blueseventy racing

It's easy until it's not

28 laps done (117 miles) in a race where the winner did 254 miles in 61 hours. Wonderful organized with a start field of 57 runners from many states and ages between 15 and 71 years. The winner (and the runners with high number of laps completed) will represent the US national team in the backyard satellite 'world champship' in October.

Capital Backyard Ultra, in Lorton, VA is one of these concepts invented by Laz, famous in the ultrarunning community. This race is organized by Sarah, and is truly well organised, and attracts runner from all over the US, in ages between 15 and 71 despite a small start field of 57 runners. The concept is easy. Each hour the runner starts a loop of 4.1667 mile. The odd distance is just to make it to 100 miles in 24 hours. There will be only one finisher, the one that is the last person standing. Everyone else will have a DNF. When you cannot complete the loop before the next loop starts (or you do not show up at the start corral when the bell rings marking the start of a new loop), you get DNF. This race is one of few US silver tickets races, meaning that the winner will be qualified to the US national team for the satellite 'world championship' in October. There are 15 runners in each national team and each team will compete at locations in their home countries around the world with more than 40 countries involved.

A 4-ish mile run is an easy 30-40 min run. But doing it every hour for a many hours is a true challenge. I know from start that the race will be ongoing for a long time. I was prepared into the race and followed my plan to go slow and easy to build up the number of laps. Mixing walking and running. Some laps somewhat faster to get more minutes in the break between the laps, some laps more walking to recover from the distance which gradually build up the impact on the body. The break in between needs to be focused on one thing. You need to grab nutrition and water for the next hour then there is normally not enough time to both fix a foot issue and change clothes. Races like this starts after 24 hours, but in this race majority of the runners where still in the race after 24 hours. All top seven runners reached 200 miles and 48 hours. The second place runner, Jennifer, age 56 from Ohio reached 250 miles and 60 hours (2.5 full days!). I decided to stop after 28 hours and 117 miles which is a distance corresponding to the bike leg in a full distance triathlon.

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