What a #Saturday of (road) #ultrarunning. 5x 10mile out-and-backs and they certainly got tougher each lap. A 7am beautiful sunrise, my mantra to RUN WITH #JOY and my cheerful pacer Cole Cloutier kept me in great spirits early hitting the first 25miles in 2:51:xx and a new 50k PR of 3:33:xx, but that’s when the heaviness set in with 19 miles to go.

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My new mantra was to SUFFER WELL as the quads we’re crashing with the pounding, my hamstring cramped bad while sitting down for a shoe change, and I hit a pretty low mental barrier around 35miles. My 2nd pacer Brent Wathke was insistent on pushing through and he kept my eyes up and my legs moving. I wanted to quit more than in any other ultra I’ve run, but knew I couldn’t in front of the kids. My son pushed a sign in my face that said “fast or slow, LETS GO!” while my 6 year old’s sign simply said “RUN!” … Maybe I’ll have to stop next lap at the river and call them to pick me up. Nope. Things got better. The legs turned over. I started doing the math … I was pretty sure sub-6 hours was gone but how about a new PR sub-6:08?!? I adjusted goals, but it was gonna be a tough last 10 miles.

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One. Mile. At. A. Time. … more math. The last 5mi, I’d definitely have to maintain pace. Alicia brought me home with Brent the last 4 miles and we were flying … Last two miles in 13:45 for a new 3minute PR 6:05:45 and an overflow of joy on the banks of the Chippewa River. To suffer well, push through, and be spit out the other side better for it is 100 times more gratifying than everything just clicking along well and fine. This is the human experience in so many ways. Thank you once again #EauClaire for coming out and supporting this community … it truly is amazing to see, experience, and #RunWithJoy. Extra special thanks as always to the super-crew Alicia, Lindsey, the kids, and both parents … amazing. I’d be a sorry site without them and the pacers!

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One last thought (see last pic)… being driven away from an ultra “finish line” bundled in blankets will sometimes resemble FINALLY ESCAPING THE PSYC WARD!

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For the data geeks out there, here’s the 5mile splits…

34:14

34:22

34:34

34:14

34:23

36:37 (3:01:xx 26.2mi marathon split)

39:57 (longest stop for help)

41:33 (toughest rough patch)

38:54

36:53

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6:05:45 … avg 7:19/mi … ~3min PR of 7yrs ago when I was 30.

Incredible pics by Matt Mousel & Karen Condit

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