Welcome back to the crazy world of endurance racing! I’ve written extensively about other endurance racing events over the last 18 months and you can find those links below. Since finishing the Mississippi 50k, I’ve also run the Charlotte RaceFest and completed my first paddleboard race.
This weekend I ran my first multi-event series. I’ve done triathlons (swim/bike/run) and duathlons (run/swim), meaning back-to-back events, but those are a single race comprised on multiple events. This was the first time I ran multiple distinct races as part of a series.
Today you’re getting my full race report for Wicked Triple – 10k, 5k, and Half Marathon race weekend
This packet pick up was easy-peasy! I swung by the local running shop, Run With It, and had my three bibs, two shirts, and very little extra info in under ten minutes. I was glad that they had the packets for all three races in one location, it saved having to get to the starting line early for three separate races. That said, the race was relatively small and I could have managed.
10k: The 10k start was a small corral behind the run shop and typical for a small local race. I really enjoy the small town race feel, it feels more like an ultramarathon start: intimate and for runners who are genuinely happy to be there. The race director played the national anthem from YouTube on his phone, gave a minimal safety brief (“it’s an open course, there’s cops, but don’t get hit by a car”), and we were off with no further fanfare.
5k: The 5k parking was at a restaurant but the starting line was across a 4-lane road and heading in to a residential neighborhood. Aside from playing Frogger to get to the start, it was packed, but low key. Another simple “don’t get hit by a car” safety brief and we were off.
Half marathon: This was the same small corral behind the run shop as the 10k with a smaller crowd than the 5k. (Go figure!) The race director got the national anthem right on the first try then it was a quick “Runners! Ready! Set. GO!” and we were off.
Welcome to the Wild West of endurance racing! This weekend offered 10k, 5k, and half marathons as individual races or you could be crazy and do all three. Clearly, I’m crazy.
10k (Saturday morning): flat, fast, and quiet. The course started at a park in downtown Fort Walton Beach, FL. We ran under a bridge and into quiet neighborhoods. The
5k (Saturday night): flat, fast, and packed! This was by fa the most popular distance. There was a crowd at the start but our team quickly broke with the pack and found ourselves on quiet residential roads. This was also familiar turf for me as I had run there extensively before my most recent move.
Half marathon (Sunday morning): this covered many of the same roads as the 10k course and was also flat and fast. A little more vehicular traffic as we crossed certain areas but most drivers were respectful of the runners.
10k (Saturday morning): Warm, but not hot. The only thing that kept it from perfection was the oppressively humidity. The entire Team Crows group was soaked in sweat by mile 2.
5k (Saturday night): a cold front started moving in around noon and blew out most of the humidity if not all of the heat. As the sun set, it got cooler and we were relatively comfortable on shaded lanes.
Half marathon (Sunday morning): perfect! A cool 55F to start with very low humidity for Florida. It was in the mid-60s by the end of the race and really just as comfortable as you could desire.
10k (Saturday morning): Water at every mile except 3 (the turn around) but nothing else. It wasn’t a detractor since I rarely need nutrition before an hour expires. I felt it a little as I came around the final turn, but I still finished in a good time.
5k (Saturday night): I’m vaguely aware that was water on this course but I ran so fast I wasn’t really looking.
Half marathon (Sunday morning): Having seen the previous day’s water only stations, most of the team decided to load up with our own water packs, electrolytes, and snacks. As always, I had Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews (caffeinated version) and my Gatorade mix. (Full gear/food list below) It was a good call because I realized after only two miles I was still depleted from the day before and had to start snacking much earlier than I usually would eat. (Mile 2 vs. mile 4-5.) Additionally, the Gatorade mix helped a lot more than the plain water at the aid stations.
Did I hit the Pain Cave?
10k (Saturday morning): I looked inside the cave, gave a little shrug, and continued on. I probably ate too much pre-race and it sit on my belly harder than I wanted, but other than some mild stomach cramping, it was all fine.
5k (Saturday night): nope! One moment of hitting my lactic acid threshold sprinting it out to the end but that was it.
