Rocky Point State Pine Barrens Preserve, NY
8 October 2016
FINALLY. I have successfully completed a 50-mile event!
The Tesla Hertz Run was on my radar for a couple of years and under serious consideration in 2015 until I realized it didn’t fit into my schedule. When I was looking for a 50-miler for 2016, it was a perfect fit and I’m happy to report it was a great event.
The trail series consists of five races over two days: 100 miles, 100k, 50 miles, 50k, and 10 miles. All take place in the Rocky Point State Pine Barrens Preserve, on a 10.4 mile loop beginning/ending at the Paumanok Path Trail Head. The first half of the loop is slightly hilly with a few technical spots—just enough to be interesting. The second half is largely flat with one fairly steep climb and descent. (Everything I read pre-race mentioned the climb; not one mentioned the descent, which I found to be much more treacherous!) Pine needles covered most of the trail surface, with some short sections of sand. Overall, the vast majority of the loop is run-able and the surface was both forgiving and didn’t get too muddy when the ran began. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect most of the day. Temps were in the mid-60s and it was overcast with very little wind. Late in the afternoon it began to drizzle and after an hour or so of that it began to rain.
My training was inconsistent at best, due to vacation and oppressive heat that I just couldn’t make myself deal with. I was back on track by August, but my longest runs were just 25 miles—never made it up to the 50k or above that I planned. (I did spend most of a day testing my trail fitness at the Mountain Madness 25k and made some good tweaks to my gear after that.) I lined up with a run-walk strategy that I hoped would get me through at least 40 miles. I didn’t mind the idea of walking most or all of the last loop, since I knew it would likely be dark then. The strategy worked well. I had some extended walk breaks on loop four and five, but I was able to incorporate stretches of running right through to the end. Better yet, I finished with no blisters, no chafing, and no GI issues. My left IT band and my hamstrings started complaining around mile 30, but I stopped briefly to stretch every couple of miles and that did the trick.
I recommend Tesla Hertz to any runner, beginner or experienced. The trails were very well-marked, the primary aid station was fully stocked and the secondary was adequate if you really needed something to keep you going. The volunteers were super friendly and helpful and the race directors are some of the nicest people you could meet. I’m particularly stoked about finishing because it was the final nail in the coffin of the 50-mile DNF still haunting me from three years ago.
Gear: Altra Lone Peak 3.0 shoes, UltrAspire Astral hydration vest, Dirty Girl gaiters, and miscellaneous clothing items from Craft, SmartWool, Balega, Brooks, Zombie Runner, and Old Navy. (yep, Old Navy)
Note to self: BUY NEW HEADLAMPS
View more photos uploaded by the RD here: Tesla Hertz Run 2016
Learn more about the event here: http://teslahertzrun.com/