Nashville Ultra Race Recap
The 2016 version of the Nashville Ultra was my third time participating in the event. I participated in the 2011 and 2012 Nashville Ultra in the 60k race. The Nashville Ultra hosts four different events during the day: 50k, 60k, 70k and 50 miler.
In 2011 and 2012 I won the 60k division! I would have participated in 2013, 2015 and 2015… but we were in California! You can view all my race results here: RACES!
Since we decided to move across the country from California to Tennessee earlier this year, I thought it would be a perfect time to come back to the Nashville Ultra. Since I spent the majority of 2016 getting back into the running scene, I wanted to push hard for another win. In March, as soon as I knew we were going to be moving to Tennessee, I registered for the Nashville Ultra!
The morning of the race I felt a little nervous. I wanted to do well but I knew that I blew up on basically the same course a month before during the Greenway Marathon. I did another marathon in October, too, the 7 Bridges Marathon, which I paced the 3:30 group. At the 7 Bridges Marathon, I also completed the Strava Back Half Challenge. My confidence had been slightly restored during the 7 Bridges Marathon.
The race started and there was one person who darted ahead of me (the guy in the orange shirt next to me in the photo). He said he was doing the 50k race so I didn’t have anything to worry about unless he changed distances without notice.
It was a chilly morning, my hands did not warm up or have any real function until around mile 18. At the aid stations at miles 5, 12 and 18 I had to ask for assistance from the volunteers with opening the food, drink and gel items. The aid stations were packed with goodies, which is one of the reasons I love this race so much.
As I continued on towards the last half of race, I was still in front of the 60k race. At mile 21.5 I saw the lead 50k runner on his way back, he had to have been running around 7 minutes per mile and he looked STRONG!
I pushed on to the next aid station, they reaffirmed I was still leading the 60k race. My legs were starting to feel the pain, I suffered on some more to the next aid station at mile 27. I asked the lady if this was the turn around for 60k and she said I had to run over the pedestrian bridge towards a little table, then I’d turn around to head to the finish.
Well, I ran over the bridge and proceeded to run some more on the greenway looking for the table. Three miles later I arrived at the 70k turn around point! The people there were so kind and incredible! They felt so bad that I had just run an extra 5k to get to the turn around point. So I borrowed a phone to let my wife know I wouldn’t arrive to the finish until a little later. Thank you to the lady who let me borrow her phone!
I pushed on… heading back on the out and back portion of the race.
At the aid station that was supposed to be my turn around (at mile 27 and again at 33) I mentioned to her that she is the turn around in case there were any more 60k runners looking for their turn around point.
Upon making it to the final aid station, which was 5 miles from the finish, the crew there mentioned I was in the lead for the 70k! I felt reinvigorated to keep going! My average running pace slowed down a bit as I headed towards the last few miles, but I never walked during the race! The only times I may not have been running were when I hit the aid stations to grab food and water.
I crossed the finish line for the 70k at about 6 hours and 14 minutes. The race director mentioned I was the first finisher for 70k! In my third Nashville Ultra event, I won my third Nashville Ultra first place hoodie!
I ran the Nashville Ultra in my old, worn out Skora Core shoes. Knowing that the race would be done in a slower general pace, I didn’t want to wear my race shoes. Check out this blurry, silly video of me throwing my worn out shoes away! Maybe it’s time for some new shoes or other items since the holidays are coming up… Hint, hint: Expert Gift Ideas for Runners!