Half marathon (Sunday morning): Despite starting the race at effectively 9 miles into a run, I didn’t start having pain until mile 12. I spent most of the run chatting with another Team Crow runner which made the miles fly by. At mile 12 I started having shooting pain the back of my thigh and in my left foot (bone spur) but I sucked it up and ran on. The pain was maybe a 6 or 7 out of 10, but brief enough that it didn’t drag my fully into The Cave.
I had my Team Crow through all three races running along side me and my spouse brought my kiddo out to help man an aid station on the 10k course. Kiddo was very happy to hand out water and cheer on runners!
The finish line:
10k (Saturday morning): The finish line was the same simple corral that started the race.
5k (Saturday night): Another simple, narrow chute that was probably too small for the numbers of runners crossing.
Half marathon (Sunday morning): The same finish line as the 10k.
Of note, none of the finishers medals arrived on time so we turned in the slips on the bottom of our bibs. I guess I’ll get my medal later? I’m honestly a little sad not to receive them since I’m rebuilding my collection after the movers lost the box with my medals in it!
10k (Saturday morning): 1:01:08
5k (Saturday night): 26:40
Half marathon (Sunday morning): 2:33:11
Total time: 4:00:59
What a weekend! This was a new and difference challenge but I really enjoyed it. I felt like I ran much stronger than I anticipated, I enjoyed running with my team so much, and I’m so excited to be back running with others!
Ultramarathon training and endurance racing in general is a lonely conquest. It’s rare to find folks who are as crazy and dedicated as you are. So I was extra glad that three of Team Crow were able to run all three races as well as see such great crowds.
Want to read more about past races? You can find them here: Bear Bait 25k, BUTS Bearly Heavy half, a quik post on pain of training in times of COVID, the ups and downs as I chase down that ultramarathon goal, and the fact that I finally finished an ultramarathon. It was a long journey: four attempts with three failures over five years, an ER visit, and enough self-doubt to sink a person.
The Gear List:
My gear lists so folks can see what I’m carrying and how it changes between courses and weather. As usual, some affiliate links, most aren’t; I am not sponsored by any specific companies.
Tank top: three of my trusty Skirt Sports tanks. It’s a great top layer for hot/humid runs and it gave me minimal chaffing.
Bra: SheFit ULTIMATE SPORTS BRA – a qualified “good,” as per sualy. I like that you buy based on cup size and both the chest band and shoulder straps are adjustable; it’s probably the most comfortable sports bra I have. That said, the metal loop that holds the chest band tab tears my back up after 5 miles. I did not put two strips of sports tape under the tab and paid the price after the half marathon.
10k: Skirt Sports skirt with built in shorties. Unfortunately, the shorties were too short and I chaffed the inside of my left thigh pretty badly. I guess the right side was pulled low enough.
5k: The Hylete Iris Short with Liner. These cute little shorts are my go to for lifting workouts but they have started being my go to for sprint workouts as well.
Half Marathon: Nike Fast Shorts – What a game changer for me! I have thick, thicc thighs from trail running and squats. They rub together, as seen above in teh 10k. In tights, it’s not an issue but in loose shorts, I end up chaffed. And most stretch shorts only have a 5″ inseam which means the end *right* where my thighs rub. However, Nike’s new trail shorts have a blessed 7″ inseam which left me mostly chaffing free, but for the humidity, it was inevitable.
Socks: Balega Blister Resist Quarter Socks – These are thick and comfy, but the “blister resist” is only as good as how well you lace your shoes and how wet your feet get. At some point, no sock/shoe combo will save you from everything.
Shoes: Altra Torin but with my brand new orthotic insoles. No heel pain, minimal bone spur pain, but I did get a wicked blood blister in my right big toe..
Hat: No hat on Saturday but I wore my brand new rubber ducky hat that my Mom gave me for my birthday.
Liquid Salt/Carbs: Gatorade Endurance Formula Powder – purchased with coupons on the Gatorade website, which is good because I still don’t love it. It’s not as strong a flavor as regular Gatorade and it does well for replacing salt/carbs quickly but… I dunno, maybe I’m too picky, I don’t love it. But, I’m kind of a cheapskate and won’t buy anything new until I finish this container.
GPS: Garmin Forerunner 945 – Y’all know I love this watch and I’ve talked about it before, the good and bad. I didn’t have any tracks walk-offs today and I’m confident in the recorded distance/time accurately.
Happy trails (and roads again)!
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