ECS Utah 50k Pre-race!

Disclaimer: I received a race registration for The North Face Endurance Challenge Series to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Hello all,

I'm at the end of my training for my frist 50k at The North Face Endurace Challenge Series race in Park City, Utah! I'm a mixture of nervous and excited so I'm right on schedule!

As I start pouring over course guide for anyone else running I thought I'd break down the important stuff and then do my final race goals breakdown like I do before any race.

First off I'm totally looking forward to the "Countdown to Utah: Pre-Race Panel Discussion" featuring The North Face athlete Dean Karnazes and Endurance Challenge race director, Nick Moore. If you are running this event I feel like this is a DON'T MISS event. 6:30pm at The North Face - Fashion Place, be there or be square!

You can also pick up your race packet just before the panel at The North Face - Fashion Place in Murray, UT or at Park City Mountatin Resort on Friday or on race day. They are making this super easy guys!

A closer look at the course guide...

Since I've been reading the course guide front to back over and over, I thought I'd point out a few things for anyone else that might be running.

1. If you are running the 50 miler you must have a headlamp or flashlight

2. The course staff will not be handing out pain relievers so if you need it, bring it!

That's a lot of things to bring!

On page 4 we find the most important part, elevation charts and cutoff times. It's important to pace accordingly to get to the finish line!

At each aid station, the volunteers will be marking down bib numbers as you go through. They suggest you call out your bib number as you enter the aid station so volunteers can write it down!

Also at aid stations you can enjoy:

I think some pretzels will be in my future towards the end!

Runners will be given course directions through white signs, colored signs (that correspond to your bib color), and ribbon colors.

Know your color, love your color!

So these are the highlights from my readings of the course guide! Be sure to check out yours: 

Course Guides

So now that we've got that set up, let's get personal and talk goals. I'm all about setting multiple goal "levels" based on my training and where I think I'll be race day.

So where am I right now? I've trained well, I think. My last long run was 26 miles with 5.2k ft of climbing and maintained an average 14 min/mile pace. Not lightening speed but that should get me across the finish line. On less steep runs, I've been able to run closer to a 13:30 min/mile and I'm optimistic about the downhills on this course, however the ~15 miles of uphill at the beginning will be the real test. Check my pace and take it easy in those first miles.

So with that let's set some goals!

  1. Finish - This is my first 50k so this is really the only goal that matters. New distance, lots of climbing, and high altitude mean just getting to the finish will be a huge accomplishment!
  2. Sub 16 min/mile pace - This should be doable even if I'm struggling towards the end and is still under the course cuttoff!
  3. ~14 min/mile pace - This was my training pace so again this should be doable if I stick to the plan and run conservatively at the beginning.
  4. Sub 13 min/mile pace - This is my stretch goal. If at mile 20 I'm feeling good, then I'll try to take advantage of those final downhills (hopefully they won't be to rocky/boulder-y) and try to make up some time!

So those are my goals. They feel realistic as long as I take it easy at the beginning, stick to my nutrition plan, and keep checking in with myself along the way.

I'm so excited to race next weekend! Fall is here, I'll be up at altitude, and I'll be pushing myself to the next level. Over these past 3 months I've fallen in love with trail running and I'm so excited for my first trail race in a beautiful place!

Are you racing? What are you looking forward to? Leave me a comment!

Don't forget if you want to run in Utah next week or Wisconsin the week after you can use code BIBRAVE15 and get 15% off your North Face Endurance Series race registration!