Photo from the 2014 Ice Age Trail 50 Miler by Ali Engin. Permission to use header photo must be obtained through Ali Elgin.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Copenhagen 6 hour race

Remind me not to run any more 6 hour races. At least not when they consist of a short asfalt loop. Of course I knew what I was getting into in advance: 2.2 km around a lake again and again. The race was really well-arranged and the runners were friendly and in good spirits. But it was no trail ultra; let's just put it like that.

I now am certain that what I really love about ultras is the long trails and beautiful scenery. The competition, adrenaline and calorie-burning are big plusses, but don't make a race wonderulf on their own. Had this been my first ultra, it may have been my last.

But the result wasn't that bad for SR or me. We ran together for the first hour and then he went ahead while I enjoyed a new music mix. I was the leading woman for almost the first four hours. I tied my marathon PR at 3:39, and figured I was going too fast. Mai-Britt Hansen had been close behind me the entire time. She is generally considered Denmark's best female ultra runner, so it was exciting not only to meet her but to be racing with her. I should have known I didn't have a shot a beating her, but I tend to have an inflated sense of self-worth in ultras.

I ran into SR and we ran together as I fell into second place. He was kind of begging to drop out, but we encouraged each other to keep going. We were both in extreme pain at that point from the pounding on the pavement, so we started running on the uncut grass along the trail. I came through 50k in 4:48, a slow-down but still a 50k PR.

The end of the race was atrocious. I was starving, but couldn't find anything I could stomach among the danish treats. And my legs still killed me. I ran a pitiful 11.4 km in the next hour and 12 minutes. So my ending distance was 61.4km (38.2 miles). My goal was 60 km, so I guess I was happy. I just hadn't expected to crash like that. And in the cold, misty rain, the 6 hours of the race seemed twice as long as the nearly 9 hours of Voyageur. Well, it's over. Oh, by the way, SR ended up with 66.7 km.

Thanks to Charley Prødel and Jan Wolffgang for the photos!







Running Song of the Day: Ghost by Neutral Milk Hotel

11 comments:

Danni said...

So you were second woman? That's awesome! Sounds a little painful.

olga said...

Amd that's why I don't do them. Although I used to - back in NYC most of the ultras were on the loop asphalt course, from 1.5M to 4M per loop. I didn't know any better - and then entered a first 50M as one big loop and pretty scenery. Then cam WS, and the hell broke loose:) This year's 24 hr was a good reminder to never do it again. Good job on final times and distances. Keeping it in a rain is a double-kudos.

cherelli said...

WOW. 6 hours of running, that is just awesome, great result, particularly pushing each other through the toughest stages!

sea legs girl said...

No, Danni, I was fourth woman. And Mai-Britt ended up in second, which has not happened to her in a Danish ultra as far as I know. Guess we both forced each other to start too fast.

Olga, that's very interesting that NYC ultras are just like Danish ones. But NYC has it's population density as an excuse. Must just be tradition in Denmark. Let's just say I wouldn't mind starting some new traditions.

Thanks for the support, Cherelli. You're right, six hours straight without excuses for walking is rough :).

SteveQ said...

Time on asphalt can be brutal. When I did FANS last year, I had blister problems for the first time in 20 years; my feet just reacted differently to pavement after a year on trails.

I'm told I'm still weeks away from being able to run.

SteveQ said...

Had to look at Mai-Britt's blog to see pics of who else ran. Get Kirsten to do the Danish 24-hour and I'll renew my passport.

sea legs girl said...

Ha ha. I'll work on Kirsten and the 24 hour :). She was the only one who walked the one hill every time, by the way. Guess it worked for her!

And thanks for pointing out my misspelling of asphalt. It is asfalt in Danish. I am starting to get confused I guess. I'll leave it ucorrected just because it adds character.

SteveQ said...

Umm - I didn't say anything about the spelling of asphalt (like I know Danish!!), but misspelling "uncorrected" was cute.

How long can I expect to be out with bacterial pneumonia and sinusitis?

Shelby said...

I have been a sporadic lurker of your blog :) over the last few years, (you can thank runango haha) and i thought of you the other day...Oprah did a show on denmark, and it just looks like such a lovely place to live. I told my husband that night i wanted to move there!

sea legs girl said...

Hi Shelby,

It is great to hear from you! I am so glad you commented. Man that Oprah makes waves. Everyone is also talking about her here and how Denmark is going to get rich by Americans buying all of the Danish rye bread.

Anyway, it is a great place to live, especially for women with families. And it is a very egalitarian society, which means the average person tends to be a lot happier.

But it is a HARD place to immigrate to and Danes are a bit racist (though the wouldn't admit it).

I could go on and on, but thanks so much for writing, Shelby. And thanks for your comment on the Hurricanes, too (last post). :)

Erin said...

IUD were not nice to my body. I gave it 6 months and finally had to have it removed. I started to get scared when I couldn't see anymore. Yikes!
My list of 15 symptoms went away when I had it removed. Almost instantly.
It works for some people, doesn't for others.
You're so good about listening to your body, just keep on it. : )