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July 19th, 2003

Sean Smith


If we handed out an award for "Best Mud" I think Sean would have won it.  Though he doesn't mention it in his race report (see below), it looks like Dr. Smith suffered at least one knock down as evidenced by his Adirondack-brown palm.  Even so, Sean had a great run with a middle of the pack time of 7:29:33.

Note the tell tale sign of a fun day on the Adirondack trail.

Sean's Race Report:

"Fun (and wonderfully low key), but tough."  The winning time was a slow 5:30 (and my time was even slower).  Looking back, I think there are two main reasons:

 1. A lot of the course is not runnable at high speeds, due to things like blowdown, log bridges, and single-track with corduroy and tall grass (so you can't see the corduroy).

 2. Managing your own water, food, and electrolytes, without blowing a lot of time, is a hard puzzle.  (There are no aid stations---the course runs 32 miles through a roadless wilderness area.)

 I carried a vest-pack with a (heavy) bladder full of maltodextrine-water mix, and a spare bottle (initially with ensure) to be used for picking up water along the way, later in the course.  However, I think a better strategy would be Mike Erickson's 3-bottle approach:  two are in various stages of treatment, and one is drinkable.

 Knowing WHERE the water is---and in particular, where the last time the course gets close to reasonable water is---would be helpful.  I got burned because I passed that point with half a bottle and a bit in the bladder, and thought I could refill later on, when the course got close to the Cedar River again.  But when it did, the river there was not something you wanted to drink.

 My own middle-of-the-pack time (less than one hour off my 50mile PR!) was also due to another reason: I haven't done a run more than 10 miles since last year's VT100. To quote Lance Armstrong:  "my legs weren't quite responding the way I'd like them to." :)

 I used Succeed tablets for electrolytes, but don't think I was taking enough. At the end, my legs felt horrible; after two bottles of Gatorade (and a beer) and some ibuprofen, I felt fine.

 Sean W. Smith, Ph.D.