Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Big A 50k Race Report - 2013

Mt. Agamenticus
York, ME
May 4th, 2013

In this the third year of the Big A 50K, co-RD's, Bob Najar and Rich Collins, simply nail it. With a start/finish at the top of Mt. Agamenticus, solid course markings, a great variety of trails and elevation and post-race BBQ to top it off, this is one race that should be on everyones running calendar.

Better running form than her Dad!!
This year, as explained by Rich, was the biggest turnout out of it's three year history. About 50 runners toed the line for the 7:30am start, which my two little people and wife joined me at. Getting a 2.5 year old and 11 month old up at 4:45am was quite the challenge!! My family saw me off, and then hit the sandy beaches of Ogunquit and retail shops of Kittery (hide the credit card!!)
I spoke with Greg Esbitt pre-race and told him I wasn't into racing today and would just chat it up and see how things proceeded. However, when I took it out hard from the start, my racing brain nixed those plans. I figured few would follow, but I never really heard any footsteps.

That's my boy! Who needs a trail. 
The course consisted of two loops. An initial 3.5 mile loop that came back to the start/finish and a 7 mile loop that did the same. There was one aid station out on the 7 mile loop, which provided much needed liquids on this warm and windy day.

With the first lap completed in 1:37, I knew I was going a touch too fast. Oh well, nothing new there. I figured the second lap would consist of a few hiking sections, unlike the first, which consisted of a steep hike up the blueberry trail during the first 3.5 mile section. Other than that I ran the entire first loop.

1:49 was the second loop split and not to far off for the third in 1:54. I used some music to push the pace in the last loop. I haven't run with music since last summer and it felt good to be distracted from my tiring legs and 4,600' of total elevation gain.

Upon completing the course, my family arrived and helped me cross the finish line. One of those moments you will never forget as a Dad.

The BBQ was great, with burgers and dogs for all (including families, thanks guys!) and all the watermelon my little girl could eat.

My little watermelon addict
I felt a bit beat up at the end, but once I got some solid food in me, I started to recover.

I ate 10 total gels over the 5 hours and felt my nutrition was almost spot on. I could have used maybe one more during a slight lull during my third loop, but neglected to take one. I used water for 1.5 total loops, then switched to Gatoraide. It was slightly diluted, which was perfect for me. At the final aid station stop, I switched to a half water, half coke combo to give me a little boost to the finish.

For salt, I was sweating pretty heavily and needed to replenish with Scaps. I took about 8 total during the race. I felt pretty tight and started to cramp up a bit after about 30 minutes post-finish. I think I need to up my salt intake next race/long run. I'm a heavy sweater and the temps have already begun to rise around here.

I want to thank Rich and Bob for putting on a great event. In the next few years, I see a few hundred ultra runners standing atop the Big A. The views are superb and the things to do near the coast make this a pretty race for families or anyone that wants to spend some time near the ocean.

Next up, the TARC 100! I'm super psyched about this race. The first 100 mile race in Massachusetts and the whole TARC gang in attendance. I've set some personal goals and some time goals, but inevitably, just want to have some fun out on the trails. My training has been going well with a few minor injuries finally clearing up. I've taken many days off, which is unlike me, but I think it is really doing wonders for my recovery (duh..) and mind.

There is a slight chance I may be running the North Face Endurance Challenge down in DC. We are attending a wedding shower during the first weekend in June and the race just so happens to be the same day as the shower. Maybe I can sneak in the 50k race...


  1. Good running Justin, congrats. You may have sold me for 2014!

    1. Thanks Josh! You will not be disappointed.

  2. Congratulations on the win, I'm in for next year! Sounds like a fun course.

    1. Thanks Jesse! The course is pretty sweet. Many ups and downs but nothing to long. All runnable with a good mix of single track and some ATV trail. The start/finish at the summit and the views really make it top notch.