millersylvania 50k race report
Photo: Glenn Tachiyama

Race: Millerslyvania 50k

Runner: Keith Laverty

Race Date: 06/16/2018

Location: Olympia, WA

Results: 1st, 3:12:13 (Currently ranked #5 in North America for 2018)

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1642802386

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

  1. The community feel
  2. Ability to run FAST
  3. I loved the finish line area on the lake – it felt amazing to take a quick dip after the race

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

Beware: There’s a deep swampy, flooded section! There’s no avoiding it and your feet will get wet. Though by the 4th and 5th loop, the water splashing up felt extremely refreshing as it gradually got warmer.

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

The pacing! Somewhat unintended as I was aiming to run a cut-down style of race on each of the 5 laps. However, I ended up running very even splits all the way through. I’d say my effort slightly ramped up on each lap to maintain this pace.

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

  • As far as recruiting friends/family to crew for you, remember that it’s an easy sell: They can stay in the same spot near the lake for the race without needing to drive around to different locations.
  • This race suits well for coming off of a road marathon training plan.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Don’t forget about the few hills on this course – it still pays off to incorporate some hillwork into your training. And don’t lose count on how many laps you have left!

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

There aren’t any epic mountain or high sierra views but the trail system itself and the forest sections are pleasant.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Flat and fast course actually – highly unusual for a Rainshadow Running event! However, there’s still about 300′ of gain per loop and you’ll start to feel those hills a bit more toward the latter half. There’s even a paved section that goes right through the main campground. I’d say this a tough course for the mental aspect of running five consecutive loops. “Not again…” : )

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

Rainshadow Running also puts on great events in the PNW – no issues whatsoever on the race logistics.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Not a very deep field and feels almost like a fat-ass style of event. However, this was only the 2nd year for the 50k. Although I took the win, it wasn’t easy. I held off 2nd place, Catlow Shipek of Arizona, by only four minutes. With fast times posted by the men and women this year – I think this event may attract more stronger competition in the future for anyone looking for a fast 50k time or a new PR.

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

Standard aid station fare but if you want anything special, you can always use your crew or pack your own cooler/bag of goodies to use after each lap.

Weather and typical race conditions

Quite ideal. Some overcast on two laps and sunny for the rest of the laps. It gradually got warmer over the course of the morning but there’s a good amount of tree coverage.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Extremely friendly as it’s a 5-loop course, so many opportunities to cheer and crew for your runner.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

4 out of 5 stars – I’d recommend it!