Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Zumbro 100: pre-race thoughts and musings

A couple of jottings before I head off to the Zumbro 100 this weekend. As always I go into a race with a few flexible goals in order of importance:

  • Finish
I'm going to stop right here with the recitation of my goals. No one's finish is guaranteed at a 100 miler, especially someone like myself with only one prior attempt and finish. That finish gave me a great boost in confidence and experience, and both must be harnessed appropriately to get me to the end of that sixth loop.And now some more goals:
  • Run even(ish) loops
  • Manage the overnight.
  • Sub-30
  • Sub-26
  • Sub-24
Now, a little about the the arbitrary time goals. With a looped course and frequent aid stations (five per 16.67-mile loop), it should be relatively easy to control my pace from the get-go. The course on paper is broken into five sections with an aid station separating each section. Each section, except the last, has a 300-400 foot ascent and descent in it in addition to the other ups and downs typical of at trail. Three miles in I'll be at aid 1, have one of those ups and downs in me, and just like I was at the 2010 Surf the Murph, I'll be able to make sure my timing is in check.

The race plan? Run 3:30-3:45 (or 4 hour) loops for as long as possible, hold on through the overnight, and run (not walk) as fast as I can through the last loop and a half or so.

The sub-30 hour time is in there because it is the gold-standard cut off for major races such as Western States and Leadville. Although a 30-hour 100 miler at Zumbro is a lot different in effort than a 30-hour Western States finish, I want to make that my bench mark.

As for the 26-hour finish, this is based on the finishing times of another runner who finished Zumbro a few years ago and ran a similar time to me at Sawtooth and Voyageur 50 last year. He also runs slower 50Ks and 50 milers than me (although our 50-mile times are closer when I run poorly). Hence, I believe that it is a realistic goal.

The sub-24 has a similar comment to it as the sub-30 hour does. I put this out there because I want to reach for it. I don't have enough experience to put this out there as a realistic time goal, but I do think it is possible if everything goes right. In essence it would probably take a 10:30 and 13:30 50-mile splits (3:30 for front, 4:30 or something close thereof) to put down, and I'm not sure I can do that without seeing and experiencing the terrain prior to the race. This is also the beauty of a loop course. I get to see the thing so many damn times that I can better demand myself to take the first one easy so as to absorb all the details I can to run the latter ones at the same pace or effort.

Also, my money is on Adam Schwartz-Lowe to run sub 21:00 and lower his CR.

Finally, all bets are off it it rains significantly.


Anonymous said...

Good luck, Matt! I'll be working AS 2/3 Saturday morning. Looking at your race plan, I hope I miss you.

John K.

Edward said...
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Edward said...

Matt, I'll see you there! It's going to be a blast, but I'm betting the course is slower than last year. First, it looks like rain. Second, when they shortened the loops, they took a nice 1-2 mile stretch of flat gravel road out, keeping all of the elevation, so we're climbing more this year, which should probably add an hour in itself. Third, there's more aid stations, so be careful about not spending a lot of time at each. It adds up quickly. Also, Adam's not running this year, and given the other factors, I think his CR is safe for this go-round.

Matt Lutz said...

You're right re: Adam - I'm not sure why I thought he was running. Anywho, Matt Aro is running and he's reasonably speedy enough

I've had the same thought re: aid stations. At the Voyageur 50 last year, aid stations were so close together that I skipped every other on the front side. I didn't on the way back just because I needed to get water, but otherwise I kept moving. My plan at Zumbro will be similar.

SteveQ said...

Best of luck! I won't give any advice, as when I did it, I was leading at mile 25 and finished dead last - not the best strategy!

Matt Lutz said...


It was nice to meet you yesterday and thanks for all your help at Aid 2/3.