I’m sad to report that the eagerly anticipated Father v Son Throwdown will not happening this weekend at the Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour race. My son jacked up his ankle a couple months back playing basketball and hasn’t been able to run. I’m more bummed that he missed most of his last season of track. Hopefully he’ll be healthy and back running soon.

This will be only my second 24 hour race. My first one was a cool experience (literally as the temps dropped into the 20s) and it’s a little surprising that it’s taken me 6 years to get back for another. I like that the format is much more social than your standard ultra where you’ll see volunteers in aid stations, but fewer and fewer runners as you progress along the course as everyone gets spread out. Short loop timed races have you passing and being passed by others continually from start to finish. You also get to interact with runners from the front to the very back of the pack along the way. And for those that are competitive, you can see where you place is at the end of each lap.

Sri Chinmoy has 24 hour, 12 hour, and midnight marathon races going on. My wife will be doing the 12 hour so will be able to get a good night’s sleep to drive us home. The course is a 2.95 mile paved loop around a lake in Rockland Lake State Park just north of New York City. Pictures online show absolutely gorgeous scenery and I can’t wait to experience it. Over. And over. And over again.

I don’t have any hard and fast goals for the race. My one key takeaway from the first time I ran this format is that distance goals can be poor way to approach these events. I was so focused on 100 miles at One Day that when I reached it, I walked off the course even though I still had two hours left on the clock. This time I would like to keep moving for all 24 hours. Running the most miles in 24 hours (i.e. 101 miles) seems like pretty low hanging fruit. I’m fairly confident I can knock out a 100 mile PR (20:42) although unsure how much I can lower it. Sub 20 hours would be very cool. Overall, I’m thinking I might be able to reach 110-115 miles with an outside chance of 120 if everything goes perfect.

Pacing is always tricky on flat paved courses. It’s almost impossible not to go out too fast unless you start mixing in walk breaks right from the start. My plan is to target an 11 minute pace to begin. This is about 25-30% slower than my best long run past of the training cycle I just finished. I am extremely interested in how long I can maintain this. 20 miles? Maybe even 30? My everything perfect plan has me running this pace for the first 12 hours followed by an average pace of 13 minute miles for the second 12 hours. Achieving this would be the first time ever I hit my A goal though so I’m sure to come up a little short.

Regardless of how things turn out, I’m looking forward to challenging myself in a fun ultra format.

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