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8 Hour Run From The Ducks Ultramarathon 2009 Race Report

Quack Quack!

Over the weekend myself and ~40 other runners enjoyed eight hours of on-your-feet pleasure sprinkled with a bit of pain at the 8 Hour Run From the Ducks ultramarathon benefiting the Veterans War Museum. This was my first go at a timed event and I was actually quite excited to get a taste of this unique format.

An interesting aspect of timed events is that they are usually on courses of a short distance (1/4, 1/2, 1 mile). So you run round and round and round. This event was no different and consisted of a near half mile loop.

A nice feature of this course is that it was within an arboretum that consisted of an array of vegetation, flowers, ponds, small trees, and a family of swans. The running surface consisted of low-cut grass and crushed gravel. These were both great surfaces when you are planning to be on your feet for eight hours.

After a few brief race instructions, I met my Vietnam vet (Melvin) that would graciously count my laps for the entire day. Then it was time to get this party started.

Melvin!

Melvin!

As we stood waiting, the RD drew a line in the sand with his foot to signify the start line.

Start line.

Start line.

The eight hour journey began.

Individual special needs area

Individual special needs area

My WAG of a plan was to run 14 minutes then walk 1 minute. No huge effort, just keep it relaxed and aerobic.

The weather was calm and crisp with clear skies. A great morning to be running. With such a short loop, you were provided many opportunities to chat and support each other regardless of your abilities on the day. I enjoyed this aspect.

Every loop I would run by Melvin, make eye contact, and mention my number. We did this 80+ times!

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The first four hours actually passed quite effortlessly. I held to my race strategy for nearly all of the first half of the event. I did end up dropping my experimental nutrition mix because I would feel very subtle stomach tightness and didn’t want it to turn in stomach shutdown or cramps so I decided to move to HEED as my primary fuel source. With the temps rising I thought, keep-it-simple would be my best strategy.

At the end of four hours and completing 25-ish miles,  the direction of the course was reversed.

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During the back half of the race I struggled with both nutrition and hydration. I went through a little bonk phase around the 5 hour mark and could not put down enough fluids to have a chat with Mr. Spiffy Biffs since the 1.5 hour mark of the race. I never had the honor of  that chat for the rest of the race. I did nibble on a few Clif bar pieces at the aid-station and that provided a bit more cals to get my head working again.

My updated race strategy consisted of a more balance run/walk effort. I had no intention of digging deep in this event so I just rolled with what my body was willing to output. I also enjoyed sitting in my chair in the transition area for 2-3 minutes with my legs elevated. Ahhhhhhh!

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Again, due to the course format, you were never alone and always received support or had opportunities to provide support to others. This was nice.

During the final final four hours, I traveled ~15 miles. Definitely not the even effort I would have preferred, but a really good wake-up call for my body and mind as I prepare for some longer trail events this winter.

My official distance was 40.8 miles.

A new male course record was set by Ryan L. with a distance in the mid-50s (don’t recall the exact number and official results aren’t posted). The past record was just above or below 50 miles. Ryan was impressive to watch.

Unbeknownst to anyone, cash awards were given to top three male and female finishers. Fellow trail running friends Matt C. finished tied for second (mileage in mid 40s) and newly met Jeff (last name?)  finished third (mileage in low 40s). On the women’s side, Sue Y. finished second overall female (almost 37 miles). Congrats to you all.

An additional impressive accomplishment, Mike K. had mileage splits within 15% for each half of his run. Nice pacing!

During the awards ceremony, the RD recognized every athlete and their distance. This was kind of a neat feature.

Thanks to all the veterans and volunteers that put on this enjoyable event. It was also special to chat with fellow trail/ultra friends and meet some new ones.

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If you are interested in trying out a low-key eight hour ultramarathon, this event is definitely one to consider.

I already look forward to next year.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David – EnduranceBuzz.com

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

7 Responses to “8 Hour Run From The Ducks Ultramarathon 2009 Race Report”

  1. on 28 Sep 2009 at 5:37 pm Amy G

    Great job, Dave!!! You never cease to amaze me!! What an inspiration you are.
    Amy G

  2. on 28 Sep 2009 at 7:21 pm David Hanenburg

    Thanks Amy! 🙂

  3. on 29 Sep 2009 at 6:46 pm Dave Doran

    Good job and good write up. I was the Dave with the can of Foster’s. See ya next year.

  4. on 30 Sep 2009 at 8:33 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Dave – Thanks man. Foster’s…mmm, now that had to hit the spot.

    Maybe see you around at other regional races.

  5. on 01 Oct 2009 at 10:14 am Mike Krejci

    Great report — as usual! Good luck at Palo Duro — wish I was going out there, too! Just too many races to do and so little time! — Mike

  6. on 01 Oct 2009 at 8:02 pm David Hanenburg

    Thanks Mike! It was great chatting with you again.

    PD is a special event but I think you have plenty to keep you busy this October. Good luck with your journey!

  7. on 10 Jan 2010 at 5:30 pm pamela

    Will there be a 2010 Run from the Ducks race in Mineral Wells?