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BRIANPILGRIM's Photo BRIANPILGRIM SparkPoints: (0)
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8/8/12 12:45 P

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This discussion is spanning quite a distance in time, just like ultrarunning, but I'm new to the group so I'll chime in.

Choosing a first 100 can be tough because there are many factors to consider, terrain you can train on, avaiability of crew and pacers, past running experience, travel to and from the race and the list goes on. Rocky Raccoon was mentioned and that can be a good first timers race but it's not automatic. The first time I ran it I had no experience running on what seemed like a super rooty course and I dropped at mile 80 because I kept kicking roots all day and night and my toes were a bloddy mess. However, the next time I ran it I had a lot more experience on that terrain and ran my first sub-24 100 and the whole time I couldn't believe I previously thought the course rooty.

I have friends whose first 100 was Leadville but we live in a mountainous area and there is a whole group of us who run and race together and so there is plenty of crew and pacers avaiable for added support plus Leadville is only 6 hours drive from where we live so we can also train on the course.

I woundn't necessairily look for the flattest "easiest" 100 miler, 100s are really hard no matter the terrain. I would choose the 100 that has the best combination of terrain you can train on, level of support and lack of complicating factors such as difficult travel involving a lot of logistical planning.

BTW, my first was Lean Horse in South Dakota. It is a "flat and fast" course, very runnable, I had a small crew and it was a long but easy drive.

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EUROSIGN's Photo EUROSIGN Posts: 376
4/18/12 2:15 P

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Conmgratulations LMMOOSE! I hope I'll do JFK someday, it's really an old dream, but I need to qualify, run faster, and I haven't been training much lately... Enjoy your victory, it's very special!!

I may casually make it happen. PRs:
5k: 27:07
8k: 42
10k: 56
15k: 1:25
Half-marathon : 2:07
Full-marathon: 4:44
50K: 5:54
Haf-Iron:6:59
35 mile failure: 8:20
42 epic miles: 10:57


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LMMOOSE's Photo LMMOOSE Posts: 228
1/14/12 5:22 P

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I did the JFK 50 as my first ultra and I learned one very important point: pick a race with the same terrain you can train on.

I train primarily on hard pack suburban trails and roads. The first phase of the race on the AT was brutal. I was not mentally prepared for the granite switchbacks and I was mentally drained by the time I hit the parts I was familiar with.

I also recommend a race closer to home. I had a hard enough time on the 90 minute drive home. I can't imagine having to make a long drive home or (worse) fighting with air travel during the very challenging recovery period after the race.

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MIZUNORUNNER SparkPoints: (0)
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12/6/11 5:16 P

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EUROSIGN makes a very good point. I should have included that I have years of running behind me and I think that builds a lot of impact strength. I would not advise a new runner (less than 3 years) to take on a 100. Though I didn't do a marathon before I did a 50k and from experience will say that a trail 50k is easier than a road marathon. Plus the aid stations are cooler.

EUROSIGN's Photo EUROSIGN Posts: 376
12/6/11 4:24 P

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Here are my 2 cents, 260 pounds worth of cents, for anybody going for it. At my higher weight, I found it hard to progress quickly to a higher volume of training without bumping into injury and/or burnout. Like for anything else that works, gradual adaptation is the way to go. I would do a 50k first, then a 50 miler, having at least a 2 year plan in reaching a 100 miler. But that's me, I'm big and heavy, others are bio-mechanically safer and getting in better shape. You have to see how it feels, then decide.
Good luck!!

I may casually make it happen. PRs:
5k: 27:07
8k: 42
10k: 56
15k: 1:25
Half-marathon : 2:07
Full-marathon: 4:44
50K: 5:54
Haf-Iron:6:59
35 mile failure: 8:20
42 epic miles: 10:57


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11/29/11 10:20 P

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You can totally do it!!! I am training for a 126.2 miles race and I just did my first 50 Miler in July and didn't do my first until my baby turned 14 months, this May!!! And prior to any of this I had never run a race longer than a half. I had a hard time getting my mind back into running after the baby and I still struggle from time to time on training runs. But the race is pure love. I explain my understanding of endurance to a lot of people. I'll spare you, unless you ask for it. But you can certainly do it. A question to ask yourself is do YOU think you can do it?

MELHAYWIRE's Photo MELHAYWIRE Posts: 15
5/13/11 8:28 A

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Hi! I am doing my first 50K Ultra in September. My husband has finished two ultras and half ironmans and just completed his first full ironman last weekend. He has inspired me to keep going for higher goals! I look forward to reading discussions and comments on this team!

