Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race: Day 4, half-marathon distance with lots of down then up

LP1020615And now for something completely different… the last two days of the Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race (a 5-day, 160 km ultramarathon) were on pavement! Our route for Day 4 was a half-marathon distance,  starting with a 425 m / 1400′ descent via steep switchbacks down to the Ladoma River, then about 6 km of flats along the river, then up the other side: a relentless climb of 500 m / 1600′ through steep forested switchbacks.

I had entered this event with no time goals at all – my only goals were to finish all stages, and to appreciate where I was. But of course, by the end of the first day you start paying attention to your times, and setting secret goals – even if you don’t intend to. I had done really well on the first three

Race Director Mr. C. S. Pandey

Race Director Mr. C. S. Pandey

days – I had never pushed too hard or gone too fast, my legs and body felt great, and I had been eating and sleeping well. I had started aiming to finish the whole thing in under 30 hours… and figured that if I could run today’s half-marathon in under 3 hours, I would be well on track for that. (I know that sounds slow for a half – but remember, I’ve just covered over 100 km of mountainous trail in the last three days, and that today’s course had substantial elevation on it, too. And that I still have to have some juice left for tomorrows 27 km / 17 mile hilly route).

So, when the gun went off, I set off at a pretty good run. I knew I had trained well for running downhill (you can get injured very easily on long downhills like this if you haven’t), so I went for it… full day’s race report is on SleepMonsters, or you can get the summary from my pictures here:

Picture taken over my shoulder as we ran out of town.

Picture taken over my shoulder as we ran out of town.

Picture taken upside down over my head as we ran down the big hill!

Picture taken upside down over my head as we ran down the big hill!

That's me on the downhill! Many thanks to Johan Berggren for this photo.

That’s me on the downhill! Many thanks to Johan Berggren for this photo.

Vie from the switchbacks, down down down to the Ladoma River.

View from the switchbacks, down down down to the Ladoma River.

No pix from the flats - here I am, now partway up the other side of the valley, looking back towards the side we ran down.

No pix from the flats – here I am, now partway up the other side of the valley, looking back towards the side we ran down.

Some of the hazards on the road as we ran up  - you had to keep your ears open and be ready to duck off to the side at those tight switchbacks!

Some of the hazards on the road as we ran up – you had to keep your ears open and be ready to duck off to the side at those tight switchbacks!

It was a long long slog up - yes, I took walking breaks, but I was pleased (and proud!) about how much of it I ran! I was very motivated, I had done so well on the previous days, and was in a good position to finish with a time that I was happy with, as well as feeling strong and uninjured.

It was a long long slog up – yes, I took walking breaks, but I was pleased (and proud!) about how much of it I ran! I was very motivated, I had done so well on the previous days, and was in a good position to finish with a time that I was happy with, as well as feeling strong and uninjured.

Support of the locals was so appreciated - people watching, clapping, smiling their encouragement!

Support of the locals was so appreciated – people watching, clapping, smiling their encouragement!

In the end, I finished in 2:20 – a result that I was thrilled with, given that I was running on tired legs and that the second half of the run was an endless climb! With my cumulative time somewhere around 26 hours, I had bought myself enough time to, barring any accident or injury, make my time goal. As long as I could run tomorrow’s 27 km /17 mile route in under 4 hours (it also started with a big 600 m climb), I would make my goal time of 30 hours.

Advertisements
  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: