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Race Result

Racer: Arnat Vale
Race: JFK 50
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007
Location: Hagerstown, MD
Race Type: Run - Ultramarathon (Other)
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 11:54:44
Overall Place: 907 / 1097
Age Group Place: 176 / 194
Comment: Race report for the rest of us mortals.

Race Report:

Congratulations to all our members with your recent race reports ranging from 5Kís Ė 50 milers - Ironman. Your race reports inspired me to brush up on several of my missing race reports.

>>>>>>>A race report for the rest of us mortals.<<<<<<<

I joined Mid Maryland Triathlon Club spring of 2006. Less than two years, I achieved several lifelong goals and even some unplanned goals (Ironman). Could've not done them without the help of the MMTC and its members. Thank You!

Last October 2006 I ran my first marathon at the hilly Baltimore (4:01). Seven marathons later I finally took the summer off to heal from marathons and concentrated on triís. After completing three Olympic distance triís, one half-ironman and one full-ironman (my 1st) for the summer, I was ready for marathons. This past October I ran Baltimore again and finished under my four hour marathon barrier and set a PR of 3:42. Itís not fast but I was determined to break that barrier. So my next running goal was to attempt my first ultra-marathon the JFK 50 Mile one month later.

The JFK 50 miler is the oldest ultra-marathon in the US and considered by most ultra-marathoners an easy course. Well those guys were nuts because this was a very tough and long race for my first ultra-marathon. Before this race the farthest run was 26.2 miles. So I had no clue how my body would react beyond that point.

It was 28 degrees at the 7AM race start in Boonsboro just outside of Hagerstown, MD. The average high temperature was about 45 degrees. Kept my gloves and ear muffs on for most of the run.

The first 16 miles was the very hilly and rocky Appalachian Trail. The trail kept you busy with each step just to avoid falling onto rocky path. Just about every other mile I saw someone bite it on the rocks. The hills were so steep most just walked and I ended up chatting with other runners. Twisted my left ankle on the rocky trails and almost slipped/tripped onto the rocky path several time.

After the Appalachian Trail beating, the next 26 miles was a welcome flat pebble path along the C&O Canal on one side and the Potomac River on the other. This path was more my pace but it was still a long and lonely run. Even had to walk several times due to exhaustion and ankle. Ran out of antacid pills and was not feeling well but I dragged on. Guess thatís what happens when you stuff your face at each water stop.

It never occurred that I may not make a check point time until mile 38 when I checked in with less than a minute to spare. After that, it was less face stuffing and more running so I picked up my pace.

The C&O Canal path ended around mile 42 and did my GPS watch battery. Now the last 8 miles were rolling hills on paved country roads but mostly in the dark. I reached the last check point at mile 46 with three minutes to spare. I now have one hour and three minutes to run 4 miles to the finish line. Any other day 4 miles is a cake walk but not this day. Somehow I crossed the finish line under the 12hr cut-off time with 11:54:44 and less than six minutes to spare. Whew!

About 1,400 signed up and only 1079 finished with 911 finishing under the 12hr cut-off time, I was # 907! Most of those didn't make the mile check point time and had to DQ but some continued on without support to finish beyond the 12hr cut-off.

Sorry Jesse, we didnít meet up before the start at JFK50. Well, the best part of this race was finishing alive! No immediate plans to do anymore ultras just sticking to flat marathons and training for AZ Ironman next year.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Arnat Vale