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Wild Hare 50M

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San Antonio,TX,

Member Since:

Dec 13, 2009



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

5K PR - 18:01 - Nov '14

10K PR - 38:37 (workout) - Oct '14

Half-marathon - 1:22:43 - Jan '14

Marathon - 2:58:43 in Boston! - Apr '13

50 mile - 7:49:30 (2nd) - Nov '15

Short-Term Running Goals:

- Balance

- Run more trails, volunteer, more social running, run with a team

- Race a lot more.  learn.

Race results / possible schedule:

Apr 2 - Hells Hills 25k trail - 4th

Apr 9 - Toughest 'n Texas 20-mile Trail - 2nd

May 7 - Paleface - Trail Marathon - 3rd

May 29 - American Hero road 25k - 2nd

Jun 25 - Pedernales Falls 30k nighttime Trail - 5th (sick)

Jul 16 - Muleshoe Bend 30k nighttime Trail - 3rd

Jul 23-24 - Fossil Valley 9-hour nighttime Trail - 2nd

Aug 6 - Colorado Bend 30k nighttime Trail - 4th

Aug 27 - Reveille Peak 30k nighttime Trail (entered)

Sep 10 - Franklin Mountains 50k (entered - not all-out effort...I hope)

Sep 17 - Lighthouse Hill 20-mile trail (entered)

Sep 24 - J&J 50 mile trail

Long-Term Running Goals:

Compete in a few more ultras without going off course (again)

Sub-18 in a 5k

One.  Good.  Marathon.


I started running at age 30, in late 2009.  I have 2 daughters (10 and 8 yrs old).



Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Saucony A5 Lifetime Miles: 1054.70
Kinvara 2 - Gray/red Lifetime Miles: 1551.08
Kinvara 3 - Gray/red Lifetime Miles: 1244.23
1160s Lifetime Miles: 888.70
Saucony A5 Red Lifetime Miles: 565.10
Saucony A6 - Yellow Lifetime Miles: 214.00
Saucony A6 - Red/blue Lifetime Miles: 61.50
NB MT101 Trail Lifetime Miles: 302.00
Fastwitch 6 Red #1 Lifetime Miles: 286.50
Fastwitch 6 Red #2 Lifetime Miles: 267.00
Race: Wild Hare 50M (50 Miles) 07:49:30, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 2
Slow milesFast milesTotal Distance

Alright, it’s done.  Pretty fun day, when I look back on it.  Brutal.  But I had fun.

Weather:  It started at 63F/95%.  The temp would stay right there, maybe 62 degrees, the entire race.  I went shirtless after the first loop…it was pretty hot, especially when the sun came up.  The cold front arrived about halfway through the race.  This dropped the dew point but not the temps.  It also brought 20-35 mph winds.  That really sucked in several areas.

Course:  My hopes of having a dry course were dashed in the first mile.  It was really muddy.  Hit some unavoidable shin-deep water about 2 miles in and stayed fully waterlogged/mudlogged the rest of the way.  Some parts were really treacherous.  It’s a loop course, 7.8 mile loops.  To make the mileage work out, you do an add-on segment in the first loop, so the first time around is 11.3 miles, and the next 5 loops are 7.8 apiece.  2 aid stations in each 7.8 mile loop.  My 50-miler started at 5am, but there was a 50k @ 6am, a 25k @ 7am, and I think a 10k @ 8am.  All on the same course.

Loop 1:  Definitely a different kind of start than I’m used to, as a road runner.  Everyone kind of wandered into the horse barn where you start, about 3 minutes before the gun.  Then it goes off and everyone breaks into a nice slow jog.  Inside I was laughing.  Anyway, I was in 3rd by the time we got to the singletrack, which was fine.  The guy in front of me (Gabe) seemed to be setting a reasonable pace, but the first place guy (Matt) was pulling away.  I tried not to care, but it sorta bothered me.  Obviously I could have passed and caught up to Matt, but that just seemed stupid…there were 48 miles to go for crying out loud.  And Gabe seemed to know what he was doing, and I did not want to get lost in the dark so I stayed behind him.  Finished the long loop in 1:38:29, right behind Gabe.

Loop 2:  Gabe was not stopping at the aid stations at all – his wife? would just hand stuff to him.  So it always took me a mile or so to catch up, but it still seemed dumb to “make a move” with 35+ miles to go so I stuck with him, even though I could see Matt’s lead was growing, every time we’d hit an open section.  As a side note, Gabe was falling…a lot.  I’d always check on him, make sure he was ok, etc.  But dang, it was probably 5 or 6 times in the first 2 loops.  This loop was 1:10:12, still in 3rd, right behind him.

Loop 3:  More of the same.  I made up my mind to pick it up and pass him after this loop since we were probably now 3-4 minutes behind Matt.  This loop was 1:13:11.

