Running My 7th Virginia 24 Hour Ultra Marathon

For the second year in a row, and the third year out of the last four, team Run4Life has won the team competition of the Virginia 24 Hour Run for Cancer.  In the process this team set a new course record with 914 miles!  Congratulations team, I could not be prouder!

2016teamrun4lifeA(2016 Edition of Run4Life,
Runners: Andrea, Jessica, Genno, Paul, Ally
Me, Steve J, Steve D, Steve S, Hank, David, Shannon
Crewed by: Eric, Jennifer, Joshua, Charles and Kimmy)

My first Ultra Marathon was the 2009 Virginia 24 Hour Run For Cancer.  Little did I know seven years later this event would become a staple of my running calendar.

24hourrun history

(7 years of running, 34.25 miles to my 500 mile jacket)

When I first entered this race in 2009 I had three full marathons under my belt but had no idea of what I had gotten myself into.  I also had no idea how to go about running an ultra.  Likewise, I knew very few local runners and mostly considered myself a lone wolf runner.  Seven years later and I don’t want to say I’m an expert, but I’ve learned a lot about ultra running along the way.  I’ve also met hundreds of great people in the running community and have had the pleasure and honor to be the captain of Team Run4Life for four years.

The 2016 edition of this race would be the first time I would go into the day not focused on my running plan and or big mileage numbers I set for myself.  12 days after this race I will be headed west to the Grand Canyon to run Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim.

The tentative goals for my seventh running of this event would be to run the opening 20 miles as a long training run.  So focused on “ultra training” It had been a while since my last “marathon pace” 20 miler.  I wanted to see where I stood in respect to being in “marathon shape.”  After a slower first lap with the congestion of the 24 hour start I hit the 20 mile mark at 3 hours and 12 minutes into the day.  My time was not as fast as I wanted but this gave me a starting point for my marathon training.  The second goal for the day was to run a minimum of 50 miles.  With the R2R2R adventure hanging off in the distance I did not want to put up big numbers and compromise my legs.  I ended the day with 59.5 miles after pacing Paul and Genno for their last laps.  3rd and most importantly I wanted to get  through this event without getting injured or blistered.  On a near perfect day I accomplished all three goals, now on to Grand Canyon and our R2R2R outing.

2016VA24hourrun(Paul and I early on)

BONUS:  Without the pressure of my own plan hanging over my head I was able to chill out enjoying time around the camp and running with my team members throughout the day.  That time with these inspiring people was invaluable.

2016run4lifegroupa(Myself, Hank, Andrea, David and Steve)

201624hourrunpacers(Eric, Myself, Andrea and Joshua)

A Big Thank You goes out to Eric, Jennifer, Joshua, Charles and Kimmy who selfishly gave of their time to help us around camp, run errands, pace runners during the day/night and feed us!  They could have been doing any number of other things, but the choose to support us as we ran around, and around and around.

Eric wrote a great post about his experiences at the 24 Hour Run, check it out here.

201624hourruncamp(Run4Life Base Camp)

Team Totals:
Steve S, 135 miles, Race Champion
Genno, 92 miles 3rd overall female
Paul, 89.75
Andrea, 84.5
Shannon, 78.75, new distance PR
Ally 78.75, new distance PR
David, 75
Hank, 60
Steve J, 60  new distance PR
Brian (Me), 59.50
Jessica, 50
Steve D, 50, Thanks for stepping in at the last minute!
Team Run4Life = 914.25 miles 

2016 Photo cache
Read about the Super Seniors who ran this race in 2016
2015 Race Report
2014 Race Report
2009 Race Report

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