3 thoughts on “2016 OW50k on the Web

  • May 30, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Here are a number of sets of photos from this year’s event:

    Nina’s Photos – https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPgyh0vN05nEw7ymzXX8qih7X0L4Ep66gmlG16rCb0be7SMho1sd984yUFrwxT9-Q?key=enVhNTc3d2I3UDg2M1VUbE9ieG5ES2VXU2Z1ajlB

    Praveen Bhatia shared some excellent photos from mission peak: https://goo.gl/photos/1heAPnCJcM44QGuT6

    Robert Lancaster

    Schleiper Rock and misc Photos

    Jurek Zarzycki’s Beautiful Photos of the Ohlone Wilderness (on facebook)

  • December 11, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Thoughts of a first timer on the Ohlone 50K Runner
    I finished in 10hrs and 9 min but I finished. That was my goal. I turned 60 and I wanted to really challenge myself as a birthday gift. This was first race ever; I am not a runner, but I love to hike the hills around Fremont. I just had to do the ultimate one day hike. The experience of getting ready for and finishing this race will be something I will always remember and cherish. I want to thank the volunteers who make the race possible and my fellow runners for the words of encouragement that still echo in my ears.
    Now for any of you that are reading this as you think of running the race here are my thoughts on what I did to get ready and how the race went for me.
    While I have been hiking for years and could make it to Mission Peak and back in less than 2 hours I knew I would need a lot of work to get ready. My typical pace was a little over 3 mph. I started in earnest in January making sure I did at least 10 miles every week on the trails of the OTR. My biggest concern was getting my downhill pace faster, particularly on the stretch from Mission Peak down into Sunol. To meet the 2 hr 45 minute Sunol cutoff you need to have an average rate of at least 3.3 mph. Since my average speed to Mission peak is just under 3 mph I needed at least 4 mph on the downhill. For an experience runner, no problem, but for a hiker who hated to run this was my heartbreak hill.
    I trained by coming up from Sunol to Mission Peak and back and finally got my overall time to 2:45 after 3 tries two weeks apart with smaller hikes/runs in between. In the months before the race I also went up to Rose Peak from Sunol and Livermore 2 times ( four 20 milers) and one 27 miler starting from Fremont and going to the gate just above Backpack Camp and back. Since my average speed was 3.3 mph I felt I would be able to finish the race in 10 hours. All the books said 26 was the max mileage needed for training so I felt ok. My weekly mileage was a little low (the books wanted 50 miles a week) but at my pace I just did not have enough hours in the week. I was closer to 35. As it was I logged over 325 miles, in about 100 hours from January till race day. The long runs were critical since they allowed me to figure out how often to eat energy bars, how much water or electrolyte to drink and work out my foot gear. As the books suggested I tapered my training before race day.
    On race day I was nervous but confident I would finish.
    Because I knew I would be finishing near 10 hours, I went with the early start. For OWR this is critical since in most years it can be very warm and the earlier you are past the big climb out of backpack camp the better. Also the cutoff times have an hour added to them, although physiologically it was important to meet them relative to the early start.
    I was doing great up an over Mission Peak and was in the lead of the early runners just after Mission Peak and down to the Laurel Loop Aid station. This is where I made classic rookie mistake. Because I felt so good I up my typical pace on that downhill and even made into Sunol almost 20 minutes faster than my best training run. (The mistake was that I had burned out my downhill muscles which I would not realize until I hit the first steep downhill after goat rock.) From there on my uphill was on my training pace but the downhill was less than 3 mph.
    I got to Maggies at 1:05 which was only 5 minutes behind where I thought I would be but I knew I had a lot of downhill to do and I was not looking forward to it. What save me at this point was that I knew I would finish. I was at Maggies in enough time that even at a walking pace of 2.5 mph I would finish before 11 hours. I had already trained on this downhill twice in 2016.
    It was tough (particularly going down Big Burn) but I made it and have a wonderful finish video as I was greeted by my wife and two grown kids and the wonderful race staff. I finished in 10 hrs 9 min 52 seconds.
    Would I do it again? Probably not. Only because I am not a runner and this race requires that you prepare carefully which requires a big training time commitment. On the plus side the training allowed me to lose 15 lbs and lower my cholesterol by 30 pts. OTR is a beautiful course and while I probably will not compete again, every time I hike the trails I will fondly remember the 2016 race.


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