Rockin Choccolocco 50k Race Report – Jill D

rockin choccolocco race reportRace: Rockin Choccolocco 50k

Runner: Jill D

Race Date: 06/02/2018

Location: Heflin, AL

Results: 7:30

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

  1. Pinhoti Series trail races have a great community of runners who are training for Pinhoti 100 and other runners who keep coming back because Todd Henderson, the race director, and his wife have a way to make you feel at home before, during, and after the race.
  2. You are running rolling hills along a series of water systems
  3. It’s small and intimate

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

No complaints

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

The race director starts off every race with the song “sweet Home Alabama”.

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

I went into the race knowing that this wasn’t going to be the race to PR my 50k coming off from injury. So, I really focused on keeping my nutrition up to par and paying attention to my body’s reactions to the heat. For the first time, I ran an ultra distance in extreme humidity without bonking.

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

Prepare for the humidity and heat; I wore a PolarHug and refilled at AS that had ice to spare.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Less salt intake. I was concern about my sodium level and double my S cap intake. My fingers were sausages by the end.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The most important course specific knowledge to know about the race is the climbs are sneaky. You don’t realize it after the turn around. Take easy on the climb to save your legs for the slow climb out.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

This race is gorgeous. It’s not busting with amazing vistas; however, you run along a series of water systems with a copper-like color. As you work your way to the ridge line, you can hear the river running deep in the thick green between two ridges. There are at least 6 creek crossing that are very refreshing to dive into to cool off. There is a mix of rooty sections and some buffed out sections.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Technically no. Rolling hills. Great race for 1st 50k. The only thing tough about the course are the elements.

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

This race is put on by Todd Henderson of the Pinhoti Series. He has the logistics nailed down. His volunteers are always super friendly and willing to go the extra mile for you.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

This is a small race. It’s only been running for 4 or 6 years. There were only 2 women racers who were on any competitive level–Liz Canty and Rebecca Waters.

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.

Registration is wide open. no special requirements. You can stay in a hotel in Heflin; however, I suggest camping out at Coleman Lake Campground. Packet pickup is the evening before at a local wine store.

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

Aid stations had slushies, popsicles and normal AS food and beverages. Everyone was super excited to volunteer. Even the half marathoners stuck around to help out at the aid stations.

Weather and typical race conditions

100% humidity in the low 90’s. Rain is normal, but it held off this year. It rained 2 weeks straight leading up to the race.

rockin choccolocco race reportGear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

This a very hot/humid race. It’s super important to stay on top of your nutrition–electrolytes, etc. A friend of mine ran a solid race till mile 23 and became super disorientated. I experimented with CarboPro, which worked like a champ for me. Chaffing is the worst because the humidity allows so much sickness and sweat. Your clothes are saturated from the get go. Body glide doesn’t do the trick, you a need a more powerful substance.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

There are only 3 aid stations total that are super easy to access via road. The start/finish area is located at Coleman Lake Campground on a peninsula where friends and family can swim/hike while waiting for runner.

How’s the Swag?

I received 2 pieces of swag: super soft shirt with the logo on the it and a sticker with the logo on it. The finish medal is a hand carved wooden medal.

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

3.5 I recommend for first timer 50ks or people heat training.