blueseventy racing

First sub24 finish

Embrace the ultra challenges, this time sub 24 in 100 miles running race.

Some ultra challenges capture my interest. One of them several years ago was the unfathomed thought to complete a 100 miles running race, especially after starting my first 100 miler, and realized the limitations, ending with a 50 miles finish in 09:05. Two years later I was able to finish four 100 milers within a calender year. Before this race I have completed 11 running races with distance of 100-135 miles, but never managed to finish 100 miles within 24 hours. Given my personal best 50 miles of 8:46, sub 20 or a sub 24 100 mile race finish shouldn't be out of reach. These 100 milers are just another challenge. Täby Extreme Challenge 100 miles is 14 loops of 11,5 km on trails and parkways in a suburb to Stockholm, Sweden. I have finished TEC100 three times before (2017, 2018, 2020) 25:17 as best five years ago. Each time I have chased the unrealistic sub20, and, as plan B, the sub24 finish from start, but as the race progress realized that each loop takes longer time and any sub 24 finish will not be possible having to finish the last laps walking due to various issues related to overuse. The 'too much' and the 'desire to quit' are two mayor threats to a finish. It is so easy to call it a day, late Saturday evening, when you been out running for 12-14 hours, done 100-120 kilometers, you can hardly run and realizing there is more than a marathon distance to go. When there is still a possiblity to get a shower, a nice Saturday dinner and a good night sleep. There is a special dedication to decide to keep on and completing the 100 miler, keep going another 10 hours all night and finish sometimes before Sunday lunch time. This time I decided to chase the 24 hours finish time by the end of the race and not from start. I did the first 7 loops (50 miles) together with an endurance friend, going slowly, taking some extra time at the aid station to talk to other endurance friends visiting the  race venue. Completed the first 50 miles after 10 hours and 42 minutes, at 8.42 pm Saturday evening. 24 hours mark seems easy, but I know that if I have to walk the final 50 km of the race the 24 hours limit will not happen. At 2.30 am I had done 115 km in 16,5 hours. This is the moment my race strategy have taken me to. I have 7,5 hours to finish the final 46 km. That is a workday ahead of my. If i keep moving in an acceptable pace and have short breaks at the aid station the 24 hours finish will be possible. The chase of the sub 24 hours finish starts now, and I decided to go for it. Thankfully I didn't got into any mayor issues, kept fueling and kept going. Finished in 23:25, place 35 of 103 started, 66 finishers. A 100 mile finish to be used for validation for 2023 races.

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