Loop 4:   “The surge.” I probably took my longest break after Loop 3, having run roughly a marathon at this point.  I hit the PoP and guzzled a lot of Gatorade…and ate more PB&J.  Once again, Gabe ran right through and I found myself way behind.  I took my first big spill @ mile 27 – a total face plant, which really rung my bell for a few minutes.  Ended up being a good thing though – I picked it up more (after collecting myself) and just kinda ran my own pace; when I (eventually) caught up, I just kept it up, and actually hit the gas a little harder.  After a couple miles, we hit the pasture and it looked like I’d already put a good 2 minutes on Gabe.  Unfortunately, by the end of the loop, I was bonking.  Well, that was dumb.  This loop was 1:11:41, even though it felt like I was hammering it, guess it turned out to only be 90s faster than the previous loop.

Loop 5:  I’d say I ran these last 2 loops in a fully bonked state.  We all know how bad it sucks to feel like that…so to feel like that for 3 hours was not a lot of fun.  Still, I couldn’t even see Gabe – figured I had no less than a 3-4 minute lead on him.  And I didn’t really see Matt up ahead anymore either.  So I broke into my best plod.  No more running on the steeper uphill sections, no more ninja moves to avoid puddles and mud (just shuffled straight through), and a lot more grabbing trees to pull myself up.  1:18:55 for this one.

Loop 6:  So this last loop starts, and I’m dying, but pretty sure I’ll finish.  I stopped looking behind me and just plodded on… fat dumb and happy(ish).  With about 3 miles to go I hear a big KER-PLAT behind me.  I looked and it was Gabe, falling down again, but only about 10 seconds behind me.  Oh man, I was so pissed.  Obviously I took off at that point.  Frankly, I was surprised (and a little disappointed in myself) at how easy it was to all of a sudden drop my pace.  I’m guessing here, but I’d say I was running 90 sec/mile faster, instantaneously, and held it through the line.  The last 2 miles are the toughest ones, but I was (relatively speaking) screaming through them, compared to the previous loop.  I kept looking back and I’d put maybe 30-45 seconds on him in pretty short order.  Ended up about 80 seconds ahead of Gabe, and 4 minutes behind Matt.  Last loop was 1:17:02…2nd place overall.

Hindsight being 20/20, the main thing I would’ve done differently would be to stay up with Matt from the beginning.  I was just too scared of the unknown, I guess.  4 minutes over a distance of 50 miles is not exactly a huge difference in pace.  Can’t really blame myself though.  I had no idea how I was supposed to feel at various points in the race…or how hard I should be pushing – just a lack of experience.  Oh, I should have trained too.  These minor details add up!

Anyway, this won’t be my last ultra.  I found out from Matt that there’s a really good trail running group he belongs to, and they run at Govt. Canyon a lot, which is close to my house.  Once I regain use of my legs, I’ll focus on road running for awhile (if I can manage to focus on anything) but I can already see a possible shift in focus down the road.


Fastwitch 6 Red #2 Miles: 50.00
Weight: 0.00
From Tom K on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 18:07:52 from

Oh wow! This is great! Poor Gabe falling all over the place. If you would have hung on to Matt from the start, and pushed on to take it, would you be done with road racing?, or... maybe you'd be done with trail running. And go out on top.

How long do you think it will take you to bounce back? Congratulations Joe. This is a huge accomplishment.

From SlowJoe on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 18:33:29 from

Thanks Tom - I guess another possibility is that he would have pushed harder and I would've bonked harder, and never do another ultra again. So maybe this was good.

In the last couple loops I took several spills as well. Whereas earlier, the normal self-preservation instincts kept me upright after tripping, at the end my brain was like, "dude, it's gonna be easier to just fall. Tuck and roll, and at least we can lay on the ground for a couple seconds."

I'm hoping for the normal 1-week rest/recovery, but I dunno...

From Matt Schreiber on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 18:59:45 from

I was wondering if those were all practice falls Gabe was pulling. Getting ready for that big one in loops 6. That fall made me laugh!

Congratulations!! On the new distance and the #2 finish. Awesome report, and your definitely intriguing me on the long distance. I didn't see a pre and post race weight posted! :)

From SlowJoe on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 19:06:15 from

I know, poor guy. That last one took away his element of surprise though!

Thanks Matt. Yeah, don't know about weight, but I was pretty dehydrated. They were out of handheld water bottles when I went to the store, but I reasoned that it was ok -- only 4 miles between aid stations...unfortunately 4 miles takes friggin forever in a race like this!

From Derunzo on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 19:41:50 from

You're a beast. Congratulations on a 50 freaking miler!

From Jason D on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 19:55:04 from

Fantastic! That's a long long way to run. Your result is really solid. I think you learned a lot from this and experienced just how different an ultra is than a road race. You probably paced it fairly well. The wall would have been much harder I am guessing.

