3 Days of Syllamo Day 2 – 50 Miles


Day 2 – 50 Miles with 16,000 feet of gain (i say more like 12,000ft)

often after a race i cannot sleep that night. this happened on friday after the 50km day 1 race (3 days of syllamo). thanks to ty, kevin and corena i had a great comfy bed and it didn’t help. i just laid there. i think i probably got 45mins of sleep. of course i don’t like not getting much sleep but my days as an adventure racer i think have prepared me to at least not stress over it. and for this race i did not.

sore muscles and a bit colder temps met us at the start line. i couldn’t have been any more confident in lining up on this day. i like 50km races… i love 50 mile races. i figured i did well at a lower distance the day before and now we were going to really run a nice long one. in my mind i figured this was my race. ah, not so much.

we started at 6am in the pitch dark. ty and i had planned once again to run together as long as it made sense and to be honest i really enjoyed this. we headed out to the first climb with headlamps blazing into the cold air. up the first climb ty and i started to pull away. we weren’t runnig hard, but just slightly faster than most on the climb. the other lights, started to get further and further away every time i checked. since we weren’t even really putting much effort in yet i let my mind get ahead of me and started thinking we “had this one”.

but a lot can happen in 50 miles of trail. and it did. as ty and i ran through aid station 2 at around mile 10 or so we dumped out headlamps. ty’s friends kevin and corena were crewing us. with the crowd cheering we got a lot of energy coming through the aid station. ty noticeably picked up the pace. through the aid, over the bridge and up the dirt road we went. i put my head down and followed as he “surged” (my new nickname for ty). it was here that we lost the race and the overall.

i didn’t even see the ribbon with my head down. ty said he saw it but thought it was indicating we were on the right track, running up the road. we spent another 35 mins running uphill a couple thousand extra feet. by the time we decided to turn around we had come quite a distance and it was now hailing on us. a low for sure.

we finally made the call and charged back to the aid station 2. before the bridge was the now very obvious trail marking to the course. i gave ty my pep talk on how “this is what we do. we are absolutely going to catch up!”. we then hit the trail and in my mind tried to make it all up right there – on that first climb! i held on for dear life! passing lots of runners it was obvious the damage was grave. we were now deep in the middle pack and had a ton of work to make up. we figured it was an hour or so of lost time, plus extra miles and vert we added to our legs.

after ty’s push we hit an unmanned aid station where i filled my nathan bottle quickly, dropped a lemon-lime nuun tab in and started to put in my work. ty hung for a while but i was feeling good and he slowly started to fall back. around one of the creek draws i tried to get ty fired up with “put it down for a-town!”. ty’s from afton, wy and it rhymed. it didn’t work, however and i was soon alone, but feeling great. i started to hit aid stations and hear how far back from now first place josh nordell. 35 minutes, 25 minutes, 20 minutes.. then finally “you are about 15 mintues back from 1st place”. wow! that was great and motivating, but the effort had taken a toll on me. i started to feel really tired and upset that i hadn’t slept better. i just didn’t feel normal.

now i’ll abreviate bc this is getting long.. basically we “mailed it in”. our drive was gone. i hit the 25 mile 1/2 way mark in 5hr 20min. with an out and back course i did the math and josh now had 34 minutes on me again. after the turn around ty had made up some good time too and i had probably just 13 minutes on him now. i then got confused following the blazes and did a bit of bushwhacking! pretty embarrassing. i found the trail and started running the wrong way. i could tell from the slope, but went with it anyway as i figured “if i run into ty we can run together. if i don’t i’m going the right way”. and there was ty. the next 25 miles went like this…. ty led, i followed. i had massive issues with my stomach. i dropped trow 4 times before the finish. these weren’t normal stops. they were often “if i don’t drop this second my montrail/mountain hardwear shorts are going to be soiled” stops.

in the last 5 miles we even got passes and it didn’t elicite much of a response. we just looked at each other and shrugged. finished our 58 miles together in 10:49. our overall aspirations were now gone.

matt clay won in 9:30:02 with josh nordell coming in 2nd in 9:40:54. nuun ultrarunner ashley nordell made it two for two winning the woman’s race in 10:23:14. great running guys! –results

50 mile winner matt clay (this photo is actually from the next day, but i bet it looked similar)


my gear:
shoes: montrail odysseywith teko ecopoly socks (no blisters)
electrolytes: nuun lemon lime
fuel: clif shots and clif bloks
general health between the 3 races: i could not have done it without my amazing grass!