Race: Coldwater Rumble 52 miler

Runner: Coach Steven Ovah

Race Date: 01/16/2021

Location: Goodyear, Arizona

Results: 3rd Place Overall

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/4632404162

coldwater rumble aravaipa
Photo: Aravaipa Running

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

I enjoyed the looped course, two 20 mile loops and one 12 mile loop for the 52 mile. I enjoyed encouraging other runners, getting encouragement from others and seeing everyone out there pushing themselves. I also enjoyed the competitive aspect of all of the aravaipa running events. People come to these races for a hard run with some friendly competition. I also did enjoy this race having so many race distances to choose from and everyone being out on the course together. These are the race distances: 4 miles, 20k, 20 mi, 52k, 52 mile, 100 mi. There were some fast runners out there from the shorter distances that pulled me along at times and got me through some rough patches.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

The weirdest thing about this race for me was how quickly it went by for me. I didn’t know the miles between aid stations and that helped me not focus too much about how many miles I was running. I didn’t know that I had past 50k or that the first 20 mile loops was over that quick. First time running this event and I didn’t study the mileage points “not something I advise as a coach”. But ignorance about mileage and course helped me this time.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

The highlight of the race was coming through each lap and having my parents there to greet me every time. I understood that rough patches come but, they usually pass if I can just maintain a good attitude and I believe I did a good job of staying positive through the rough times. Keeping my emotions in check when I felt like I was slowing down.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Helping the next runner by encouragement and positive words helps take the focus off of me and my misery during the rough times. Keep a good attitude and finding joy even through the suffering and pain is when big breakthroughs in my races seems to happen. I eventually get out of the funk I’m in and I find myself feeling strong and confident again. Help encourage others and be nice to your crew.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Do not take too long during the aid stations. I find that I only need a brief stop to refill my bottles, grab a quick bit and fuel up before I am ready to roll again. When I sit down for a few minutes I get tight really quick and I become more and more reluctant to get up out of the chair. I cool down really quick.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The few miles have the steepest climbing. Not too crazy of a climb but the most on the course. The rest of the course is rolling with rocks all over the trail, Two twenty mile loops and one twelve mile loop. The heat kicks in around midday, keep electrolytes and hydration levels topped off.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

It’s a very scenic course. Cacti, mountains, washes, and the course is away from the big city and feels remote. Nice sunset right as you’re climbing is done and the sun is coming up.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

It’s not the hardest course I’ve ever run but it is a bit technical at some areas and does have some small climbs and gradual climbs. The rocks on the trail are always the challenge for me. Some of the trail is smooth and really runable. I’d give it about a 6.5 out of 10 on the course difficulty scale.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Aravaipa events are always well organized and have a good atmosphere. Aid stations are always set up and stocked by the time you get there and there are various types of goodies there.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Competition is always there at the aravaipa events. All races have a good amount of runners who come to run hard and drop the hammer.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Coldwater Rumble is held at Estrella Mountain Regional Park in Goodyear, Arizona. The 52 mile was not hard to get into and I registered somewhat close to race day. Camping was available at race site but I always prefer to book a room. There are plenty of good hotels in the surrounding areas of Avondale, Tolleson and even Phoenix. Race site is about a 30 minute drive from Pheonix area.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

GU gels were available upon request. Had pancakes, pb &j’s, bean burritos, snacks, and salt caps were all available at each aid station.
Weather and typical race conditions

Perfect cool weather in the morning and hot mid-day. The 52 mile started at 6:45 and was cool but not cold. The heat hits hardest around 1-4pm.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

Headlamp is a must if you’re running the 52 or 100 miler. Those distances start first and sunrise is not until 7:30am. I am glad that I always pack a headlamp with my race gear.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

If you know the area, there are a few spots toward the beginning where family members can park and go see you run. My Dad was able to drive to a nearby rodeo arena and watch me during the first 2-3 miles from headquarters.

How’s the Swag?

  • Awards to the top 3 male & female finishers at each distance.
  • All finishers will receive a finisher pint glass.
  • Points earned in the Desert Runner Trail Series.
  • 52 Milers will receive a unique award from Aravaipa Artworx.
  • Buckles to 100 mile finishers!

Steven Ovah is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about him or to work with Coach Steven, check out his coaching page.