Sunday, December 30, 2007

Not a snowy year, so it must be a muddy year

Josh Dillingham gives his 2007 race report on the weblog "On the Run."

His goal was 25 ultras for 2007. The 2007 HUFF was his 25th ultra of the year. Goal met.

He finished in a time within 8 seconds of his HUFF finishing time in 2006.

Josh writes:

I expected to feel pretty good going into HUFF because I hadn't run in two
weeks, so I thought I would be fresh. WRONG! I guess I really underestimated the
impact of the CrossFit workouts I've been doing. With the squats, burpees,
rowing and snatches I did this week, my quads were toasted before I even started
the race. Not to mention the 5k I ran yesterday, probably not one of my smarter
HUFF is a 10.8 mile loop course repeated 3 times (you're correct if you
think that doesn't add up to 31 miles.) It is run around J. Edward Roush Lake in
Huntington Indiana. It's a pretty flat trail run. The course is usually either
muddy or snowy. This year it was muddy.

At the start of the race my quads felt heavy and a bit fatigued but I
didn't think it would be a big deal. I ran HUFF last year so I knew what to
expect as far as pace and terrain. My rough game plan was to run the first loop
in a comfortable time, something around 1:45, then pick it up on the final two
loops to run negative splits and finish with I time somewhere between 5:10 5:30.

That worked pretty will for the first loop.

I came in at 1:48, but I knew I was in trouble. My quads were already
completely fried.

If it wasn't for the fact that I was trying to keep up with Mike, I would
have ended up walking most of the 2nd and 3rd loops. Every time I slowed down,
he caught up to me and cracked the whip.

We ended up running the entire either together or within a minute of each
other, not by design, that's just how it happened. Believe me, I was trying to
drop him, It just wasn't happening today, he was strong!

At the beginning of my third loop I started re-tooling my game plan. 5:10 -
5:30 was way out of the picture. Now I would try to beat last years finishing
time of 5:56 (I couldn't remember the seconds. Not a big deal right? You'll
see.) But as I started the third loop that goal began to slip a way steadily.

I felt so bad during the second loop, it really didn't get any worse for
the third.

My quads were useless, and something weird was going on with my ankles (I
was worried about it during the race, but afterwards I notice both ankles hurt
in the same spot so it most be due to the two week running break.)

I kept plodding away until I got to the last aid station, with about 3.5
miles to go. I looked at my watch, which said 5:23. That meant if I could
maintain 10 minute miles I could finish under 6 hours. That would be easier said
than done, seeing as how I hadn't been maintaining consistent 10 minute miles
since the end of the first loop. They were now hovering anywhere from 10-14
minutes depending on the muddy sections and the road sections.

Regardless, I thought I would give it a shot.

Mike was right on my tail at this point. I tried to get him to follow me,
but we were both giving it all we had. I decided to make my final move. when I
got to the 1.8 mile to go point, I looked at my watch: 5:39.

I was keeping a steady pace. This is when I started thinking again about
beating last years 5:56. It would be tough but I though I had a chance.

I kicked it into gear. I reached the final .8 miles with 7 minutes to go. I
kicked it into the highest gear I had left and speed to the finish. The final
.25 miles is on pavement. When I hit the pavement the clock read 5:55, I crossed
the finish line in 5:56:41.
till unsure if I had beaten last years time, but pleased with my effort on
a day when I had far less than my "A" game.

I really only had one running goal for 2007. That was to complete 25
ultras. The Huff was number 25. I'd call that a successful year.

Congrats to Mike on a fantastic gutsy run. I'll let him tell you the

HUFF commentary and first person accounts

First up is this account from Dennis Duria, who blogs under the name RunBubbaRun at "Martial Artist, Triathlete, Ironman, Ultrarunner and Just Plain Craziness."

The new HUFF veteran from Chicago got a late start.

Dennis wrote:

Saturday was my last race of the year, the HUFF 50k in Indiana. I started
kinda of late heading out to the race. So when I arrived at the gate to pay my
DNR park pass I figured I had at least 15 minutes to spare.

Hmm, kinda of quite driving up to the race site. I think I have had
this same strange feeling once before at one of my triathlons. OHH crap, I park
my car and see no racers around. The race clock has already started. Instead of
having 15 minutes to spare, I was actually 45 minutes late for the race. "ROYAL
CRAP," what's up with the daylight saving time theory again.

