|Elevation Profile of the Wapack and Back 50 Mile Race|
The plan for the race was to have a good time and see what my training will bring for results. After waking up at 2:45am and having my race day breakfast of an egg sandwich and a bowl of oatmeal, I made my way to the Mt. Watatic parking lot for the 5am start. The check-in was finished and it was time to run soon afterward. The group of 24 starters took off in the dark down the forest road start and soon began to climb Mt. Watatic. The first mile climbs 580' up a steep incline that I knew I would have to repeat with 43 miles on my legs later in the day, which I was not looking forward to. The run down to Binney Pond Rd. from the summit went quickly and I was soon climbing up Pratt Mtn. to the ridge of the New Ipswich Mountains which is my favorite section of the trail. This area offers views from the open slabs to Mt. Monadnock, 15 miles to the West, and on a clear day you can see the tops of the mountains you will be climbing throughout the run. Once down off the ridge, we ran through the Windblown Ski Area to the first aid station at 9 miles. I grabbed some gels, potatoes with salt, and bananas and I was on my way back out on the trail. The climb up Burton Peak and Temple went slowly for me and I was passed by Brian Tinger and Dan Hrobak along the misty singletrack trail.
|Climbing up Burton Peak|
|Views from the saddle|
|View from South Pack looking towards Temple Mtn.|
On the way back I tried to keep up with the fueling, taking gels every 1/2 hour or 45 minutes and trying to fit in as much calories as I could at the aid stations. The plan for the rest of the race was to hike the steep uphills and run what I could comfortably handle and try to just keep moving to the end. I wanted to come into the 43 miles strong and not have any second thoughts about dropping there, which is tempting. I arrived at the Watatic parking lot at 9 hours 40 minutes where my parents, wife and two children as well as Justin and his family were to cheer me on. I had no second thoughts about not finishing, filled my water bladder and turned to head back up Mt. Watatic's stiff climb.
I made it to the final aid station at 46.5 miles and turned to head back up the last gradual climb to the top of Mt. Watatic. I knew it would be over quicker if I ran the last of the climbs and I would be able to keep my place (6th at the time) if I just pushed to the finish. Running the rest of the climbs felt great and I felt I should take a photo of the final Watatic climb from it's secondary peak.
here. All runners ran a great race especially Josh Katzman, the overall winner, and Eric Ahern, second place - finishing with awesome and inspiring times. It felt good to finish my first 50 mile race on such tough terrain and I will return next year to improve my race time. Hopefully in the meantime I can gain more experience in the process of how to handle the 50 mile distance as far as fueling, hydration and pacing goes.
- Water 225 oz.
- Gu Gels:12-15
- S! Caps: 10-15
- 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
- Bananas, potatoes w/salt, pretzels
- Shoes: Montrail Mountain Masochist
- Socks: Darn Tough
- Pack: GoLite Rush
- Shirt: The North Face
- Shorts: Under Armour