This is the second step in my new 'Master Plan' for the next phase of my development as an ultrarunner (or maybe the third step - it's not that well-developed a plan). As mentioned in this previous post, the big goal for this year is a 50M trail ultra this fall. I plan to post more on that after registration opens, if I get in.
Mind The Ducks is pretty much the exact opposite of the goal race:
- The goal race is a 25M, out-and-back course. Mind The Ducks is a half-mile loop.
- The goal race has 10,000' of elevation gain. Mind The Ducks is flat.
- The goal race is mostly single-track trail through state forests. Mind The Ducks is a paved walking path around a duck pond in an urban park.
- The goal race is either run 50M within the cut-off, or DNF. Mind The Ducks is finish one loop and, hey, you're a finisher
So what does Mind The Ducks have to do with preparing for the goal race? I see it as an early opportunity to get a feel for what going beyond 50K is like. If I can run 12-minute miles for 10 hours that's 50 miles. That leaves a two-hour slush fund for whatever it is that makes that performance not possible for me. And then I'll maybe know something about what new problems I personally have trying to run more than 25-30 miles in a day. I think that will be invaluable knowledge that will improve my chances of a successful race in the fall.
Besides, the history of ultrarunning is actually much more about running around in circles on a short loop - even a track - than running on trails, and many veterans who I really respect are a little put off by how much trail running has taken over the sport, and how little respect is sometimes paid to road and track events. Even though I love trails and got into this because I started running on trails, I want to give this a try and maybe gain some personal appreciation for it.
So this coming May the 12th (Lord willing) I will be trying to run at least 103 circles around a duck pond in Rochester, in 12 hours or less. If I pull it off I will have my first 50M finish (which some of those old-timers actually consider the first 'real' official ultra distance).