Ultimate Runner 2014

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Last Saturday, I competed in the Ultimate Runner race, a race unlike any I’ve done. You are assigned a heat and are seeded based on your predicted mile time. The event was held at 4:30 PM a park by my house, with four events on the track followed by a cross-country 5K as the sun sets. This was the order of events:

  • 1 mile
  • 400 meter
  • 800 meter
  • 100 meter
  • 5K
And, if you don’t finish all the events, they burn your race shirt at the after party! They started the event with the scattering of ashes fro last year’s unearned shirts. 🙂
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I was in the 4th heat…and the only girl in my heat. Do you see me? 🙂 There were 9 heats, I think, and the first heat had 0 females, the second had 3, the third had 0 and the fourth had me. The other heats after that had more females, but we definitely need to get some more ladies out to this event! There were way more guys than girls. 

IMG 6529You are awarded points based on how you finish in your heat and also compete for best overall times. My heat had numbers 28-50 and I was #48, so I was seeded as one of my slowest in my heat. But I felt good about my performance overall that day!

I was last in the mile for the first two laps and then surged on the final two because I felt so strong and ended up passing 5 or 6 guys.

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But then I got destroyed in the 400m and was feeling discouraged. I came in dead last! I tried to focus on my own time since I had just gone into this race for fun, but it was hard not to think about how I placed. 🙂 That event was soooo hard for me. 

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I did better on the 800. I wasn’t dead last and I felt stronger on that distance. And then there was the 100m. hahaha oh man. I was soooo slow on that compared to everyone else. I was so paranoid about tearing a hamstring; I’d heard stories of other runners doing that on the 100m and they weren’t able to run the 5K. So I tried to be careful. And, I’m just not a crazy fast sprinter! 

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One runner named Jack was recognized for running every single year since the race started. This was his  28th Ultimate Runner, and he’s now 78. It was so amazing. 

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It was fun to see everyone’s different strengths because they definitely were revealed through the different events. I’ve got more endurance in me than speed! It’s funny, I’d never thought of a mile or 800 as endurance but all the distance running I do was an obvious benefit to me when talking to some other runners who never run anything other than short sprints.

These were my times!

  • 1 mile – 5:58 
  • 400 m – 73.7 
  • 800 m – 2:47.4 
  • 100 m: 16.8 
  • 5K – 21:49 (only about a minute off my PR which I felt awesome about given the cross-country course and considering everything I’d run before!)

I ended up doing well, and came in 4th overall female! They gave out awards for the top 5 females, so I got an awesome beer stein! And how awesome are the 4.91 stickers? No one’s shirt was burned this year! One guy blew out his calf on the 400–the second event!!–but he hobbled through everything else to finish and earn his shirt.

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The most important part though? I had fun! I didn’t really have any expectations going into it other than to have fun and I did that! Can you see the smile on my face? 🙂 

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Thanks for my friend Alena for capturing this! (And the other two pictures which are obviously better quality than my iPhone photos!) I didn’t know she was taking this photo, but I know exactly what event it was. It was the 100m and I was laughing to myself about how funny it was trying to sprint super fast. 🙂

Thanks to all the volunteers and the running community who came out to cheer! It was a great day!

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    14 responses to “Ultimate Runner 2014”

    1. What a cool event! I would totally sign up for something like this if we had it in our area. I love unique races like this.

    2. i too would do something like this. it’s all about the fun element for me these days.

    3. Teri, you were great at Ultimate! I thought I recognized you from years ago at the first Round Peak Vineyard race (I’m Heather, but don’t expect you to remember that). You have become a very fast runner!

      I’m in TCTC, as flyer editor and would love to have an article of different perspectives from Ultimate Runner. Yours would be perfect as a first timer. Please let me know if you are interested.

      Glad your experience was a good one! That is a very tough event where earning the t-shirt takes on a new meaning. It was my first as well.
      Thanks Teri.
      [email protected]

    4. Holy cow that sounds like such a fun event! I had no idea Winston had that!!!
      I think I would absolutely die my truck work equals, well, nothin haha

    5. You look so tiny compared to all those guys… I wouldn’t worry too much about getting beat in the sprints, think of how long their legs are 🙂 Speaking of legs, yours look killer in that sprinting photo!

    6. oh my gosh, what a fun race! that’s totally something i would be into, and i hate running. but sprinting is my jam. dang, you are one speedy lady! that’s a super fast mile, and to run that 5k so quick after all the other stuff.. bravo!

    7. What a cool event! I’m not a great runner but I think this is something my sister would love. So glad you talked about it!

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