Ice Age 50 Mile Race Recap
The Ice Age 50 Mile (IA50) 2012 was an amazing experience. The race drew a group of runners gunning for various objectives: a bid to the Western States 100 in June, Montrail Ultra Cup points, an IA50 course record... or simply to test their might against a competitive field. I am extremely humbled and excited to have come out of this experience as the overall winner. There was a bit of confusion about finishing times, but when the dust settled, it turned out as follows:
|Picture taken by: Tom Held of Active Pursuit|
With less than 10 miles to go, I started getting really energetic. I strongly believe that my high-fat diet and Vespa fueling had much to do with this late-race energy surge. I had trained my body to prioritize fat for fuel, allowing me to reserve most of my carb stores for the back end of the race. Every rest stop I went through from miles 40 to 50 I was told my lead was growing. By mile 48.5, I had a six-minute lead. I crossed the finish line with a lead of about 9 minutes, 10 seconds.
My fueling was strategic for the most part. I waited until about 45 minutes into the race before I took in any carbs, because I wanted to make sure my body was primed to burn fat first. I also optimized my fat utilization by eating breakfast three hours before the start of the race, and nothing else between breakfast and the start other than water and Vespa. The idea was to keep my body out of carb burning mode at the race's start, something that can be easily wrecked by ingesting too many carbs close to the start. I listed my fuel intake below.
Fuel During the Race
- 80 ounces of sports drink
- 4 gels
- 2 Vespa Juniors
- 1 Vespa Ultra Concentrate
- 12 ounces of coke (aid station)
- 70 ounces of water
- 1 small handful of M&Ms
- Total of Approximately 1,300-1,500 calories
Gear Used on the Course
- Inov8 F-Lite 230s (from Revolution Natural Running)
- Fuel Belt Accessories:
- The Slice Atlantic Breeze
- The Slide Atlantic Breeze
- R2 Outdoor Orange
- Sprint Palm Holder
Post-race was a familiar affair for ultramarathons. All the competitors and spectators joined together to share their experiences—both today and in the past—and enjoy one another's company. The atmosphere at these events would be enough by themselves to draw someone to run an ultra.
One runner to keep your eyes on is Michael Owen. Many people claim that I am young for ultrarunning, but Michael is younger yet. He has some impressive finishes, including third at the Burning River 100 last season. He seems to be one of those runners who can succeed at all distances. (Dare I say a young Michael Wardian?) I know I will be following him, and hopefully competing with him many times in the future.
One final note. A huge thanks to my mom, dad, grandma, and my girlfriend Krista for crewing for me. It was a big help, especially with the higher-than-expected humidity.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth review of Fuel Belt's 2012 line and Revolution Natural Running.