We are now almost one-quarter of the way through the week.
(In fact, tomorrow you will see a 40 KM sign early in the race).
We really enjoyed being back in Cambridge for the first time since 2011, and on such a great section of the Grand River Trail. There is a strong consensus that what we gained in scenery and shade at our new course made up for a more challenging course than in years past. And it was great to have Batman Battaglia back out on the course today!
No overall changes today, with leaders increasing their leads: Josh by 21 seconds, Robyn by 5:23, and H+P Men’s A by 19 seconds.
Will S. now 26:36 ahead of 2013
Chris L. now 12:46 ahead of 2018
Aidan R. now 9:22 ahead of 2018
Mark I. now 8:16 ahead of 2018
Ian G. now 7:02 ahead of 2018
Rebecca K. 3:27 ahead of 2018
Denis A. 2:57 ahead of 2011 (his previous best after 2 stages)
H+P Men’s A currently 3:41 ahead of the record-setting relay team’s time
H+P Women’s A currently 1:23 behind last year’s top female team (fastest all-time all-female team)
H+P Masters Men A team currently 3:32 lead over record masters team pace
We tackle the first big test, a 30 KM cross country race at Bechtel Park in Waterloo. We asked the participants how they are approaching a challenge of terrain (mix of trails and grass with hills!) and and psychology (six loops).
Mark I: I, my wife Rika, and my bunny Ron are enjoying everything so far, doing better than my first Ultimate last year, thanks to the fabulous supporting staff and friends. I find myself less nervous than last year. However, Stage 3 will be a challenging one to me. Running 30k Bechtel (rain?), feeding me at the post race, one hour drive home, taking a shower, then appointment with my dentist at 2:50pm. The later I finish, the less time for food Otherwise I have to pay penalty for no show.
Costas: I am mentally preparing for the “real” start to ENDURrun, Bechtel park. Pacing is crucial…. start slow and build up to a comfortable pace.
Rebecca: I’d say that the competition lasts the whole week. Each stage has its own unique challenges – Bechtel is an easier stage than others, for some – and for some it may be the toughest. I personally enjoy Bechtel – because I get to pass by the start/finish area (and the cheer squads) five times! Other prep tips? Trail shoes, bug spray, and lots of sleep (and calories) today!
Mitch: I am nervous about Bechtel mostly because I have never run that distance before. My strategy will be finding a comfortable pace and settling in – ideally keeping my time for each loop consistent. I think mentally I am fine. Legs are tired – so another walk to help keep loose, a nice long stint in the lazy boy and another early dinner.
Merlin: Is stage 3 the “real” beginning of the challenge? – yes. Stage 1 and 2 are relatively level….but stage 3 throws in trails, dirt, grass…and hill climbs! – it requires focus – both physically and mentally!
Pat: For stage 3: I am laying on my living room floor, pondering the gruelling fun that is before us tomorrow- really hopeful that my Garmin’s suggestion of “52 Hrs rest”, after Stage 2, was a glitch.
Dave: It’s so different effort-wise from the prior two stages. It’s a long 30K time-wise not a road rip like Around the Bay. Can get away with some pacing errors in the first two stages, at Bechtel you’re in for a long morning if you burn too many matches early! Being more than two hours, for most of us… nutrition plays way more a role. Getting the extra carbs in today is hugely important and fuel early and often each loop during.
Reza: Afternoon naps are the best.
Ty: I’ve already raced back to back days. Stage 3 is definitely not the “real start”. Stage 3 is where it gets hard.
I walked to downtown Kitchener for recovery aids, epsom salts and beer. I’ll take my time tomorrow and treat it as a 5k run…. That I do 6 times.
Andrew M: I’d say half my thoughts while running today were on tomorrow. I’m not going in to Bechtel feeling I’ve been successful in sufficiently preserving energy. “Experience is what you get right after you needed it!”. However I always find joy & energy in the trails at Bechtel, so I’m hoping that helps tomorrow.
Bob: I think the race starts after stage 3 – after the body feels the pain of Bechtel.
Michelle: What do you mean, Stage 3 is the ‘real start’? I’ve never even thought of any stage being more or less than the others. I actually like Bechtel. I was intimidated the first time I did it, but now I love the varied terrain and the repetition. I have it broken into six zones in my head so each loop seems shorter than it really is. I also love that I keep seeing the other runners in multiple locations throughout the course.
Chris M: I’m not emotionally tackling the challenge well at all. I’m crying in my stage 2 celebratory beer – so much so that even though I am drinking the beer, the cup remains full. It’s been three hours and I do believe it is now just a cup of stage 3 emotional tears.