Saturday, November 18, 2017

Planning to Run the 24 Hour American Record at Desert Solstice 2017!

In the aftermath of my 154 mile run at the North Coast 24 in September 2014 I did a lot of research about ultra running, and in particular the 24 hour run. I realized that I am very much capable of setting the American 24 hour record. Before I attempted it I needed a good "short" ultra, which I had at Mad City 100k this year. Second, I needed more experience to nail my nutrition, which I've acquired over the last three years of ultra racing and mountain running. The third thing it would take is a good solid build up to the race. Last week has confirmed that I am fit enough to attempt the record. December 9th from 8 AM Arizona time to December 10th at 8 AM at the Desert Solstice 2017 I will try to run 278 kilometers or 172.74 miles. That's 8:20 mile pace for 24 hours strait.

Sure, it's arrogant to say that, but let me explain some things about the 24 hour run.
  • Very few of the top ultra runners run the 24 hour run. Most prefer to stick to the trails, doing 50 and 100 milers.
  • I was the youngest person on the USA 24 team in 2015, and the youngest man by 9 years. The people that do run 24s get into it later in life, which I hope gives me more opportunities to chase wins and records than the average 24 hour runner, and I like moonshots, swinging for the fences, big risk -> big reward.
  • There is a perception, even among most ultra runners, that it is very boring running in circles, so people don't even try. Personally for me, thinking about hydration, nutrition, stomach stability, shoes, socks, bathroom breaks, breathing, and chatting with competitors fills up the time quite a bit. You are always around people, unlike a trail race where you may be quite alone.
  • It's so pure. A trail race I struggle to give 100%, because that means your feet are barely lifting off the ground and you could hit a rock or root going 12 mph down a hill and wipe out. On a rubber track, that is not a risk.
I'm having the best build up I have had in three years! I ran a 1:19:30 21k on the track last week, and I recovered from it well. I've had two 100+ mile weeks with one more planned. I haven't done that kind of mileage since 2014. It really is quality over quantity, but you need a decent level of quantity, it's not an either/or decision.

There will be live tracking at this link, and possibly some Facebook Live events, as well as numerous Facebook updates. My sister will be crewing for me for the fourth time (previously one 24 hour, one 50 mile, and one Nolan's 14 attempt). So during the race she would be better to contact than myself. Side note, congratulations to Camille Herron, Eliud Kipchoge, Shalane Flanagan, and Galen Rupp for their inspiring runs this year setting records and winning races! When I see so much success it helps motivate me to see what I am capable of!

Get excited! Tune in to watch this carnage! There are many factors, my last three weeks of training, weather in particular, that could derail the race. I honestly give myself only a 30% chance of success. Of my three previous 24 hour races only one really went well. It's really hard to predict what is going to happen 130 miles into a race. I'm announcing this so that those of you that might be interested can tune in and spectate, and speculate, how I am doing. It's such an obscure event and I'd like to bring it a tiny bit more publicity if possible. Also, if USATF or USADA wants to drug test me, or a university wants to make me part of a study, now you all know.

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