Saturday, March 14, 2015

Race Report : Way Too Cool (WTC) 50k, March 7, 2015

There are many race reports on one of California's most popular 50ks - Way Too Cool.  I'm not going review the reviews or review all the reasons why folks like the course.  I'm simply going to discuss what worked for this first timer and what I'm going to do differently next year.

What worked:

  • Booking a hotel the night before the race had several advantages : 
    • Reduced race day anxiety by picking up bib day before
    • Very short commute to race start
    • 5AM hotel breakfast
    • Got to mingle with runners at Auburn Running Company and at film showing
  • The weather was perfectly cool (54 deg F) with slight breeze (6 mph ese)
  • There were several brooks/streams to dunk your head/bandana to cool down
  • There were 1.6 miles of road before the start of the single track to sort paces out
  • The first Aid Station (AS) was 8 mile away but subsequent were close together so you really didn't need more than a single hand-held
  • AS were plenty stocked with water, electrolyte solution (GU Brew?), ice, trail foods
  • Spectator/volunteer support was enthusiastic 
  • Watching 'The Long Haul' which featured Mike Wolfe and Hal Koerner's trek along the John Muir Trail set the tone for the weekend!

What I'll do differently next year:

  • Study the elevation chart more
    • The race really doesn't start until about mile 18 when you hit the first hill.  And unless you've 'saved some' and studied the elevation chart the next four (4) hills from mile 18 through 29 are going to hurt
  • Manage pace better
    • The first 18 miles are so fast and fun (especially in cool morning air) that it is very easy to go out too fast.  I was with a faster group than my planned pace and just lost myself in the single-track.  I really should have sorted myself on the first 1.6 miles and got into a groove with my planned pace group
  • Manage fluid/fuel better
    • I had a hydration pack and dutifully refilled with Tailwind when it went low, but had a lot left over on the second refill.  So, I probably didn't drink enough fluid on the second half.
    • I ate three GUs on course plus four cups of warm soup broth. I was probably on the low end of recommended calories for me (~200 / hour) and will confirm with mentor.


  • Distance:     30.16 mi
  • Time:     6:57:49
  • Avg Pace:     13:51 min/mi
  • Elevation Gain:     4,873 ft
  • Calories:     4,098 C
  • Time:     6:57:49
  • Moving Time:     6:42:03
  • Elapsed Time:     6:56:11
  • Avg Pace:     13:51 min/mi
  • Avg Moving Pace:     13:20 min/mi
  • Best Pace:     6:41 min/mi
  • Elevation Gain:     4,873 ft
  • Elevation Loss:     4,892 ft
  • Min Elevation:     561 ft
  • Max Elevation:     1,621 ft
Heart Rate
  • Avg HR:     156 bpm
  • Max HR:     172 bpm

Photo Gallery (Google Picasa Slideshow only works with Browsers that support Flashplayer):

Link to Album.

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