Rest up!

From Dan on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 20:53:16 from

Holy smokes Joe. I knew you'd finish and do well, but wow this is fantastic. You should be very happy with this. I am impressed for sure and good thing Gabe took the falls for you. You think you will want to run more at this distance? Maybe go for a cool 100 :)

From Burt on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 at 22:35:15 from

Awesome job. You just went up on notch in my book. That puts you at notch 1. Do books have notches?

From flatlander on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 05:50:42 from

Congratulations, very interesting report, though the result is not that surprising. Trying to beat back the ultra voice and this isn't helping. I am going to get out some graphing paper and see if I can replicate your training plan.

From SlowJoe on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 08:51:44 from

Thanks all!

Dan - no 100 this season, but definitely looking at a couple for the next one...

From Jake K on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 10:16:49 from

Wow - fantastic Joe!!! Congrats man... smart race, great effort. You nailed it.

You have to write the training pamphlet now.

From Rob Murphy on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 11:13:37 from

Great race Joe. Wow! I'm seriously impressed.

From RileyCook on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 11:47:53 from

Great race Joe! I'm glad it went well for you and that you had fun. I wouldn't know how to pace an ultra either!

From Drew on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 16:24:11 from

Great writeup Joe - and great result too.

From SlowJoe on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 16:26:23 from

Thanks guys.

Flat and Jake, look for my book of training secrets to be released Summer 2016. I'll autograph your copies...

From seeaprilrun on Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 19:48:37 from

Wow! You really paced this one out and nailed it! Your splits are actually pretty consistent--no apocalyptic slow down. Nice! I'm totally impressed. You could do some serious damage in some ultras!

From derhammer on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 11:36:29 from

Nice job, Joe! Really an amazing result for your first 50 miler! It seems a lot of runners I know go the trail racing route once they have achieved what they want to on the road.

From SlowJoe on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 11:58:23 from

April - thanks. Definitely learned a lot. In hindsight, I had ~10 miles toward the end that I think were slower due to inexperience and mental lapses...but it is definitely making me want to try again!

DH - I would definitely like to run the marathon again with a full and complete training block, but it does seem like an entire world opening up with these local ultras. Way more exciting than dropping my marathon time 5 minutes and going from 169th place to 125th place!

From derhammer on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 12:43:23 from

Joe - there is a contingent from Austin going to run the R2R in April - it's not a timed race but could be pretty neat. http://www.ultrarunning.com/features/destinations/grand-canyon-basics-rim-to-rim-to-rim/

From Bob on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 08:37:35 from

Fantastic! Congrats on a great race. How was your fueling later in the race? My stomach goes on strike at that point and I can't even think about food.

From SlowJoe on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 08:58:37 from

DH - sounds fun, would definitely like to do that...eventually!

Bob - thanks. Fueling was ok I think - I usually downed a bunch of Gatorade and grabbed a few PBJ squares on every stop, and would eat them over the next mile or so. Also had 5 gu's throughout. Stomach held up really well, luckily.

From JG on Thu, Nov 26, 2015 at 06:20:56 from

Congratulations Joe! Happy Thanksgiving!!

From Russ on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 14:20:44 from

Wow, not sure how I missed this until now. Great job Joe! Amazing, actually, just goes to show you are quite clearly THE MAN who invents a training plan of not much in order to place 2nd in a beastly distance. Great planning as you may have been DFL if you had trained differently. Great job, so impressed, glad you had fun. I'm slightly jealous you actually enjoyed it. I'm 99.8% sure I'm one and done at that distance.

From SlowJoe on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 17:37:57 from

Hah - thanks Russ.

My 2015 mileage is already above previous calendar years with a month still to go, so I'm guessing that's what has kept my last couple races decent...probably not the recent over-worked, run-skipping, vacation-taking, cold-catching mess of the previous 6 weeks. But maybe I'm wrong... I was definitely well-rested!

99.8%....so you're telling me there's a chance...YEAH

From Tom Slick on Tue, Dec 08, 2015 at 09:34:18 from

Way to go "Ninja Joe". Congrats on doing a super long distance torture run in bad conditions. I don't want to do one of these races for all the reasons you articulated oh so well. Good on you for getting the job don so well. Congrats on a 2nd X 2 finish. What's next on the challenge bucket list?

From Snakemoney on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 00:07:48 from

you made me crack up SlowNonslowJoe...when I read this piece:

" Obviously I could have passed and caught up to Matt, but that just seemed stupid…there were 48 miles to go for crying out loud."

Glad I found this as I remember you saying that you didn't know why you were going to run it but said whatever...you were running it.

From Bec on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 09:36:43 from

Nice job on this race! Loop races are killer and in the mud? Uh. At least you got some Texas metal artwork out of it.

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