I finished the JFK 50 miler in 7 hours and 57 minutes, 76th out of approximately 1300 starters. Aside from the first 16 miles over the Appalachian Trail, this is a relatively easy run following the Potomac River along a former tow path for almost one half of the race. But its relative ease allows runners to push it faster without the usual and much useful walking breaks to hike steep hills. This, in turn, results in injuries and a whole set of other problems.
The last 1/2 of this race was not easy for me. Unbeknownst to me, I was overhydrated and low in sodium. I was very hot during a cold day, and this should have served as a clue that I was not sweating enough due to low sodium. But because the day was so cold, I never gave much consideration to my total sodium intake. In any event, I learned something new, though I suffered unnecessarily for 4 hours.
I ran this race in 2005 and gave a colorful description of that
race then. It's funny how four years of trail running experience turns a difficult course into a mild one.
It's now 5 days after this year's race, and I haven't run much since. I've decided to take my break now and allow my body to recover fully for a month before I commence my heavy training for Western States. I had a 50 miler and a 100k scheduled for December; I'll probably pass on both.
For now, it's time to eat, rest, and be merry.