So I was able to pick up my timing chip and was on my way starting the
race 50 minutes behind everybody else.

It had rained and sleeted in the area the night before, so I knew the
trail would be pretty icy and muddy. Okay, maybe it was not so bad running by
myself through the mud right now, at least I can try to find the best path
through this stuff.

But all I could think about was I really did not want to be last in the
race and try to at least catch up to a couple of people.

It was a three loop race, so the first loop I was feeling pretty good
and doing a decent pace, for me anyways.

So around mile 6, I spotted some back of packers moseying along. Okay,
I was feeling a little better, than I get a tap on the back of me saying "good
job". Crap, I just got lapped by the leader. Then around two more lapped me
before finishing my 1st lap. Dang [ ... ]

1 st loop ~ 1:50:48

So on the second loop I tried to relax and stick to a nutritional plan.
There was alot of mud on the trail and little streams big enough we could only
run through. So another round of cold wet feet we go. I managed to stay upright
in loop 1, but when I started to descend on one of the hills, I hit some "black
ice" and went down and banged my knee. Okay that hurt a little bit, I needed to
walk for a couple of minutes to shake it off. So a decent loop 2, I did have
some side stitch issues and some knee pain, but I was able to catch up to one or
more people on the course.

2nd loop ~ 2:04:14

So on the third and final loop, I was still running but getting tired.
I was not following my nutrition plan all that well and I felt it. But kept
running for most of it and stayed upright. I felt good about catching up to all
the people I saw ahead of me on the trail.

3rd loop ~ 2:19:30

So with all the mud, ice, wet feet, 31 degree weather, and 31+ miles
later, I finished in 6:14:30.
place: 84 out of 149division place: 11 out of 19gender place: 67 out of

Dang that was a long day. But everything leading up to my 100 miler is
all training for me. On that end it was a good learning day as well. Talked
briefly with a fellow "Marathon Manic" on the race course.

Oh yes, I finally got my Maniac singlet, so
I guess I'm official now. #750
Marathon Maniac
to be exact.

So with the end of the race, my 2007 racing season is finally at an

Everybody have a SAFE and Happy New Years.

Results are in

Congratulations to all the finishers in the 2007 HUFF Trail Run events.

You may view the HUFF results at Online Race Results by clicking here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hot showers after the HUFF at the Huntington Family YMCA

Once again, the Huntington Family YMCA is opening its facilities to HUFF participants to shower, clean up and warm up after the race.

The shower facilities are a welcome perk - particularly for those who do the entire 50 kilometers. However, relay runners value the Y, too. A runner who has completed a leg can make the brief dash into town, get a hot shower, and then come back to the tent in dry, warm clothes to meet their relay partner at the finish line.

The famous HUFF soups taste just as good whether they are consumed before getting a shower or after the return.

The Huntington Family YMCA is located in downtown Huntington just two blocks north of the Courthouse at 607 Warren Street. Warren Street is also northbound US 224/SR 5 through downtown Huntington.

There is one change this year. The YMCA no longer provides towels for its members and visitors. Be sure and bring your own towel to the shower.

View Larger Map

And, like all HUFF runners, we know you won't be wearing you muddy shoes inside. We get wonderful feedback from the Y every year about the graciousness - and gratefulness - of the runners. Thank you for thanking the personnel of the YMCA when your visit.

The YMCA will be building a new facility soon in conjunction with Huntington University.

Kil-So-Quah Campground entrance, parking and lay-out

You will know you have reached the right place for The HUFF 50K Trail Run when you see this entrance sign on US 224 (Markle Road):

It will be a little bit darker when you are trying to discover the large sign on the morning of the race. Once you turn in on the access road next to the sign you will come to the entry gate.

The DNR will be collecting an entrance fee of $5 for every vehicle entering the campground. This was first instituted in 2004 shortly before The HUFF. That made for long lines snaking out onto US 224 the first year.

Last year, the entry delay was much diminished by the fact that we sold entry passes before the race at the pasta dinner the night before and in Fort Wayne. We will have one-day passes available. Of course, if you already have a 2007 Indiana DNR state park pass or you have purchased a 2008 Indiana DNR state park pass, it will be honored at the gate.

Indeed we urge runners from Indiana to purchase a 2008 pass. These are available at most DNR sites in Indiana or are available online by clicking here. We will have some available for purchase at the pasta dinner.

