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Running Long Haul 100 Furlongs 2024

Running the Long Haul 100 Furlongs 2024

Brian Kondas returns to run the Long Haul 100 Furlongs in 2024. Last year, he placed 3rd overall and 1st man to finish this 12.5-mile trail race. Based on the 57 men and women who registered in 2024, Brian was ranked 1st in his age group (male 40-49).

Long Haul 100 Furlongs 2024

On Saturday, January 13, I wore bib number 781 for my first 2024 trail race. Checking out the competition, I saw Paul Schwartz, an athletic-looking guy in great shape. I didn’t see him last year, and he might be the man to beat.

Race Conditions and Instructions

The weather is a cool and pleasant 61 degrees. It’s cloudy and windy with strong gusts, 15 mph. Fortunately, the wooded trail has lots of trees to break most of the wind. Before the race, we are informed that parts of the trail are wet.

We are also told the trail is marked with orange flags every 1/10th of a mile. Finally, runners who place first overall male, female, and masters win a pair of new shoes by Karhu, which is Swedish for “Bear.”

This is my first race with a non-monetary prize. Maybe I can win a new pair of running shoes.

Running Through Flooded Trails

At 10 AM, a small group of men and women started the Long Haul 100 Furlongs race. I used my Garmin Forerunner 255 watch and the PacePro Pacing Strategy. My pacing strategy for this trail race is 8:45 minutes per mile for 12.5 miles.

Parts of the trail are underwater and muddy. Within the first mile, my shoes slide in the wet mud, and I almost fall down! I run on the side of the trail to avoid the deeper water in the middle of the trail. I’m uncertain how much of the course is flooded, so I attempt to keep my shoes as dry as possible.

My First 4 Miles

Looking at my Garmin running stats for the first four miles, I ran the following mile paces:

  1. First mile 8:38
  2. Second mile 8:31
  3. Third mile 8:30
  4. Fourth mile 8:59

I see a muddy path entering an area with tents. I think this may be crew tents for the 100-miler. People in these tents shout words of encouragement as I pass. I’m not in this ultra race. Is this part of the Furlong course?

Circling around I see a restroom building. At mile 4.66 and 40 minutes into the race, I open the door and discover the restroom available! Quickly, I urinate. Forty-five seconds later, I’m back running.

Anger for Miles 5 – 8

I remember the pre-race instructions said to turn around at the first aid station. Was those crew tents and restroom the first aid station? I think it was, and I just ran farther than necessary! Other runners who knew the course better now have an advantage.

I’m now behind pace at mile 5 with a pace of 9:15. Filled with anger, I vow, “No one will beat me,” and increase my pace by forty-three seconds to 8:32 at mile 6. I continue mad running and clock 8:30 for mile 7.

When I see runners ahead of me, I tell myself, “I’m coming for you!” Slowly, I narrow the gap between me and the runner up front. Running at a faster pace, I soon pass him. My powerful rage propels me to a peak pace of 8:24 in mile 8.

Beating the Competition

One by one, I set my sights on beating the runners ahead of me. Even though my pace slows in the next four miles, I continue to pass every competitor in front of me.

Since there were two different races on the same trail, I didn’t know who was in my race. Nevertheless, whoever was in front of me, I shall outrun and pass.

Running Paces Mile 9 to Mile 12

During this last quarter of the Long Haul 100 Furlongs race, I run through trails that are completely flooded. I submerge both shoes under the water and into the mud.

My shoes are soaked with water and caked with mud. I fight to keep my planned pace but slow down due to heavy shoes.

  • Ninth mile 9:05
  • Tenth mile 9:10
  • Eleventh mile 9:15

In the eleventh mile, I pass a man walking along the side of the trail. At this stage in the race, I run down the middle of the trail and splash through the water. As I pass this man (Eric Winter), I have a feeling he may be my last competitor.

In mile twelve, I slow my pace to 9:21. Then, I look around and see many competitors running in the opposite direction. Am I going the right way? Did I make a wrong turn?

The Final Mile

Still feeling uncertain of my direction, I approach a runner and ask, “Are we close to the end?” He replies, “Yes if you’re doing the Furlongs. I have a long way to go.” Feeling relieved, I pass him.

Then, I remembered this part of the trail. I had passed this spot at the beginning of the race. Knowing the end is near, I accelerate my pace.

With the finish in sight and one runner ahead of me, I sprint hard and pass him. As I cross the finish line, the race official tells me, “You are first in Masters. Go see (guy’s name) for your free shoes.” I won first in the master’s age group!

Long Haul 100 Furlong 2024 Results

In the official race results, I placed 4th overall and 1st in masters (ages 40+) with a time of 1:53:52. Based on my Garmin running data, I ran a distance of 12.8 miles. So, either this race is longer than 12.5 miles, or I ran 0.3 miles too far. Maybe I was supposed to turn around instead of running through that aid station with the restroom.

I may have run a third of a mile farther than my competitors and still beat everyone age 40 and older. Furthermore, I will be age 50 in 23 days. Here are my race stats:

  • Finish time was 1:53:40
  • Average pace 8:52 / mile
  • Average heart rate 150 bpm

According to Training Peaks, I ran the Long Haul 100 Furlongs 2024 race in the following 80/20 heart rate zones:

  • Zone 1 (112 – 126 bpm) 0:00:10
  • Zone 2 (126 – 140 bpm) 0:03:39
  • Zone X (140 – 147 bpm) 0:25:34
  • Zone 3 (147 – 155 bpm) 1:19:33
  • Zone Y (155 – 158 bpm) 0:19:53
  • Zone 4 (158 – 163 bpm) 0:01:58
  • Zone 5 (163 – 255 bpm) 0:00:12

Thus, I ran 70% of the race in heart rate Zone 3.

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