Saturday, the 17th of August I’ve ran the Winforce 100, which is a 100km trail run that happens in Odsherred, Denmark. A very nice thing about this race is that it is non-profitable. Ultrarun.com will donate all the profits to a danish institution called TUBA, which takes care of children whose parents are alcoholics and/or drug addicts.
The 100km are split in 4 laps into a 25km course. Each lap has around 600 positive high meters, totalizing around 2300-2400 positive high meters in the 100km (read a more detailed description of the course in my previous post).
I had previously ran the course 4 times (with some minor and major mistakes) so I knew more or less what to expect from the course – not from my body, since I had never ran so long before.
We were around 40 runners and when the run started we were a group of five leading the race (Anders Aagaard, Per Egon, Klaus Dahl, Mads Blume and I). We ran together the whole first round in a very good pace and I was feeling very good. The second round went well until the 43-45th km. I’ve met a big wall and arrived at the aid station very depleted. I was not expecting to have a crisis at this stage of the race. My stomach was a mess and I was feeling completely out of energy. Mentally I was generally not good during this race, and I think that the fact that I had run the route a couple of times has taken a good deal of my motivation (and I realize more and more that running rounds is not really my thing…).
I used approximately 20min. in the aid station to put myself together and saw my time advantage from the closest runners vanish. My 3rd round was awful and even though Maibritt tried to cheer me up when we met I was considering to drop out of the race. Maibritt was very strong in the 3rd round and got the best 3rd round time.
After some 15-20km feeling bad I finally started to feel ok and think positive again – any thoughts of dropping went away.
I had a relatively good 4th round, where I was able to run most of the time. I finished the race in 11:17 in 4th overall and 3rd among the men. It is a good result, but I am not very happy with it. I think that the crisis came too early in the race and it significantly affected my result, which I believe could have been better.
But that’s how it is sometimes, I guess, in such a long race it is playing on the edge with so many variables that it is hard to (and I know I should not even expect to) control everything. I consider myself an unexperienced long distance runner and I believe that every run will add experience and joy to my future runs.
For me, it is not only about my performance, there are a lot more things than just running the 100km that made my race. I had a very good day on the trails with good runners and friends, got cheered up by friends on the way (which were so nice to run around to meet us in various points of the route – here I have to mention Peter Jensen, Moses Lovstad and Morten Alhede), learned a bit more about myself and saw my girlfriend Maibritt Skovgaard have an amazing race and finish 2nd overall!
It was a great and tough run (more than many of us were expecting I guess). It was a warm day and very humid, I ran about 60% of the run with wet feet, I consider that it was though to find the motivation to run 4 rounds, and although the course is not technically demanding there were some good and long hills.
In my opinion the race was very well organized and the course was very well marked, Christian Madsen (from Ultrarun.com) and the people that were working with him did a good job.
If I could give some constructive critics to the race, they would be:
- the Bib number was very big and made of a paper that really “melted” during the race due to sweat and rain
- an extra aid station by the middle of the course would be convenient (but I do understand that this is one of the elements of this race)
- It would be very nice with some more nutrition variety in the aid station (e.g. fresh fruits and bread)
My main learning from this race is that I have to work with my nutrition, which I believe was the cause of my early crisis during this race, and hope that I’ll hit it right in the next race. I’ll also have to put more focus in the slow runs and take the focus out from tempo/interval runs, which I have been doing a lot lately.
Take a look at the pictures below and remember to look at the photo credits :-). Thanks for the nice pictures guys!
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