"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Flatlanders Race Report by Jim Donahue

At the beginning of September my friend Jim ran the Flatlanders 12hour held by the SLUGS at Fenton City Park.  The course was a 1.4mile asphalt loop, that runners ran around for either 6 or 12 hours.

The following is Jim's report of the race.

 FlatLanders 12 Hour Race Report, Fenton Park, Fenton, MO Sep 2, 2012.
Jim Donahue
Dig down deep. You’ll get something from it. It may be out of your stomach, but expect other good returns and memories too.
The SLUGS did a superb job of supporting the race. And we had it all, rain, 100% humidity, clouds, sun, heat and more rain. I dug deep for Flatlanders.  Apparently I went out too fast, but was feeling pretty good and it felt comfortable, not like I was racing. I started to fall apart around mile 30. My quads were on fire. Totally losing my form and literally taking baby steps. I was meeting lots of nice folks and came up on Ally, who has a heart of gold. She's a 21 year old whose parents were doing this too. Dad had registered mom for the 6 hour, but when he picked up the packets, all were for 12. I think he was worried, but she apparently enjoyed the 12.  Aly and I had talked quite a bit earlier. Around mile 47 is when I came from behind and said "wanna run for a while?" We were chatting about all sorts of deep things, when I looked at my watch we were doing 11:40ish at the time.  I was shocked. We  got to the aid stations and parted ways, now sub 11 for a little while.
Phil Marra was great. If you have not meet him yet, you'll totally enjoy getting to know him. He pulled me quite a way at a couple different spots. He drinks Ensure also. he kept reminding me to drink my Ensure. Each time I passed my tent, I forgot something major. Wanted to lose the hat cuz it was holding in too much heat (took 5 laps). Changed my water bottle (forgot to take it), Wanted some Edurolytes(forgot), I think it took me 6 laps before I got my ensure and it happened a couple times. It is like magic. It looks like I got it around 51. I found Ally again about around mile 55, "wanna run with me to the start?" We got there with around 11:30. David White says think you can make another lap in 30 minutes? So I ran off with zeal (for me). I think it was 1.4 miles in 14.5 minutes. Once you get inside 20 minutes you are doing  1/4 mile loops and I was running for all I was worth (50 cents).
My official distance was 56.8, Garmin said 57.25 and It was right on target with what the long lap counter had given me. So I think they missed a 1/4 mile lap. Apparently I started my watch again by mistake as it shows 58.
I was hurting really bad during the race and Really Really bad after and most of the day after, mostly my legs, but was puking too. I could not eat until the next day.  After an Epsom salt bath, and an Ice bath, I'm felling better. I was using a 3ft 2x2 stick to get up and go down a 1/2 step.
The volunteers were so good. I wanted to hug them. It was a nice surprise to see Val when she showed up with the dogs around 10 hours. I ran Z 1/2 lap and he dumped just before the aid station and I had no bags. Val took care of that one. I ran with Jazzie, with a bag (good thing). Jazzie was spastic and was not a great running partner. Zilla did a full lap with me and I was elated. The other runners were happy to see something different.
I truly believe you can run twice the distance of your longest run fairly well. My longest run had been 15 miles. I got about 26 in, fairly well then took a long time to find my stride but it never felt good after that. I used my Brooks road zero drop road shoes then the true grit tail shoes half way. Next time I'll bring something with more support.
It was a great event and I was in great pain, but looking forward to doing it next year, hopefully better trained.
Sorry for all the details on pace, but I had the Garmin window ope. Seeing each pace brought back good memories about whom I was meeting at the time. There were quite a few of both."

Jim Donahue is an an avid triathlete and member of the Metro Tri Club and the St Louis Ultrarunners Group.  He is also an all around great guy and a pleasure to train with.


  1. Jim is an AWESOME guy! Way to go, Jim!

  2. Wow, that's impressive! I can't imagine running that far.