Although I have completed a number of marathons over the past few years, 2015 brought a new challenge; ultra-marathons. Early in the year, I completed two 50k’s (North Face Endurance Challenge in DC, and the Singletrack Maniac in Virginia) with hopes to move on to greater distances by the fall. With high expectations, I went ahead and registered for the JFK50. Why the JFK50? Although it may not be as popular as some of the races out west, just about every ultra-runner I know is familiar with the JFK50, so I figured it would be a great starting point for the 50 mile distance. Plus, as an Active Duty Air Force member, I have a connection to the race history.
I feel my JFK50 training was a bit unorthodox as it was really designed for the marathons I ran in September (Air Force Marathon) and October (Marine Corps Marathon). I didn’t have a single run over 26.2 miles, but with a 3:15 marathon time, I figured I could scale it back and survive the 50 miles. With the Marine Corps Marathon on the 25th of October, and the JFK50 on the 21st of Nov, I had less than four weeks to transition from marathon running to ultra-marathon running. To make things even more difficult, I scheduled corrective eye surgery in between the two races, which kept me from running for about a week and a half. After all was said and done, I was able to log about two and a half weeks of transition running, to include my taper. During this transition, I focused on slow trail running while wearing the gear I planned to utilize during the JFK. My goal was to keep my heart rate in the high 130s, which meant a much slower pace than my usual marathon tempo running.
Before I knew it, it was time to pack for the big day.
To read the rest of Eric's race report click here, extra bonus is 13 minutes of video of the JFK Race. http://briansrunningadventures.com/jfk-50-2015-erics-first-run/