In less than two weeks time I plan on running a distance I never imagined, 100 miles. My attempt will be to tackle this run in less than 24 hours.
The 5,577-acre Umstead State Park, the venue for this race, is located within an area known as the Research Triangle of North Carolina. The area gets its name from the triangle formed by the area's three major research universities: the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Duke University in Durham, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The state park is a pleasant southern pine forest oasis in this rapidly growing region.
The website for the race has this to say: "The Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run is designed with several basic concepts in mind. It will help new ultra runners to bridge the quantum leap from 50 mile runs to the mountainous and more rigorous demands of most 100 mile endurance runs. It will allow those who have difficulty finishing 100 miles in 24 hours or just finishing 100 miles the opportunity to do so when severe topography, heat, and getting lost are removed as major obstacles. The seasoned runner will find this to be an excellent training run for the Massanutten 100, Leadville 100, Mohican 100, Watsatch 100, Western States 100, Vermont 100 and other 100-mile mountain runs. The Umstead 100 can serve many purposes, depending on your level of development and personal goals."
I have read several race reports on the Umstead, and I have set a strategy for the successful completion of a sub 24 hour completion time. The course layout for Umstead is a 12.5-mile circuit shaped like a balloon on a string with a spur out and back off the string. The surface is primarily fine packed powder white granite screenings wide enough to accommodate vehicle traffic. There is not a flat stretch on the entire loop. It has a total of 8,000 feet of climb over the 100 miles, 8 circuits.
My game plan is to run the first 50 miles in 10 hours, and the last 50 miles in 14 hours or less. I will also monitor my calorie, and salt intake. Hydrating and keeping a balanced level of electrolytes will be essential for me on such a distance.