Help! I’m Running An Ultra Marathon

Although I may have signed up to run this race back in December, it’s been more of an idea; an intangible thing that I set out to do.


Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realize that on June 1 I actually will be running 50k.

In less than two months (I’m not even going to look at the number of days) I’m going to *ahem* willingly run for > 5 hours.

What was I thinking?! <– I’m mostly joking here. Mostly.

With this race becoming reality, I’ve realized I need to consider the logistics of the race.

When I ran Disney, I didn’t bother with a fuel belt because there were water stations every mile. I never worried about getting thirsty or dehydrated as the longest I’d go without a stop was 15 or so minutes.

Looking at the course map for the Wild Rose Brewery 50k (can I just say how freaking awesome it is that a brewery is the sponsor for the 50k?! LOVE IT!! I’ll take a Velvet Fog at the finish line please 🙂 ) there are points where I’ll go upwards of 4k (that’s 2.5 miles) without a water stop, and there are only 2 gel stations on course as well.

This means I should probably have some sort of a water and fueling plan.

Or something.

In the past I’ve carried my 3-bottle fuel belt, but even that wasn’t enough to get me through my marathon, so I’ve been considering a camel back.

Someone suggested one to me a few months ago and I scoffed because I’m not sure if I’d enjoy running with something possibly sloshing on my back. But, it’s likely better to have something sloshing around than to get dehydrated and not finish. So I’m considering one, but I have no idea what one to get. Which is really the entire point of this post.

As a first time ultra marathoner, what do I need to know?

I’ve heard of people using real food for fuel when running ultras but I’m not sure if my stomach would be able to stomach it. In the past I’ve been fine with gels, but how many do I need? How much water do I need?

Aside from water and fuel, what do I need to consider?

As Dean Karnazes will be speaking at the expo (along with Bart Yasso!) I’m sure I could ask questions then, but I’m asking them now because I want to be prepared.

I’m running the Calgary Police Half Marathon on April 27 as a training run and I’d like to try out a camel back at that point to see if I like it or hate it. I also hope it doesn’t snow.

What the heck do I wear?!

The Calagary Marathon has also thrown in a bit of a wrench buy offering three amazing prizes for the three best dressed runners. Since the race is celebrating the 50th anniversay of the marathon, people have been asked to dress in costume.

Now, I’m uncertain if I will dress up for a 50k (that’s a long freaking time to run in costume) but I also think it could be fun, and anything to add a smile on my face when running would be a good thing. So if anyone has any (non-chafing) suggestions for a costume, I’m all ears!

Tell me: Please give me any and all advice you have! I’m a total n00b at the ultra marathon!


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