I resonate with this. Most of the food was “hidden” away due to sand and wind. I am a visual person. When I didn’t see stuff on the table, I thought the station had no more food left. I thought the 100k’ers came by and cleared everything. .

For next year, RD said they will provide poster/pictures/labels on the tables even thought food is packed away, so runners would know what is available at the particular station. Some said their sandwiches had sand in them 😄

Also the shuttling after the race was not ideal. I signed up but didn’t use it because my mom picked me up at the finish. They were thinking of shuttling runners to the start from the finish before the race, so they don’t have to run the shuttling every 4 hours during the race. Shuttling took volunteers away from the aid stations. RD said we signed up for a point-to-point course, so it was one of the challenges we should expect and overcome, true. I went into the race, the hardeat part was deciding where to stay so as to make going to from hotel to race and back to hotel easy. In the end I picked to stay closer to the start. I would do the same if I rerun this. I prefer to be closer to civilization 👍

Start time. They might tweak the start times. I like the 5 am start, though shifting it two hours later probably would not make much a difference for me.

It was a great race. I have no plan to run it again. I think it was an easy race and did not present me any new challenges. If I live nearby, I would not mind running it annually. But I feel there are too much hand-holding in this race, and I would be annoyed by it if I face the same again. However, I would be open to going back to volunteer.

Other comments were on the point too. Hot food being cold (it didn’t bother me), but true, I had expected hot meals coming into a station but instead got cold food. The volunteer said she would hit up the cup of noodle for me, I declined. I was ok with cold food. Time was at the essense.

Highbeam. Cars driving toward us in highbeam on was bothersome.

Also I felt course marshalls checking on us in middle of the night too was disruptive, but I appreciated the thoughts for our safety. I felt there were too much handholding from the RD for this 100 mile race. RD checking on us from time to time did bring me out of my running flow.

Food I really like, I think having the slice of American cheese at an aid station maybe at mile 40 really saved me. They asked if I wanted grilled cheese, but at the time my stomach was turning, so I think I only grabbed the cheese only to go. Later, when I could eat, I swallowed the whole cheese in one go. It is good to note toward my next hundred mile race to carry some cheese.

I think what saved me in this race was to bring my own food. Certainly I could have used the aid station food, but carrying my own was such a game changer. A runner, Lucas, did just that. He only used the food from the Aid Stations and he said it was enough. Many athletes did not get enough though, so I think, and ran into calorie deficiency during the race. There was only so much time you could eat at an aid station. The portion usually so tiny that it wouldn’t meet the needs. Carrying my own food and munching along the way helps.

That’s that. I probably mentioned all those in my race report, but here they are again. Maybe someone will find them useful.

What I have been doing this week? I have been looking what 100 mile races I should sign up for next year.

C&O 100 seems very tempting. I have been wanting to run that race since 2019/2020 when I was exploring for my first “ultra”. Things has not been working out. I have been too chicken to try. The last two years, my race schedule has not been letting me. I could technically do it this year. Sign up is still open. Next year though seems to be better. I was asking myself can I do three 100 races in one season? The answer is do I need to ask? I know I could do it, but let not push the envelop.

I finished filling out my 50 states for the 100 milers, of potential races to do. I have not made a plan yet. Umstead though, I might try that.

I might want to do T’rer (Lake Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Race). It has been on my radar for couple years. Still chicken about it. I could do races here in the east coast, but west coast is like a tier higher.

Cloud Spitter tickling my fancy of it being hard.

Pinhoti too, but I think I am not ready to travel down to Alabama to try this. Sometimes I feel I am ready to tackle this, but also feeling cold feet.

Yeti on the Virginia Creeper has it charms.

Oil Creek is a possibility. It seems to have the right level of difficulty for me.

I looked at various other races but haven’t committed. This is one reason to sign up the next 100 race before doing the present one so I don’t have this reluctancy.

I am still reeling from all the things that happened after Blackbeard’s. I am also having post race blue, though I should be back running soon.

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