On Saturday, March 14th, I had the great honor of running in Peyton’s Wild & Wacky 5K Ultra at Middleton Place Plantation in Charleston, SC. The race consisted of running a 5K on the hour, every hour, for 10 straight hours. The total distance would get you to the finish line of a 50K, but the purpose of the event was so much more than that. Proceeds from the race would go to the Injuried Marines Semper Fi Fund, Mount Pleasant Track Club, and Mount Pleasant Academy.
Peyton Moore was a 9-year old boy who passed away on June 4, 2013 in his sleep. He was a boy who loved sports, being outdoors, spending time with his father, Noah, and encouraging others to always give their best. At such a young age, Peyton understood what it meant to be part of a greater community, to always give it his best, and thus inspire those around him. He would have loved seeing so many people out there at the event running hard and coming undone to reach their goals. He might have even tried to convince his father to let him run the whole event by himself!
As we gathered for the 7:00 AM start in the dark, it began to downpour. Peyton would not have wanted it any other way, as him and his father always loved running in the rain. We took off down the trail not realizing that within 20 yards of the start was a 90-degree right turn. As the pack quickly cut the corner in the mud, I realized that no one, including myself, was familiar with the course. It was going to be an interesting first lap in the dark, rain, and mud.
I worked to keep myself under control on the first 5K and came through at 23:13. At a 7:30 mile pace, this was going to be hard day, but that is what I needed. Three weeks before, I had managed a 21-mile run in 2 hours and 31 minutes, about a 7:10 pace. Today, I was hopeful that if I took care of myself, I would be able to maintain a similar pace for the whole event. Whatever the outcome, this was a training run and I needed to push to get a good measure on my fitness level. The outcome of the day would let me know better where to focus my training for Quest for the Crest 50K (May 31st) and Tahoe Rim Trail 100 (July 18).
The first five 5Ks rattled off rather quickly, going 23:13, 22:21, 21:31, 21:33, 21:51. This left a little more than 35 minutes between each 5K to get off my feet, hydrate, eat, and chat with fellow racers. I took in around 24-ounces of Tailwind Nutrition (200 calories) and another 50-100 calories of solid food during each rest period. The course was muddy, but holding up pretty good considering so many people running over the same route repeatedly. Just to be safe on keeping my feet from blistering, I had changed my socks three times and had gone through half a stick of Body Glide thus far.
I was beginning to play a little battle in my mind on what pace I should be running. Looking back on it, slowing down a little would have probably ensured a stronger finish, but trying to hold onto the current pace truly let me know where my fitness was at. I decided to let my body run whatever felt most comfortable, which resulted in a lap six time of 21:39 and a lap seven time of 23:15. Then during the rest period before lap eight, I could tell that my energy was finally escaping me. I kept up with my fueling and tried to stay positive with the effort that I had already put in. I took off at the 7:30 pace to start lap eight and at mile two the wheels came off. I accepted the fact that my tank was on empty and was more than satisfied with my effort. I ended up walking the majority of the last two 5K’s, crossing the finish line of lap 10 with an exclamation to Noah and Jen Moore, ”I figured I had run up front all day, so I might as well spend some time in the back.”