The third running of O24 took place on April 26th and once again – it. was. amazing. The turnout this year exceeded what we expected. The inaugural running of O24 in 2012 had 66 runners toe the line, 2013 there were 85, and in 2014? ONE HUNDRED FIFTY FOUR! Love how this race is drawing so many new folks into the world of ultra running.
This ultra trail race is probably one of the most runner friendly, walker friendly, family friendly events there are. For those that haven’t read my posts before about O24 and have never heard of it; a brief description.
A race for beginners and ultra veterans alike, the unique Outrun 24 Hour Trail Race is held in the Lake Metroparks Chapin Forest Reservation in Kirtland, OH approx. 30 mins East of Cleveland. With its distinctive rock formations and mature woodland trails, the park provides a scenic setting for the endurance run. Runners will follow a 1.00244mi USATF certified loop and may run any distance or time up to 24 hours. If you are looking for a great atmosphere to come out and test yourself, come and check it out! Course: The USATF certified (# OH11035MW) and IAU Bronze Labeled course is a 1.002445 mi loop on trails that consists primarily (93%) of crushed limestone, dirt, and a short bit (7%) of asphalt. The loop is rolling with one main hill. There is approximately 65 feet of elevation gain & loss per lap. Please see additional tabs for course photos, video, directions, and other information.
Zack Johnson, the RD for this race and the head of OUTRUN, puts an amazing personal touch on this event. From before the event starts with email blasts to all registrants, to a prerace video -
To running laps along side participants -
To finally making sure he personally hands each finisher their well deserved medal and takes a photo with them, no matter what time of day, or night, or well… even the next day. I mean, after all, the race does start at 8am on Saturday and doesn’t end till 8am on Sunday.
My goal for this race when I registered was 100 miles. My plan is to run at least one, 100 mile race each year. Two years ago it was BR100. Last year it was supposed to be NYM100 - but you know how that turned out.. So, after Yo Momma kicked my ass again, I decided that O24 is the perfect place to knock out 100 miles and ensure I get at least one in and then tackle YM again with a hundo under my belt for the year already.
That quickly changed when my training wasn’t going as planned. I really hate talking about things that ail me because I don’t want to be labeled “that guy who makes up excuses”, or be “that guy who always has something wrong”, but I couldn’t ignore this much longer. I finally sucked it up, went to get checked out, and get myself back on track. I have to admit that it was quite relaxing to go into this race with no goal at all – talk about no pressure! I charged up my GoPro camera and after my race committee responsibilities were completed I made sure to get some footage. Here is a glimpse at the start of the race.
Here a few other pics from the race –
Over the last few months, quite a bit of my training has taken place on the road or even worse the dreadmill, so I bought a pair of Hokas to help ease the pain. I LOVE the Bondis I bought but unfortuantley they didn’t last very long. I blew both shoes out and took them back with just over 100 miles on them. They didn’t have the new version of the Bondi’s in (apparently improved because many people were having the same issue) so I took home a pair of Hoka Rapa Nui’s — big mistake. I started out the race in my regular Saucony Exodus shoes and was feeling pretty well. Around mile 18 or so I decided to change out of those and put on my new Hokas. I only wore the shoes walking around a little bit to try and get a feel for them and after only a few miles I started to get a pain in my left foot which progressively got worse; to the point where I was only able to limp around the course now. I know I didn’t have a “goal” for the race but I had to at least finish a 50k! So I walked the last 8-10 miles and finished with a new PWR (personal worst record) of 9hrs 58min! YIKES! Click here for my Runkeeper data for this run. Took those Rapa Nui’s back the next day and ordered the new Bondi.
So what do you do after you complete a 50k in 9hrs at a 24hr race? You hang out, cheer on your friends and have a good time. Also, while your friends are out there trudging along, you get to do this —
Hey —- I wasn’t the only one!
Click here for a full list of 2014 race results. There was a new record set this year. Jim Van Orman cleared 120 miles! Every time I saw Jim he would smile and wave. He made it look so easy!
Once again there were so many amazing people who came out and pushed themselves to their limits. There were those that were running the race to raise money for charities, those that were walking the entire way to a distance PR, to the Grandmother, Mother, daughter trio that rocked it! I could go on and on but rather than taking just my perspective of it, here are a several other blog posts about it. Enjoy!
HOLY CRAP!!! I almost forgot! As was the case last year, this year Chef Bill catered an OUTSTANDING breakfast for everyone again on Sunday morning after the race. Check him out here at Playing with Knives and Fire. Have an event you want catered, a party with some friends that you want a rockin’ meal for, or a date with that special someone — he’s your man. Look him up. Plus, he’s a fellow ultra runner – as the other half of Bills’ Badass 50k.