Uhwarrie 2015

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(Photo courtesy Shannon — hope to add more over the coming days!)

I was lucky enough to get a spot in the Uhwarrie 40 miler, after missing out last year.  It’s one of my all time favorite races, so I was quite happy.  Training went well, and after battling a relatively minor head cold/sinus issue for a week to 10 days prior, I was ready to run.  Or as ready as you can be, for Uhwarrie!

Kelly and I had to get up at 3:45 a.m., make coffee, and head out the door to pick up Heather by 4:30, and drive to the check in point.  (We already had everything packed and breakfast made, all ready to go.)  Check-in was once again at Eldorado Outpost, a short 15 minute shuttle ride to the start.  I checked in, got my number, put my gear together, and rode over.  I had just enough time to hit the port-o-pot one last time, take off my warm clothes, and be ready to go.

Uhwarrie starts with a killer climb in the 1st mile, and there’s a balance to be found in going out just hard enough to get in front of enough people so that you are not stuck in a congo-line for the 1st few miles, having to expend excess energy in passing there, or going out too hard and blowing up on the 1st hill.  This year I was fortunate to not go out in the top 10 and get sucked into running too much of the 1st hill, but being up front enough to not get behind the pack.  In fact, there seemed to be a split in the top 10-12 runners and the next pack, and I was in the front of the 2nd pack, and all of us where happy to power hike quite a bit.

Beyond that, I’ll cut to the chase.   I felt really good all day, though more so after the 1st 5-7 miles.  Early on, I felt good but not great.  By mile 16 or 17, just after Dennis,  and all the way  through 22 or 23, I felt great and was ready to go!  But I was wise enough to hold back, because I knew what was to come.


I had hopes of a sub 8, which will always be a super SUPER stretch for me, and while I did it once, it would have to be a truly special day to do it again.  I hit the turn in 3:49, after saying to Pinto that 3:45 was necessary to keep our shot at sub 8 alive.  Turns out I ran 8:05 so just about right…  What is a little odd is that my PR is 7:57, and I actually felt better on this 8:05 than on that run.  :-/  Then I had a stretch from 18-26 or so that was pretty rough, and while I came out of it strong, I still don’t know how I pulled off the sub 8.  I’m going to give credit to Spadie, who ran behind me for a good 7 or 8 miles from 30 on or so that year, whereas this year, I was pretty much all alone the last 12 -14 miles, other than passing just one runner.  (I was also worried about Hughes catching me, who had passed me just before the turn, when I was struggling, but whom I passed at 28 or 29…)

Finish line photo:


I’m with AC who wrote this:

It only took 5 attempts, but I understand how to run the Uwharrie 40 now.
Don’t fight it. There are more runnable miles on the trail than I am capable of running anyway, so there is no sense trying to run the hard parts.
Slight incline? Walking that.
Pile of rocks? Walking that.
Steep decent? Walking that.

Here it is a couple of days later, and I feel really good.  I of course had some DOMS, but it’s just about gone now on Tuesday, after the Saturday race.

Here’s some interesting data from Strava.  First up, the map, elevation profile, and splits.  I didn’t have auto splits on, so this is the 1st 20, and then less than 2 minutes at the turn around included in the 2nd 20.  About 23 minutes difference if you don’t count the transition time.  AC actually almost pulled off even splits, which is incredible!

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Here’s there race analysis, which shows the fastest mile, average mile pace, and slowest mile.  That 16:26 at mile 34 killed me!   But that is a heck of a climb, there, covering nearly the whole mile:

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Here are my results over the years:

Year Time Place
2010  7:57 (short course)  30/71
2011  8:50:22  30/88
2012  7:57:17  27/148
2013  8:49:06  33/90
 2015 8:05:07  17/88

All in all a great day, with beautiful weather.  And I hope to find that 5 minutes one day!

Gear review:

  • Altra Superior 2.0 — I LOVE this shoe!  First time in 5 Uhwarrie’s my feet have not felt totally trashed at the end.
  • Injinji toe socks — zero blisters, one single teeny hotspot under my R big toe
  • Calf sleeves and arm warmers for warmth at the start – ripped off the arm warmers at the turn but kept the calf sleeves on, mostly for time considerations.
  • Nike combat compression shorts – these are doing better than under armor for me these days — just about 0 chafing.
  • go-lite shorts — can’t believe this great company is out of business!
  • Icebreaker 200 weight short sleeve top — still my favorite clothing brand!
  • Icebreaker vest — great vest, dropped at the turn.
  • Florida coast to coast buff — still my good luck charm after what, 15 years?
  • 10 oz amphipod handheld…  had some leaking on some legs, so ran out of water once or twice, but not too bad
  • Had an ipod but never broke it out…

Nutrition review:

  • pre-race:  coffee and heavy cream; 1 hard boiled egg, a bit of a plantain pancake I had cooked the night before, but it didn’t turn out very well so I didn’t eat much.  I had brought pemmican to the start but I just didn’t feel hungry and didn’t want to force it down.
  • during the race:
    • 4 Vfuel’s — wish I’d had more, these are my go to on hard efforts!
    • 1 Justin Nutbutter, chocolate hazlenut, had 3 more variations on this, but didn’t feel like eating them at all
    • two dates in coconut flakes – quite good!
    • a few white potatoes with salt from the aid stations
    • two 1/4 banana’s from the aid stations
    • MAPS — BCAA’s, save the legs, maybe 4-5 per hour
    • I drank heed at most of the aid stations
    • one half cup of coke, and maybe 3 half cups of mountain dew (unicorn tears)

I think that’s it — I’m estimating maybe 1200 calories over the 8 hours…

Again, if more photo’s show up, I’ll update this post.

5 thoughts on “Uhwarrie 2015

  1. Thanks for sharing!! How far do you live from the course? I would like to plan a trip up to learn the course and it sounds like you are pretty familiar with it……any interest in doing some training this fall? If not, are you able to point me towards the start location of the race 😉

    Any feedback is GREATLY appreciated!

    Jim Hall

    • Check the directions PDF on the logistics page of the web site: http://www.uwharriemountainrun.com/logistics/

      It has details to the start, as well as the various road crossings, which allows you to do smaller sections of the course in training. Are you planning on the 8, 20, or 40?

      I’ll probably hit the course in late December or early January for 25-30 miles, but probably not before then — it’s a 90 minute drive for me!

      It’s really my favorite race!

  2. Pingback: 2015 Strava stats | 2sparrows

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