Once you get past the gate and make the short distance to the campground you should see one of the members of the HUFF parking brigade who can help get you parked efficiently.

Each campsite shown below can accomodate 2 or 3 vehicles if the first vehicle pulls all the way into the space. 50K runners should try to pull in first. One-loopers should pull in after the 50 folks. Try to coordinate with other runners that you know to make parking as efficient as possible.

The map of the campground, which you can enlarge by clicking, show the approximate locations of the state, the main tent, the chute/relay transition area and path of the course through the campground.

The start will take place on the main road. The 50K and first relay runner of a team will start at 8:00 AM. NOTE: THE ONE LOOP RUNNERS WILL START 10 to 15 minutes after the 50K and relay runners start. This is in order to spread out the start, lessen the initial crowding on the trail and make for a more enjoyable - and faster - trail experience.

50K runners and subsequent relay runners will not run on the road on the 2nd and 3rd loops or legs. You will exit the transition area, hit the aid table if you need to, then run west through the short grassy area west of the main tent until you enter the trail.

This means the first loop or leg is slightly shorter than the 2nd and 3rd loops.

50K runners will pass through the campground as they finish each loop. This means that if you want to change shoes and socks, get drier clothing or pick up other supplies from your car, you can do so. This generally obviates the need for drop bags at one of the two other aid stations.

The other aid stations are located approximately 3.5 to 4 miles from each other and from the start/finish. Aid Station "A" is located at the entrance to the Little Turtle State Recreation Area just off Highway 5 (Warren Road) south of the dam. This is near the main office for the reservoir.

Aid Station "B" is located on Division Road where the trail crosses the road. This is past the shooting range. Note that Division Road ends in a cul-de-sac about a 1/4 mile past Aid Station "B." You can turn around there or you can greet your runner at that cul-de-sac as they emerge from the trail and then go down the trail east of the cul-de-sac as they head to Simpson Road and the bridge on the east side of the course.

Division Road is reached by exiting Aid Station "B" and turning left (south) on Highway 5. Go to the first county road south of the Little Turtle entrance and turn left (east) onto Division Road.
Since the opening of the shooting range in 2005, we have had to modify the course and divert runners onto part of Division Road in order to get them past the shooting range.

Please be careful as you drive on Division Road in order to provide the HUFF participants with the greatest measure of safety.

There will be a portable toilet at Aid Station "A" and at Aid Station "B'." There are additional pit toilets just beyond Aid Station "A" in the campground. (These are visible from the trail).

There are three sets of men's and women's modern and upgraded pit toilets at Kil-So-Campground. One set is at the east end where runners finishing the loop will be coming into the campground. Another set is on the west end near the access road. The main set is directly across (south) of the main tent and chute area. We have contracted to put another portable toilet in at that location to augment the two already there.

Aid Stations will have water, sport drink, defizzed cola and an array of solid foods such as fruit, pretzels, chips, cookies, M & M's, hard candy and the like. The aid stations will also have some things special to the aid station such as the traditional chocolate turtles at Aid Staion "A," or boiled potatos, chicken noodle soup and other goodies.

The main tent will, of course, have an amazing array of home-made soups and other goodies. More about that later. The HUFF is known for its food!

1 Day DNR entry pass for the Kil-So-Quah Campground

1 day entry passes to the Kil-So-Quah Campground are available tomorrow from the Three Rivers Running Company in Fort Wayne or at the pasta dinner/packet pickup at St. Peter Lutheran School in Huntington, Indiana from 5:30 PM to 8:15 PM.

Three years ago the DNR instituted the new gate fee to the Kil-So-Quah Campground. The fee is $5.

In order to lessen the wait at the US 224 campground entrance, you are urged to obtain the one-day pass. If you are an Indiana runner with a DNR yearly pass, you may use either your 2007 or 2008 yearly pass.

The Three Rivers Running Company store is located on North Clinton in Fort Wayne just south of Coliseum Boulevard.

St. Peter Lutheran School is located at 605 Polk Street in Huntington on the near west side of downtown.

Pasta dinner tickets may be purchased for $8 at the door. Food will be served from 5:45 to 7:45 PM.

All proceeds of the pasta ticket sales go to St. Peter Lutheran Church for youth activities.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?