Fallout 50k – Race Recap

Hawkeye Fallout 50k 2018 – Race Recap

EEEK! My 6th attempt at an ultra, and just 6 days from my most recent marathon.

Ok, blah blah blah….I feel as a runner the more crazy the better, ALSO this is not the first time I have done this combo. Way back when I ran the Chicago Marathon, I ran my first 50k the week before.

I won this entry at a running club appreciation event.

The Friday before the race, I helped with packet pick up at the local running store. I gave out bibs and the quarter zip pullover that was included with registration. The ankle bracelet timing chip was distributed with the reusable cups before the race.

The Des Moines marathon was my last long training for this event, and well that was about it. I did not pick a training plan. I didn’t have any expectations but to finish before the 8 hour cutoff time. My super ambitious goal was to finish before the Iowa football game started at 2:30pm.

Gear: Adidas boy shorts, Zensah sports bra and socks, Orange Mud Endurance Pack and pullover, Rabbit tank, Rudy Rydon glasses, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Hawkeye Hat, Brooks Ghost 10, Garmin Forerunner 935, Gatorade Endurance, BUFF

This was the inaugural event, it was to be the “sister” race to the spring event. The race is run around Lake MacBride, with a spillway crossing. In the spring it is 2 loops, run in one direction and in the fall it was to be run in the reverse direction. HOWEVER, we have had too much rain, causing the spillway to be unsafe for crossing. The RD -Brian – created a route that would take us out and back along the south side, with some loops, then back to the start and finish where we would then head out and back on the north side. This route made it impossible to drop at the halfway point to the 25k, as the first half of course was longer than 25k. If you wanted to drop you had to do so before the event, or get a 50k DNF.

Saturday, October 27

My favorite part about this race is that I can sleep in my own bed and it takes like 15 minutes to drive to the starting line.

The race started at 8 AM, I arrived around 7:30 to grab my timing chip and cup. I talked to the other runners and just like that it was time to start. There was no National Anthem. It was the perfect day for a run, sunny and about 50 degrees.

The 50k and 25k runners began at the same time. The 25k runners would split and run the north side of the lake only.

Well, right from the start, I was almost the last person. There were only 35 ish runners in this distance, and it didn’t bother me as I know people start too fast. The first section is 3 ish miles along side a highway. However, I joined up with another runner and we began chatting. It started by observing the beer cans in the ditch. It appears that Solon prefers Bud Light.

We ended up running the entire first out and back together.  We walked the uphills, navigated the leaf covered tree roots and he took all the selfies!! Even after a bathroom stop, I caught back up. It was nice to have someone to run this part of the course, even though it was all marked with pink flags and ribbons, I didn’t know where I was. There was a section with a ravine we had to loop twice. We passed runners going in the wrong direction.

Photo Cred: Rob

There were two aid stations on this part of the course. I didn’t grab anything at the first stop, I was also carrying Gatorade Endurance and candy. We passed the second stop twice and I filled my reusable cup with some water and grabbed some pretzels.

We came back to the start and finish and my runner friend, Rob ( I learned his name by then) noticed the course was going to be long.  I had accidentally paused my watch and my mileage was different than his, I had lost about a mile and a half.  The parking lot is also the start/finish and he disappeared to his car.

We were in and out of that start/finish aid station quickly. I grabbed a few more snacks including a clementine. I think that is one of my favorite fruits for running.

We started walking the second half and Rob told me to hook my phone up to his bluetooth speaker, which is what he stopped at his car for. I told him I had been listening to music the entire time on my Aftershokz. He said that was cheating, lol. I had been chatting with him and listening to tunes and he had no idea. I transferred the connection to the speaker and we started running again.

We noticed all the fuzzy caterpillars out on the trails that day.

That is when I pulled away from him and the speaker would’t work anymore. It was lonely, but I just kept trucking along. I also knew I wasn’t going to be back before the start of the game.

I made it to the aid station on this section of the course. This is when I noticed the older gentleman that was behind us on the first 6 miles of the course, was way ahead of us and he was headed back to the start. I was confused as he never passed me, ever! I came to the conclusion that he must have never completed the second loop on the first section. I wonder how many people didn’t run the entire course?

I left the aid station and headed to the spillway. I would say this was one of the most scenic parts of the course. At the spillway turnaround, the view was spectacular!! The sun hitting the lake and the trees made for a picturesque trot back to the finish.

I passed the aid station again, this time looking for a pre-packaged snack as I thought I might need something in the last 5 miles. I grabbed an oatmeal pie. The last few miles are also the ones I am most familiar with as I run this section a few times during the year.

I was struggling, but forward is a pace. I passed the sag runner, he was on his way to the spillway, so at least a good 5 miles behind me. I knew I would finish before the cutoff.

At the start of the Hawkeye game – 2:30 PM, I called my husband and checked in with the score. We had already scored a safety. The Hawks were off to a good start. I also told him to meet me when I got to the finish and get my car key, I needed my OOFOS, I had a toe issue developing.

I walked and ran towards the finish line, consuming the oatmeal pie I snatched from the last aid station. When I came back to the lodge, I spotted Josh and he grabbed my car key. There was one last loop on the asphalt, yeah that was a joy!

My watch was way off, so my Strava stats are off too. When I came to the finish line, the clock was at 7:40 or something. It also had to be a distance PR for me as my Garmin had 31 miles. I felt good, except for that toe issue – a random blister that had formed under a toenail. Relive

A volunteer snagged the timing chip from my ankle and another placed a medal around my neck. Josh was there with my flip flops and a phone to his ear with the Iowa game, the Hawks were winning. Josh untied my shoe and it was off!

I went inside the Timber Dome (the lodge) to see what food I might want to eat. The race is a potluck, but since I was close to last, food was all consolidated to a couple tables, picked over and people took home their crockpots. I really wasn’t too hungry either. I used the bathroom and decided I better eat something, so I snagged an apple.

I went back outside to wait for Rob to finish. He was coming down the home stretch with the last finisher. They both finished under the 8 hour cutoff. He said his watch had over 32 miles. The last place finisher also got a special prize.

We sat there, and chatted, and Rob asked “Is that your husband?” Apparently everyone knows Josh, small world.

We didn’t stick around too much longer. I thanked the RD for a great race, hopped in my car and headed home.

I didn’t have my best race time, but I don’t know what else I would have preferred to do on a beautiful fall day….ok so I did come home to watch the rest of the Hawkeye game, which was not good.

Everyone boasts about the marathon majors, but this kind of race is my favorite. Low key, close to home, attention to detail, small, and with friends. I am glad I have the opportunity to run it.

I am looking forward to the spring event, the Hawkeye 50k. Registration is open!! Also instead of a shirt you get an Orange Mud transition towel, how cool is that?!!!? This race is also a prize for my 100 Miles in November, hope to see you in April!

Check out my thoughts or add your own at Bibrave.com

4 thoughts on “Fallout 50k – Race Recap

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