When attempting a new ultramarathon, it can be beneficial to have some insider tips from those that have ran and experienced the race in the past.
With my first attempt at the Bandera 100 km trail run coming up fast (January), a couple trail running friends that have survived and even tamed this beast of a course, have been kind enough to share some tips to assist a Bandera newbie to run, hike, crawl, and claw their way to the 100 km finish line.
Before we get into the golden insights, here is a quick look at the course loop that you get to traverse twice in order to complete the 100 km hilly rock-a-thon.
Race director, Joe Prusaitis has his shat together. The Bandera website has lots of great information to help familiarize yourself with the pleasurable punishment waiting for you.
These are just a few items that may be of interest.
- Text Description of the 100 km course
- Aid-Station Information
- Course Picture Tour (This is pretty cool and definitely helps to create a mental image of the trail.)
- A collection of various other great pictures from the trail. (Also good stuff.)
Bandera 100 km Get Your Butt To The Finish Line Tips
- Train on the most technical and rocky trails you can find – This is the most gnarly course in Texas.
- Be ready for hills – Prepare to be a fast hill hiker. The treadmill can work really well for this. It’s not fun giving up a day of running to walk/hike on the treadmill but it will really help on race day.
- GO OUT SLOW – Some say this 100 km is as tough as some of the easier 100 mile trail runs. Just accept that you are in for a long day and take your time heading out. You’ll thank yourself later. To assist in this process, the first five miles of the course are pretty technical with poor footing so the slow start will happen somewhat naturally. You have 24 hours to complete this event which supports a slow start and should be enough time for most folks.
- Carry a backup flashlight – Bandera is in the middle of nowhere Texas. It is ruggedly beautiful, but also really, really dark at night.
Matt Crownover has explored and experienced this course six times and had these cerebral thoughts to share.
- Accept the unexpected – No matter what you do/plan, something will go wrong. This is, the single difference between ultras and more traditional races. It is also what allows ultras to be spiritual teachers. This is part of the sport and the beauty is that you can stay patient, stay calm, and work it out.
- Be strong, in fairly good shape, and relaxed – It is really fairly rugged in places, so just relax and be joyful.
- Manage race effort by energy level and body awareness, not time
- Bring lights to finish the race – You won’t need lights at the start of the race but you will at the finish unless you plan to break the course record.
- Plan to enjoy the night/darkness
I want to give a huge thanks to Mike and Matt for taking the time and sharing some of themselves with us. Their Bandera tips cover both the body and mind. As most ultrarunners know, you can’t complete these challenges without both involved in the game.
For other experienced Bandera athletes, feel free to share any additional tips you may have to help all of us finish the distance.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 04 Nov 2009
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