As as part of the #chasing42reports series, I present to you a fantastic tale of a great friend’s first 24-hour/ 100 mile experience. I was excited from the moment he let me know he was planning to tackle the distance, and would have been out there with him if it didn’t coincide with the JFK 50-Miler. As it turns out, he had a fantastic race, and the details below sum things up rather well!
Race Date: 11/21/15
Race Location: Rocky Mount, VA
Distance: 24 Hours
Race Summary: This is the 5th year of the Crooked Road 24-Hour Ultra hosted by the Crooked Road Running Club (CRRC) and located at Waid Park in Rocky Mount, Virginia. In years past, runners would run on a mostly flat certified 0.950423-mile loop within a section of the park. This year however, the course was changed to a certified 1.1815-mile loop. They offer ample parking and free camping for those who desire but there are numerous hotels at a great price in the town of Rocky Mount.
The registration fee is only $40 and instead of a shirt they gave registered runners a camping chair — something to sit on between running. Packet pick up is offered the afternoon before the event or the morning of. There is one aid station located at the loop check-in area with water, Gatorade, soft drinks, fruit, PB&J, and this year they provided hamburgers for lunch and pizza for dinner. Because of the newer venue, they got rid of the port-a-potty and we were able to use the indoor bathrooms.
They also have great race support via all the volunteers along the course. The greatest support came during the long stretch of night running when there is typically lower runner energy. I could hear the cheering from 3/4 of a mile away … even at 3 and 4 in the morning when we were all cold and weary.
It was difficult, at times, to continue on because of the “hobo fire” they started along the course. It was nice to warm up the body for a bit but really tough to get back on the trail.
Best Moment: The people; volunteers and runners alike, are amazing. Some of the runners stopped at certain times of the race and worked as volunteers, then got back on the course to run more loops. There were numerous stories from talking with other runners and walkers on the trail as well. I spoke with many people …
There was a 10-year old boy who was out to break his PR (which happens to be the Virginia record for his age group in a 24-hour race) of 17.5-miles. He was afraid another boy was going to beat his distance and decided to run/jog/walk 28-miles in order to maintain his title.
Another man on the course had never run more than a 5K but wanted to do something big in his life, something he could tell his kids about. When we spoke, he was just a couple of laps away from 50K. He said his body never hurt more and he had never had blisters on his feet the way he did that night but he wanted to finish strong.
Another woman appeared to have back issues and was a bit overweight but the only time I was her stop speed walking was when she was cheering on runners at the check-in tent from midnight to 4:00 a.m.
I asked about one man who was walking with an empty stroller. It turns out he was in an accident and they did not think he was going to walk again. They were wrong and he walked a 50K before midnight, took a nap, then started again in the early morning hours until the horn blew at 8:00 a.m.
There are many more people who deserve notice but I think runners just need to go, talk to other runners, and experience the stories for themselves.
Brief Bio: This is my first 24-hour event and while I thought it would be difficult to run a 1-mile loop for 24-hours, it really was not that challenging to stay mentally focused. Nutrition was also a big concern of mine. As a vegetarian, it is sometimes difficult to attend events like this and find calorie rich foods. This time I brought my own vegan friendly nutrition and it worked out perfectly!
Tailwind – 1,400 calories of Raspberry Buzz (w/ caffeine)
Tailwind – 1,400 calories of Naked
4 Dates stuffed w/ raw coconut
2 Dark mini-chocolate bars (85%)
2 Huma chia energy gels (cappuccino and mango)
2 Sweetish fish candies (vegan according to PETA)
My race splits for this event are as follows:
1:39:58 – 1/2 Marathon
3:40:54 – Marathon
4:35:19 – 50K (PR)
8:06:22 – 50M (PR)
11:06:05 – 100K (PR)
19:35:00 – 100M (PR)
Congrats to Stefan on an amazing race and a WIN!