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JANNEPERRY's Photo JANNEPERRY SparkPoints: (161,024)
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5/4/11 8:12 A

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Thanks for the suggestion. My marathons are in the past. Just did a half and have long runs of 18mi right now. Sounds like I'm on track.

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WYULTRARUNNER's Photo WYULTRARUNNER Posts: 915
5/3/11 10:14 A

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How recent are your three marathons? I'm thinking if they are recent enough that could be your long runs. Otherwise I'd go for 30 miles or five - six hours. Sounds like you've made a really good choice for a first ultra.

Failure is only postponed success as long as courage "coaches"
ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory.

-- Herbert Kaufman

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

Chinese proverb.

JANNEPERRY's Photo JANNEPERRY SparkPoints: (161,024)
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5/3/11 8:41 A

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Hi. I'm new to ultra running. I've done 3 half marathons and 3 marathons. I decided to sign up for a no pressure ultra--It's called Howl at the Moon and is an 8 hour run. I can do whatever distance I want/can do in that time.

I need some advice. How long (hours/minute) should my longest training "run" be prior to the 8 hour ultra. I actually have no idea.



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CD7717611 Posts: 9
3/12/11 9:24 A

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Thanks! I'll look into the Rocky Raccoon. Yesterday I did a lot of research online and found 2 races that I'm pretty interested in. Do you know much about either of these:

KEYS100 - Part of the pull for this is that next year it will land on my birthday, but I've also heard good things about it. My only worry is that it looks like it's 100 miles straight down and that might get mentally hard if there aren't any breaks or turns to help break it down into smaller chunks. Still researching this one! http://www.keys100.com/
and
Viaduct Trail - looking at the site it had be really geared up. I could picture myself running there. 4 out and backs don't sound that bad! I'm sure the 3 one would be the hardest, but it looks like an awesome race (if you can get in - it's an intimate group). http://sites.google.com/site/viaducttrailu
ltramarathon/

WYULTRARUNNER's Photo WYULTRARUNNER Posts: 915
3/11/11 9:27 A

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Sure! It's a personal choice based on region or where you would like to go, if you want to travel or keep it close. Remember that if you plan to have crew/pacers, the runner normally pays for the travel expenses. Crew/pacers are a huge help so think about that while you plan. Again a coach is a really good idea too.

I would pick one of the non mountainous races first unless you live in a mountainous region and can train in like terrain and altitude. That's why I suggested Rocky Raccoon, it's really an ideal course for a first time 100 and for a PR.

Failure is only postponed success as long as courage "coaches"
ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory.

-- Herbert Kaufman

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

Chinese proverb.

CD7717611 Posts: 9
3/11/11 8:44 A

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Thanks for the tips! I will check into the links. I really want to do 100 miles in 2012. How do you pick a good first "100"? There are so many races out there!

WYULTRARUNNER's Photo WYULTRARUNNER Posts: 915
2/10/11 1:03 P

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Start doing a few shorter ultra's this year, an occasional 50k. I'm big on getting a coach for the first 100 primarily because they help prevent newbie mistakes. My first 100 and the one where I have my PR is Rocky Raccoon, held at Huntsville State park the first weekend in February. So for that, you have a full year to prepare/plan. You sound trained in distance enough that beginning your serious training/buildup for 100 could begin just 3 to 4 months out from your goal event.

Check out the links that I posted, the run100s.com will have many of the available events listed and I believe links to a number of ultra distance running coaches as well.

Edited by: WYULTRARUNNER at: 2/10/2011 (13:04)
Failure is only postponed success as long as courage "coaches"
ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory.

-- Herbert Kaufman

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

Chinese proverb.

CD7717611 Posts: 9
2/3/11 5:56 P

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Hi there! I've been pondering the idea of doing an ultramarathon - 100miler to be exact. Ok, so I've been more than pondering - I can't get the idea out of my head. Means I should pursue it right?

My race history: 4 Full marathons, 7 half marathons, multiple 10ks & 5ks

I'm open to advice, suggestions, etc for how to pick my first ultra. I need it to be in 2012, preferably before August or at the end of this year, around November or December.

What's the best way to tackle this? Marathons seem so easy compared to the mountain of an ultra!

Can't wait to get involved with this group and I hope to learn a lot!

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