Psycho Psummer 50k

Psycho Psummer is an event put on by Trail Nerds, which is based out of Kansas City, Kansas. It has three offerings of 10 miles, 20 miles, or 50 kilometers. I was visiting my best friend Sean in Lincoln, NE, as the final destination of my road trip out West to watch, crew, and pace Western States 100. Being that I was nearby and wanting to test some of the training I had done on the mountainous trails of the West, and not to mention looking for a good tune-up for Six Days in the Dome (SDD), I jumped at the chance to check out the trails of Wyandotte County Lake Park. The course is probably the most technical trail I've raced on before. It is described as: "A beautiful but challenging run on hilly single-track trails... All on bridle trails and single-track trails. This is a rocky and hilly unpaved loop course." Coupled with the temperature being well into the 100s (106 heat index I believe) this made for a good hard effort out on the trails.

My primary goal of tuning up for SDD meant no real taper and a hard but consistent effort. I couldn't afford to back off training as it is crucial time to get the last bit of hard training in before tapering for SDD (Strava). I was able to stay pretty consistent all day on the three loops of the course, never deviating by much more than a minute or two per loop (1:16:36, 1:15:55, 1:17:31). Full data breakdown can be found here. I felt like there were sections I was just cruising, and then a few more runnable sections where I could push it a bit. 
The trickiest aspect, other than the heat index, on this course was the constant twisting and winding. It seemed as if I was always slowing up to take a turn or braking to swing around a switchback. It was a blast, but it also highlighted my lack of experience in this type of terrain. I felt I was effective on the trails, but unable to really hammer most sections of the course (almost like a governor on speed). 
The loop aspect of this course was something very enjoyable to me. I like loop courses in that they allow for an added challenge to improve upon the decisions made in the previous loops. I could definitely feel myself gaining confidence on some of the more winding sections once I was able to visualize a little better what was coming up next. 
The aid stations at this event are frequent and friendly. It was perfect for a tune-up, because I had aid pretty much as often as needed. It allowed me to carry a single bottle of which I would drink half and dump the other half on my head for cooling. The frequent aid stations also made carrying fuel unnecessary. The volunteers were wonderful, often meeting you in front of the aid station to grab your bottle and direct you to what you needed. 
My fueling strategy was quite simple as I wasn't concerned much with things like stomach issues, caffeine, etc., for an event lasting under 4 hours. I used my typical Vespa protocol (see below) and trickled sugar using Mountain Dew and Coke periodically along the race course. 
An added benefit to the day was I was able to test out a prototype of the Altra Superior 2.0 trail shoes. Of their models, I think the Superior has evolved the most. I've previously had the original, pegged as a "recovery run" shoe. The 2.0 has been redesigned to be a great race-day shoe for someone looking for good traction and stability but with a light feel. It will likely be my go-to trail racing shoe this year. 
A big thanks to Race Director Ben Holmes, the Trail Nerds, and all the volunteers for putting on a great event that had all the friendly and fun atmosphere common at ultra events. It was great to meet a bunch of new people and talk about running, etc., for a few hours post-race. I was thrilled, as always, to see a group of Team RWB runners toe the line and hang out before and after the event. 
  • Time: 3:51:31
  • Place: 1st, CR
Products Used:
Vespa Protocol:
  • Ultra concentrate with breakfast
  • Vespa Junior at start
  • Ultra concentrate every 2 hrs or Junior every 90 min.

Additional race photos available: here