Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quad Rock Preview

In my last race report, I mentioned how I felt like not having a chance to think about the race definitely kept me from getting very nervous, and maybe even helped me run better.  Well, I’ve had plenty of time to think about this weekend’s Quad Rock 50 miler.  I’m plenty nervous.  Because I know it’s going to be plenty tough.

Very few people probably realize how different of a race this will be for me.  The 11,000ft of climb and equal descent that I’ll face on Saturday is by far the most I’ve ever seen, not to mention the altitude that could have a significant impact on my sea-level conditioned body.  To help myself and my readers gain a better perspective, I threw together this plot to show how different Quad Rock is compared to the toughest race I’ve run to date, StumpJump 50k.

Twelve miles shorter than the road 100k, but it will take me much longer to finish.

As you can see, there really isn’t even a comparison.  Quad Rock is all up or down.  There is no flat section on the course.  Since I spent the last couple months focusing on the World 100k, I’m not well-conditioned for this type of course.  I haven’t had a chance to do any significant hill work in the last few weeks because I was concentrating on recovering from Worlds.  Even if I hadn't run the 100k, it’s doubtful I’d be in much better shape for the climbs and descent, because we just don’t have that kind of terrain around Cincinnati.

But, Quad Rock is not the goal.  This is all about Western States.  This weekend’s race is intended to be a hard training run and benchmark effort to see where I stand as I begin focusing my training on WS100.

I don’t have the time and I’m not really qualified to preview the field, so I’ll let Ryan Burch handle that.  He did a good job I think and I don't really have anything to add.  Check his preview here.

It sounds like Leona Divide champ Dylan Bowman (@dylanbo) will be live tweeting from the race if you want to follow along.

Wish me luck.  I may need it more in this race than I’ve needed it in any ultra I’ve done so far.


  1. Look forward to meeting you man. In reality I'm there to do what ever Nick needs me to do (fulfilling WS volunteer requirements), but I hope to inform the world about the battle as it ensues :).

    And yeah, it's a tough course. You're gonna love it.

  2. That makes Sumpjump look like a cross country course. Enjoy your training run. :)

  3. You know to just focus in the mile you're in. Proud of your Worlds effort. This course has "WS Training only" written all over it. Best vibes to you this weekend from a cheering Alabama ultra brother.

  4. Piece of cake for you. Run hard on the uphills to build your strength. Run hard on the downhills to beat your quads up and get them ready for WS. So it looks like you can go easy the first and last half miles, since they seem flat...

  5. Hey David, it was nice meeting you and sharing the trails with you yesterday. I hope you enjoyed your trip out west. Next time you're in the Denver area I'd be happy to show you some more of the trails.