Finally I got into a starting line without any water dropping from a grey sky. A little bit chilly from the wind, but it seems it gonna be a good day. I had done this race for 2 times before, it s a fast flat course with a small section of road. The plan for this race was taking an easy run, have fun, and work on my nutrition.
Course Description from The RD
This race takes place within the city limits of Philadelphia, and therefore qualifies as an urban ultramarathon, but you will not find things like traffic, noise, bad air quality & concrete buildings here. This race course is located within Pennypack Park, a hidden gem within Philadelphia’s Fairmont park system. The park stretches along Pennypack creek for about 7 1/2 miles, and is home to many trails, huge old trees, birds & other wildlife. I run here all the time, and never get tired of it.
About a year ago, after I finished my 100 miles race in Monument Valley, I was immediately fell in love with Utah. And I thought it would be cool if I could have a race with my friends in Utah sometime.
So I pitched an idea to my friends to race in Zion 100 in 2016. Some answered the call and here where the story started.
A challenging, scenic run through the southern Utah desert adjacent to Zion National Park. 4 distances will be offered in 2015- a Half Marathon, 55k, 100k, and a 100 miler. The 100 miler and 100k will be run on Friday, with the half marathon and 55k on Saturday. The 100 mile course includes 4 steep climbs onto mesas that offer incredible views of the varied geological features of the area. 55K (original course)– This route begins by heading straight towards and then up onto Gooseberry Mesa, then does the 12 mile loop on top. After dropping back off the mesa, the trail heads west to the Virgin Dam aid station and then to the finish.
The trail loop was a 10.0 miles, which would go by Summit Field twice every loop as well as Turtle Back Parking area. This course had a little bit of everything; long stretches of double-wide woods road Meandering single-wide trail, about a mile and a half stretch of pavement, and miles of soft dirt interlaced with ankle twisting rocks. If there was rain leading up to the day of the race or during the race, it would be almost impossible to avoid certain patches of mud. Good combination of level patches, rolling hills, moderate climbs, and a few very steep ascents and descents.
This was my second year of doing this race. Blue Cruise 50K was a really good race, not too crazy or too technical, but still not easy by any means. The course had enough hill that you would curse your legs 2/3 of the race, especially if you did not pace yourself. This race also one of my favorites, the RD was awesome, the aid stations were stocked (they had bacon at the last aid station), the volunteer was very nice and always lifted up our spirit, and the best one was the swag; the best swag ever.
Distance. : 50km Finish Time : 4:51:18 Pace: 9:24 Rank : #28 (overall) Lap 1 : 2:13:11
Photo by Uber Endurance Sports
This was the second time for me running this race. The race organization, Uber Endurance Sports, always has the best fun races. Their races are always well-marked, they always have an all out aid station provision and very well-organized.
Last year, I broke my 50k PR in this race. Thank you to Keila, whom I was tailing for the first 25k loop. But I just couldn’t keep up with her beast mode pace, and I ended up out of gas by mile 20.
But this year, my plan was using this fun run race as my long run training for upcoming Cayuga 50 miles. I won’t be racing like a crazy monkey, on the other hand, I would try a few new running strategy. After my running drama in Bear Mountain, 2 weeks earlier, I had evaluated my race, overview what went wrong, what did I do wrong, what could I do better, and also to test my brand new recovered left ankle.