Winter Buckeye Trail 50k Race Report

February 13, 2017 /
Updated Mar 2, 2020

Race Info

Location: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Peninsula, Ohio
Date: Sunday, January 29th, 2017
Distances: 50k, Marathon, 30k, and Half Marathon
People: 123
Race Website

I signed up for this race as a second day of the made up Super Ultra Weekend that friends created on Facebook. Peer pressure helped me finish my 3rd 50k of 2017 and for the month of January! The day prior I finished Run for Regis 50k. This was the second trail race in CNVP for the weekend. I am starting to love CNVP. The hills put the trails in Columbus to shame.

This race felt more low key than Run for Regis, with no shirts and a cheaper entry fee. Both races had a heated aid station at the start/finish with heated bathrooms as well. In the winter this is a life saver. However, I found myself focusing to get out of the aid station as soon as possible. It seemed to feel significantly colder upon leaving the longer I spent at that aid station.

The main aid station had plenty of options, and I took advantage of veggie soup throughout the race. The main aid station didn't have any PB&J though, so I had to stock up on the aid station located at the end of the long out and back.

I ran most of the way with a friend whose idea it was to run back to back 50ks. It was nice to have someone to run with for this race, especially about 15 miles in. I had several miles where I was feeling low and could feel my knee starting to swell. 4 miles into Day 1, I tripped and fell on my right knee. 45 miles into the weekend, it started screaming.

I took a gel which helped my mood, and I figured I'd just deal with the knee for another 15 miles. I did my best to ignore it, and running with someone else really helped me keep my mind off of it.

We both did the early start for the race since we were unsure how the day would shake out with 50k already in the bag for the weekend. We ended up not needed the extra hour, but I was happy to take off the stress of trying to maintain a certain pace.

The course was two out and back sections. One section was 5 miles total, with a bit of climb within the first 1.5 miles or so. Oh, and a giant set of stairs. The second section was 8 miles seemingly with the significant climbs at the start of the section and towards the turn around point. The 50kers ran 5,8,5,8,5.

The course was icy which made some of the steeper downhill sections pretty slow. My legs were clumsy on Day 2, so I tried to be extra cautious to make up for it.

As the day went on the temperature increased slighty, and parts of the trail exposed to sun turned into mucky mud. The mud of Day 2 at Winter Buckeye made Run for Regis look easy. Day 2 also had a bit more elevation, about 1,000 ft. more of elevation gain than Regis, based on my GPS. It was all around a tougher course than Regis. However, Run for Regis had a few more technical sections on Winter Buckeye.

My mind, body, and spirit felt very scrambled during this race. Overall I did a good job of staying hydrated and keeping my nutrition up. I spent the night in compression socks and brought my triangle pillow to elevate my legs all night long. The hotel staff gave me some funny looks for carrying in the giant pillow. I couldn't help but wonder what they thought it was for.

My spirit went up and down all day, however, I never once considered quitting. My knee hurt, but the pain didn't feel concerning. I was tired, but luckily I brought my Tailwind that has caffiene in it.

Upon finishing I teared up. Even though the finish atmosphere was low key, I found myself feeling overwhelmed. I had a new feat in the bag. My back to back marathons felt measly in comparision and that was only 9 months ago.

Winter Buckeye Trail 50k Finish
Entering this door was the finish line of the race.

Having the opportunity to look back, compare, and reflect on my personal progress left me feeling humbled.

Collection from Days 1&2

Run for Regis and Winter Buckeye Trail Shirt, Medal, Bibs

Race Report for Day 1: Run for Regis 50k