Pre-Race Report: Bad Rock 720 12 Hour Race

Long time no see…

No, I’m not referring to my disappointing lack of recent updates (I know you’ve been craving them).

I’m referring to this daunting Saturday/Sunday trek called the Bad Rock 720 I’m about to embark on. Yes, the race lasts 720 minutes (12 hours for short) and is primarily at night. It runs from 8pm on Saturday night to 8am on Sunday morning. The good news…I will have all day Sunday to sleep, eat, ache, and watch the Memorial Tournament.

General Information:
Race Date: Saturday, June 2nd – Sunday, June 3rd
Race Name: Bad Rock 720 12 Hour Race
Race Start/Finish: Badin Lake Campground (New London, NC)
Race Distance: 12 Hour Timed Race (4.5 Mile Loop Race Course)
Start Time: 8:00pm
Weather Report: 65-85 degrees 5-30% chance of rain
Surface: Single-Track Trail

Race Plan:
Food Intake: hourly food intake with a mix of granola bars, beef jerky…and maybe a slice of pizza or six. Will also take Gatorade energy chews at regular intervals.
Hydration: Water Bottle (Refill each 4.5 mile loop)
Equipment: Under Armour Shoes, plastic water bottle, iphone, armband, headphones, headlamps with extra batteries, portable chargers
Goal Distance: 50 miles…but the course record of 54 would also be great!
Goal Split Pace: 14:24/mile
Split Strategy: My plan is to average 12-minute miles for as long as I can go. Hopefully, that will last through the first 30+ miles to give me plenty of time to finish the last 20 miles
Crew: n/a

A race of this length requires some adjustments to my normal “training schedule.” Speed is actually a detriment to many racers in a race of this length, unless you happen to be of the super elite runners who can clip off crazy quick miles for hours on end slurping GU packets and holding their urine til they bust.

For this race, I focused on slow, long miles. Unfortunately, as I will get to later, I didn’t get in quite as many miles as I would have liked. To reach my 50-mile goal, I will need to average a 14:24 minute mile pace. My long runs consisted of three 18-24 mile-long workouts at a 12-13 mile pace. Most of these included relatively hilly courses in hot temperatures. During the week, I got in 3-4 shorter 4-6 mile runs per week to keep the legs moving.

I’ll never take bending over for granted again.

My last long run of the training schedule last weekend was sidelined by a back injury that kept me from rolling over in bed, placing my golf ball on the tee, and picking up the television remote on the floor. Full disclosure…I also could not touch my toes, but that was true long before the back injury.

During a short run, I felt a tweak in my lower back. After jogging through it, I made the…umm…stupid? decision to go play golf the next day. That was the second, third, eighth, and last straws. I woke up the following morning with aches, pains, and little to no range of motion in my back.

Thankfully, rest and my first every trip to a chiropractor has my back feeling pretty normal as I write this on Friday evening. I guess we will find out just how normal tomorrow night!

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