Umstead 100 Questions – Ultra Marathon Running, Racing, and Training


Questions I received during the build up to the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance run.

Umsteadbuckles

Q.  How long will it take you?  A.  The event time limit is 30 hours, my A goal is to finish.  B goal is sub 26 hours and C goal if all the stars aligned and God looks down on me sub 24 hours. <<Follow Up – I finished in 22 hour 51 minutes and 5 seconds>>

Q.  Will you “run” the entire time?  A.  I do plan to keep moving the entire time, I will use the same 1 mile run/2 minute walk pacing that worked so well at the Graveyard 100k << Follow Up - Plan worked like a charm, although it was hard to run for a solid mile because of the number of hills, we alter the plan to run the flats and downhills, power walk the hills>>

Q.  Why?  A.  I’m not really sure other than…it’s there.  Once I ran my third marathon…something drove me to run my first Ultra.  After a number of successful races at lengths up to 75 miles, and watching a few running friends’ complete their 100 milers…the distance, like a sweet voice, called me. <<Follow Up - It’s in my blood now>>

Q.  Will you run others?  A. I hope so, but ask me in a few weeks. <<Follow Up - YES>>

Q.  What’s the longest distance you have run prior to this event?  A.  Longest race distance was the 100k (63 miles), longest run was during a 24 Hour event where I logged 75 miles in 18 hours.

Q.  What does the course look like?  A. 8 laps around Umstead State park.  The course is along a converted dirt road, which now serves as a running, biking trail through the Park. The trail width varies between 10 and 15 feet and the footing is excellent. There is no single track trail on the course. All creek crossings are on permanent bridges.  The course’s surface is primarily fine packed powdered, granite screenings. This is an outstanding running surface.  The course is rolling topography with a total of 8000 feet of climb over the 100 miles (1000 feet per loop).

umsteadmap (2)

umsteadmap

Q.  Will you finish.  A. YES

Q.  How do you run at night?  A.  I’ll have a headlamp on and carry a hand held flash light.

Q.  How/what do you eat?  A.  On the run/walk.  I’ll plan my major eating while on a walk break…but I will keep moving.  I’ll also eat lite snacks all day long.  Every time I pass an aid station or my crew spot I will take in food of some sort.

Q.  Will you win?  A.  Yes, I’ll place first in the Brian Burk Division.  No, there are some fast runners out there…I’ll be happy/honored to share the same course with them.

Q.  Are you nervous?  A.  Funny, but no…I have a sense of calm about this weekend…I’ve done the work, I’ve logged the miles….now it needs to get done. << Follow Up - I wasn’t until they asked all rookies to stand up at the race briefing, then panic set it, I looked around wondering if I should be there>>

100

Q.  Where does your mind go while your body moves?  A.  I pray a lot, and I think about everything and nothing all, at the same time.

THANK YOU for all the support and well wishes.  I know I’ve been posting a lot about this run/challenge.  I’m sure I may have bugged a few of you BUT it was part of my plan.  I figured if I told everyone I knew about my goal of finishing this race, then the peer pressure alone might just keep me running when my body or my mind may want to quit.  I can’t imagine posting a DNF after talking up this run as much as I have.  SO THANK YOU for sticking with me….it means a lot to me.  I Hope I Make You Proud…. <<Follow Up - Thank you George, Ben, Tina, Paul, Nathan and everyone who put on this event>>

Thank You Michele for again supporting me, Jessica and Anthony…I hope in some way I make you proud out there.  Hanna, I miss you.  I LOVE you all!


  • Paul Starling

    I love the follow up to all the questions! I really like the one about it being in your blood now!

    • Brian Burk

      Thanks Paul…
      Looking forward to 2015.