I crossed off another goal on my ultrarunning list this past Saturday, 50 miles is in the books. The stats? 29 starters 21 finishers and I was 10th with a time of 11:05:13 at the Baker Trail UltraChallenge. The weather for the race was perfect at the start but got a bit warm by afternoon. I utilized the strategy of just running aid station to aid station to reduce the mental challenge of thinking about running the whole distance. This worked well for me, I set my watch (Forerunner 205) to only show the lap time, lap avg pace, and previous lap avg pace. I then would hit the lap button when exiting an aid station and just concentrate on the time I had estimated I should run to the next aid station. If I ran as estimated I should have finished in 11:15+ the time at the aid stations. So I did better than I estimated which was great as far as I am concerned. I ran pretty conservatively until the second to last aid station (about 7.8 mi to go) when I decided to pick the pace up a bit since I felt I had more than enough fuel left in the tank to finish at my current pace. I passed 4 people during my push to the finish, I feel kind of bad passing people at that point because I know how long a day its been for all of us and getting passed close to the finish can be somewhat of a bummer, so I always pulled up slow and walked for a while giving them plenty of chance to stay ahead of me if they had the energy to, some kept up with me once I passed but usually when I stopped to walk on a hill they would start to fade since I have a pretty quick walking pace that I have been cultivating all summer. The end of the race was perfect in that I was coming up the final hill before you turn down the last road that turns into the farm and was thinking about the finish and how it would be kind of anti-climactic since the road and farm lane are all about the same level so no fast downhill finish. But low and behold as I can up to within site of the lane to turn down that leads to the farm/finish there is a sign that points into the field as the route to the finish. Not only that, the route runs up to the top of a hill in the pasture, yeah!, so I run up the entire hill, and the path turns and makes a steep decent to the barn/finish of the race, so I got my fast running finish. It was sweet I must say. My thanks to the RD and volunteers of this race, I had a nice time and will be back next year to get the next piece of the 3 part finish metal on the 3rd leg of the Baker Trail.