To escape the heat this time of year, you will often see ultra races head to the night time hours so instead of crazy-hot, we just run in the hot. The TATUR crew in Tulsa recently had a 50 miler on the paved River Parks Trail System with race start time…11:59 pm. The Midnight Madness 50 had over 120 people that couldn’t get to sleep that night so…why not run!
The course consists of fairly flat 10.3 mile loops that you repeat in opposite directions each loop. Get’r done!
Through the first 30-ish miles Oklahoma runner, Fred Bryant, led the 3-pack at the front which included Nathan Sicher of Missouri followed by Nick Seymour of Oklahoma. Fred’s gap to Nick was sitting at just over three minutes. The real race was about to begin.
Nick came in with a game plan for those first 30 miles and stuck with it regardless of the pace at the front.
“I decided to stick to my original game plan of running 8:00 miles through the first 30 miles. I was fairly confident I’d still have something left in the tank the last 20 miles and could make up some time then. I averaged an 8:03 pace at mile 30, so that went well.”
Over the next 10.3 mile loop, Fred fell off the pace with Nathan moving to the front with Nick in chase.
With one loop to go, it was time to dig deep. Nathan has a sizable but not insurmountable gap of nearly five minutes.
Would Nick be able to dial up the effort?
“I had mentally conceded second place after seeing I was 5 – 6 minutes behind going into that lap but decided to push hard regardless. I received an update two miles into the final lap I had closed the gap to four minutes, and at the aid station another mile later they said I was 2 – 3 minutes behind. I really dug deep and pushed the pace at that point.”
And then the pass happened…
“The pass came at mile 47 on the steep uphill section just before the Turkey Mountain aid station. It was a great spot for it to occur since all my family had congregated there and my Dad snapped some excellent pictures. My family was ecstatic and that gave me plenty of energy to finish strong.”
Nick’s final loop effort (1:35:16) was the fastest of all runners and earned him the win in 7:25:22!
“Nathan was a great competitor and had me running scared those final 4.5 miles!”
Nathan continued to push hard for second place honors.
Top 5 male
- Nick Seymour – 7:25:22
- Nathan Sicher – 7:26:54
- Fred Bryant – 8:11:07
- Ryan Kramer – 8:19:49
- Adam Davis – 8:33:47
From the early miles, Stephanie Stewart of Little Rock, Arkansas, began creating a slight gap from those in chase. As the miles increased so did the gap.
Stephanie went on to win the female race in 9:28:27.
Jacqueline Wiese of Oklahoma earned runner-up honors.
Top 5 female
- Stephanie Stewart – 9:28:27
- Jacqueline Wiese – 9:52:49
- Carrie Chapman – 10:21:53
- Christy Davis – 10:35:42
- Rachel Runfola – 10:39:48
Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.
- Dennis Crosby (age 65), Robert Dewar (age 66), and Ron Marsh (age 69) all knocked out the nocturnal 50!
Life is play. Play is life.
The Tough-as-Nails Award
The final finishers of an ultra distance event are some of the toughest athletes that are willing to stick with it to the best of their current ability and cross that darn finish line.
The Tough-as-Nails award recipients:
- Brian Joachims of Norman, Oklahoma earned the final 50 mile finish in 14:41:12.
Race Reports and Pics
- “Crossing the Pedestrian Bridge was possibly the best 1/4 mile of the course. The wood deck has a nice springy surface, and throughout the night, there was a good breeze coming down the river. It was almost like running in air conditioning.” by TZ @ …miles to go before I sleep…
- Race Pics by Julia Backus of Tulsa, Oklahoma
Talk some Dirt
- What did you think of the night-time scamper?
- Was it harder or easier to run at a time you would normally be sleeping?
Special thanks to Julia Backus for the photos above! Also thank to Nick Seymour for sharing thoughts on his adventure with us.
Check out the TALON Race Guide
There are 150+ regional trail/ultra races in the TALON Race Guide. Be sure to check it out if you are looking for the most complete list of events in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. New events are always being added.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com