The North Face Endurance Challenge Series takes to the trails along the Potomac River in Washington DC in two weeks. I’m more than excited to attempt to run my fastest 50K race to date, on what is hopefully a fast sea-level course.
That said, I’ve been betrayed before by low-altitude racing grounds and duped into thinking the elevation strains would be minimal… see my exhaustive Kettletown SP 50K report!!! I do a fair amount of course recon and strategery leading into any race, as it allows me to become familiar with the race course ebbs and flows. The aim is to not be hit with any surprises on race day, such that I can remain competitive for my sub-4 hour 50K goal.
By actively contemplating the course profile, aid station locations, and general course direction, I will take the guess work out of race day, and give myself the best opportunity for success.
As you can see above, there is quite a bit of elevation diversity (i.e. climbing) in the 50K course, though those mountainous objects are only 100-150 foot gains, the culmination of this terrain will make for a unsuspecting challenge along the river route.
I’ve roughly marked the aid station locations with vertical green lines. This allows me to break up the daunting 31-mile course into manageable bits of 5-6 miles. For kicks, I added in stars where I expect to fill up my water bottle, this of course is completely TBD, however, I prefer to have an anticipated “length of stay” at each aid station.
Are you racing in DC? If so which distance, and do you expect the course to be dry on race day?
Happy tapering, and see you on the course!