Keys100 Ultramarathon Races - 2019
The Keys100 is an annual ultramarathon in the Florida keys. It’s three races that start at different times and different places and all ending at Higgs Beach in Key West.
- 100 miles - yes miles, starts in Key Largo. You can run as an individual (totally insane) or as a relay team (less nuts)
- 50 miles individual - also insane, starts in Marathon.
- 50k. That’s 31.0686 miles, though 50k sounds better (er, rounder) and also individual only, starts in Big Pine Key.
Florida in May means heat and humidity. Yes there is something wrong with all of us. And I picked this for my first foray into ultramarathoning mostly because it’s local, paved, and flat. I’m just over 61 years old. (Holy crap did I just write that?)
When the 50k gun went off at 1PM it was 88 degrees easy. A burning, fiery furnace.
74 finished the 50k - 83 started
I came in 13th overall - so the slowest (and oldest) of the fastest. Way slower than my ‘plan’, and totally respectable. While everything didn’t go exactly right - it hardly ever does - I’m not sure how much of an effect any of those curve balls had.
I also came in first in my division - ok there was only me in my division (M 60-64).
I missed Master division (over 40) winner by a mere 4 minutes. And he was in fact 40, so 21 years my junior.
The average finish time was 7:50. I managed 6:25.
The average age was 44. Did I mention I was the 2nd oldest male? A 70 year old fellow finished in 9:31. And there were three women older than me.
As for the other 3 races, 102 started and finished the 100 mile relay teams (up to 6 runners), 139 finished the 100 mile individual - 219 started, 62 finished the 50 mile individual - 81 started.
I ended surprisingly well. Totally spent of course and still not overly achy or in any pain. Not even a blister! No aches along the way, just heat fatigue which’ll wipe a guy out. This race is at least half, maybe more about the heat, the rest just lasting 31 miles.
The race teams, most of the 50 and 100 milers and many of the 50k’s use individual crew support. They have a car that leapfrogs down the road with ice, water, ade, food, changes of clothes, whatever. I did not, figuring i could count on the aid stations. They were good, but not great. Two really cool things did happen though:
- Mrs DM and I arranged for her to meet me at the first and last aid station for moral support and a few quick kisses. She decided to add two other stops and was ready with ice, water, etc for me. A nice extra I just never considered.
Also many of the crewed vehicles were just lovely yelling and cheering as I went past them. Many also asked if i needed or wanted anything. Camaraderie on display. What an absolutely brilliant thing to do for ‘not their runner’. So I started to take them up on it and it really helped.
It’s two days later and most of me is fine. My thighs are rebelling in a half hearted way. Calves are deciding whether to join forces, so I have a long anticipated massage scheduled for this afternoon.
While a good deal was not ‘enjoyable’, there was no agony. I certainly would have like to have stopped many times, though I never once considered quitting. I didn’t really ‘sight see’ much. Just kinda plodded forward; no time to dwell on how I got there, whose idea it was (Klys not mine) etc.
31 miles in this kind of heat is not my kind of training and not my style of running. Prepping to run far past marathon distance, I did learn a lot about running ‘only’ 26. So I don’t think i’ll do another one of these; um, erm…..
I packed more racing into this season than i’ve ever done before. That’s mostly due to the very good condition I found myself in last October, and of course Klys having this nutty idea about the *Dopey Challenge*, and then springing this ludicrous idea on me.
I don’t believe I’ve ever run two races within four months of each other. I’ve run 10 races since November, including three half marathons, two marathons (plus two other ‘training’ marathons), the Dopey and this. Did I mention I’m 61? ;-)
So now comes a long needed summer rest and getting back to early morning, enjoyable, everyday effortless goal-less cooler running.
What am I gonna do with all my spare time? Well Mrs DM and I have an idea that I’ll write up and post next week.