Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Athlete's corner: Sinister7 race report

Daniel Goddard race report on: Sinister7 Ultra – 100 mile solo


Sinister7, 2014. Daniel finished 3rd overall solo male, in 20:50:45

When: July 5-6, 2014, 7am start
Where: Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada
Distance/Elevation: 100 miles,  5,687m
Time limit: 30 hours
No. participants: Max 1,400 racers (including relay)
Event results (here).

Chloe: How long have you been running trails and what do you consider as your best ultra so far?

Daniel: I’ve been running trails since the summer of 2010. Initially, I did a couple of 10k road races then was looking for something different. My first ultra was Diez Vista50k last year, and Sinister7 will be my fourth race in the ultra distance. I also completed the Club Fat Ass North Shore Enduro run (6hrs) and the Vancouver100 (k) earlier this year.

Vancouver100 went well. Zero catastrophes. Plus there was a banana on the trail hung near the finish with my name on it, literally. I have some of the best friends on the planet.

Chloe: Why did you pick Sinister7?

Daniel: Because Random Happenstance (@cooleen_s) re-tweeted that Sinister7 was lengthening the course to include a 100 mile distance. I “thanked” her for that the night before the race, haha.

Chloe: Did you feel ready, how did you prepare for this, what gear/food?

Daniel: It’s easy to feel ready when you’re not sure what you’re in for. Though overall my training went along great, with every race showing some improvement.

I didn’t stray far from my training plan. Marathon Mondays, ran at low intensity, helped a lot.

One thing I did differently than for other races was to test an experimental diet for my program at school (I’m studying holistic nutrition). I diligently followed an 80/10/10 ratio the week leading up to Sinister7. I consumed massive quantities of raw fruits and vegetables exclusively. A low-fat all-vegan diet which also provided eight-to-nine liters of water per day. So, I was better hydrated than ever before!

I brought two pairs of Pearl Izumi M2s – perfect for dry dirt trails. I used an Inov-8 Race Ultra vest, packed full of organic baby food pouches, lots of gels, this new fuel and electrolyte product Tailwind, and vegan gummy bears from Whole Foods (yay!). Also - big thanks to Dave Cressman and family at Distance Runwear for all the support.

Chloe: So, how did it go?

Daniel: It was really enjoyable to arrive in Crowsnest Pass a couple of days early. My mom and I drove to scout the major aid stations. We hiked the course a bit and took pictures. I slept well prior, and kept to a mostly fruit diet before the race.

The event was incredible. A lot bigger than any race I’ve participated in. That means more amazing volunteers, more energetic clapping spectators, and I imagine many sleepless nights of planning for the race directors (RDs). My appreciation goes out to each and every one of them.  

I recognized a couple of names. I know Deb Russell, who ran strong at Sun Mountain (50 mile). I was hoping to run with her but it didn’t work out. I ran most of legs one, two, and three with Caroline McIlroy, who finished first place solo female.

The race has seven legs varying between 6.65 miles and 22.49 miles. The climbs didn’t get too aggressive until Leg three (21.75 miles with 4354’ of vertical) and I played them very conservatively. It got progressively warmer, so I really focused on my breathing and keeping cool. Leg four went well. Leg five starts with some miles of runnable dirt track, but I held back from tearing it up. I allowed myself to slow down a lot, and so was able to harness my energy for a strong Leg six and seven to the finish.

The only mistake was bringing AA batteries instead of AAA for my headlamp. Oops! Fortunately I had a small pocket LED (to use in case I needed to change batteries) which got me through the last 5km of Leg six.

The best was having some of my closest family at the aid stations, well prepared and so supportive. This made all the difference.

Chloe: What tips do you have for others who are considering this race?

Daniel: Even though it wasn’t scorching hot, I’ve heard reports of high 27c and 30c. Staying cool definitely kept me going. Savour the (many) creek crossings, and keep a handheld with ice water for cooling your head. Look up more. Something I realized on leg three (miles 20-42) to remember to experience the incredible views!!

Chloe: What does the rest of your season look like?

Daniel: In less than six weeks I return for another round of the Squamish50 (50 miles). This will cap off the racing season. I’m also throwing together a 24 hour, 30th birthday ultra (midnight to midnight) in October, more details and invitations to come!

See Daniel’s Blog for more on Sinister7
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