"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense."
- David Blaikie

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

QuickSilver 50 Mile

The Quicksilver 50k and 50 mile in the Almaden Quicksilver County Park, San Jose is sandwiched between the legendary MiWok 100k and the Ohlone 50k Wilderness Run that my friend Rob Byrne directs. It's just an amazing time of year for the Bay Area Ultra scene. So many folks are in the midst of training for Western States. From conversations during and after the run I found that even those who didn't get into Western States seem to be buzzing with energy and tackling tough races nearly every weekend.

This year Quicksilver saw the largest field in its history - and wow, was it competitive. I caught several glimpses of the front runners including Graham Cooper and Ian Torrence. Graham broke his previous course record here and didn't look like he had any trouble capturing another 1st place. The race has definitely grown since I ran the 50k here in 1999, but they have maintained a great vibe with beer and bbq after the race.

I ended up 17th out of 80 finishers with an 8:28. Not where I'd like to be in the standings, but not too bad considering the back to back 100 mile weeks leading up to the race. I think there were well over >100 starters, so I was at least in the top 20%. My 50k split of 4:59 would have put me at 11th out of 96 finishers.

During the run someone told me that an 8:30 on the Quicksilver course meant you could run a 19-22 hr Western States 100. I'd like to believe that, but there are a lot of factors that would need to be accounted for in that equation! Results may vary.

There were a few hills on this course! Some really steep ones coming into the 50k finish and again at the 50M finish. The web site said 9000 ft of gain and loss, but my Garmin reported +15,352 / -15,377! The profile to the left shows the data from my Garmin. I'd have to say that overall the footing was pretty easy though, unlike some of our East Coast trails.

No problems with any of my gear and no trouble bouncing back after a nice massage and a couple days rest. All in all a great training run for Bighorn. I'm looking forward to another long run this week while pacing fellow Trailhead Jon "Bobcat" Parker out at the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100M!

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