The Bartram 100, run on 15 December for me was all about a great easy course, interesting people, and bacon. Liz and I drove down and slept in the camper so lodging was free and we were right at the starting line when we woke up. The race started at 7am and I don't think we crawled out from under the covers until about 6:20. There was coffee and donuts at the start and all we needed to do was for me to tape my feet and to get dressed. I have make a note about how well the RD's Russell and Mike did with this young race. This race is a labor of love for them and you really got the feeling that they wanted to do everything they could to help everyone achieve their goals. They are two really nice guys.
The course: This is a great course for a first time 100 miler to test themselves on. The tread is nice and soft and there are very few things to trip on. Almost all of the trail is double track which is very nice for chatting and running side by side whether with your pacer or other runners. It is very well marked and the 6.25 mile loops make things seem very manageable. There is a mini aid station and the course is set up so you never go more than 2.5 miles without aid. I did not carry a bottle and got by fine only stopping at the mini aid station once per loop.
Another thing that made the course nice was that there were small rolling hills spaced throughout the loop that really broke things up nicely. The hills were neither long nor steep and there was one really nice cruiser downhill that lasted about 1/3 of a mile. I was able to really roll this hill right to the end. Below are some pictures from the course:
|This was the start/finish/main aid under the overhang in front of this middle school.|
This main aid station was manned through the night with students who did an excellent job keeping cups filled and a great variety of goodies well stocked. They looked more high school age but I could be wrong. In any event they did a great job. Thank You!
|At the beginning of the loop we ran on an asphalt track that went around this field along the fence in the distance.|
|This picture was taken late in the day. The mini aid is just off picture to the right. Across the lake there is a shelter that we ran by after about another 2.5 miles or so.|
|This was one of the "big" hills and at the bottom there was a "big" uphill.|
|This is part of the short out an back that brought us to and from the loop. It was nice to see and high five the other runners so often.|
|Here Liz is coming to the end of the loop and the timing mat seen here between the cones.|
|The signage on the course was nice and the mile markers every mile also a nice touch. The course was well marked but not over marked.|
|Here is the final mile marker and part of the out and back section taking us back to the school. 1/4 mile to go.|
To summarize her vision it is to have a series of runs that are very low cost events with very few rules or regulations. It is in part a protest against the high price, big swag races that are the norm these days. Pretty much all the races Liz and I have done fall into that category. That's not to knock those events but it's good to have low cost alternatives. As I caught up with Terri early on a lap I fell in with her and walked a whole lap with her and learned a lot about her ultrarunning history and some life history. This lady has been running ultras for 30 years (next April) and has done over 300 ultras all across the country. It was a real treat to run with her and get to know her a bit. She doesn't run much but has a very strong power walk and still finishes ultras. At this event she did 50 miles finishing a bit after dark and then slept and came back in the morning to finish the 100k. (The race is called the Bartram 100's because it is a 100 mile and 100k event.)
Here's a picture of Terri on Saturday:
I can't remember this young man's name and the results have still not been posted but I think it might have been Tim. He is in training to become a Special Forces Navy diver. He had just finished dive school where he was one of the less than 50% who graduated. I think this was his third 100 and though he had some ups and downs he finished in under 24 hours. I think he finished within 15 minute or so of me.
In this picture the guy in yellow is a PhD student doing laboratory work in nutritional science at Georgia State University. We had some interesting discussions about nutrition especially in light of my following the Bacon Protocol in this run. More on the Bacon Protocol below.
The guy in black is Levi and he is finishing his family medicine residency this spring. He has done multiple hundreds and had a very even and steady run. He also had the perfect efficient stride that gets you through these things. I ran for a while with both of these guys and had some fun conversation.
Here is Perry Sebastian, RD of the Double Top 100 doing the timing for the race:
|More timing helpers writing down laps on paper.|
The day before the race I cooked up 3 lbs. of bacon. Liz and I ate 1/3 of it with breakfast and the rest I put in a resealable container. I'm finding more and more that meat sustains me the best at these races with the least amount of acidy stomach and other stomach issues. I also have the habit of eating very little during most events. At certain time I do get really hungry and chow down but I try to wait until I'm really hungry before eating a lot. Anyway, during the first loop I decided to see how far I could go on just bacon. I had had some sweet wafer type cookies before the start but not a lot. I did the first loop and as I stopped by my drop bag I pulled two pieces of bacon from the bucket.
I continued with the following pattern. I would come to the start/finish aid station and have 1 full cup of gatorade and 1 full cup of coke. I would then pass by my drop bag and eat two pieces of bacon. Then about 2.5 miles into the loop I would stop at the mini aid and have some water or some more gatorade. I would finish the lap and repeat the pattern. On my 6th lap I walked with Terri and that took me about 20 minutes longer than my other laps and I was extra hungry so I ate 3 pieces of bacon instead of two. Other than that lap, though I continued with my pattern of coke, gatorade and two pieces of bacon. I got to 100k having only eaten 19 pieces of bacon in addition to my coke and gatorade. My energy levels were great and my stomach did not get acidy feeling as it often does.
After finishing 100k I didn't eat any more bacon even though there was more left. My body was telling me that I should eat more carbs and more total calories. I didn't struggle at all to 100k but at that point the bacon just didn't appeal anymore. It was very satisfying for me while I was eating it though. I don't know if it would work at a hotter 100 though even at other races whenever I've seen bacon at the aid station I've eaten it. Some of the runners I talked to couldn't hardly believe I was doing this and some said they felt kind of ill just thinking about it but it worked for me. It might work for you!
Cudos: A huge thank you to everyone that helped out at the Bartram 100! You made it as easy as it can be for us to run 100 miles. Congrats on a job well done!
|Here we are with the RDs Mike and Russell just after finishing. I finished in 22:39 and Liz in 22:47.|
Race count: Liz (35) Scott (26)