August 10th, 2007
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Completing the Grand Slam
The finish of the Wasatch Front Endurance Run, and the completion of the Grand Slam. Photo courtesy of Stephen Speckman.
In the summer of 2006, my father, Gary, and I ran the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, a series of the four oldest 100-mile races in the United States (Western States, Vermont, Leadville Trail, and Wasatch Front), becoming the first father-son duo to complete the ‘Slam.
An interesting comparison of these ultramarathons is made by considering their respective altitude profiles, which are shown below. The data were recorded with a Polar S625X heart rate monitor that I wore during each of the races. The data are plotted as a function of time because the watch is not a GPS and there is no mechanism for measuring position or distance. Since the races are all 100 miles in length, plotting the data versus time also illustrates their relative difficulty.
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Altitude versus time
Altitude profiles recorded during the 2006 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.
The races are summarized below:
|Data from the 2006 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning
This of course is an “experiment of one” and your own
mileage finishing times may vary. These races were not especially fast, and the data presented here are fairly “typical” middle-of-the-pack performances. From that standpoint, I hope that these data might be useful for people in preparing for the ‘Slam.
June 12th, 2007
This summer I tried something new: running three 100-mile races in three consecutive weeks. The seed for this endeavor was planted some six months ago, when Mike Day made the observation on Ultra Adventures that the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 (MMT 100), Old Dominion Memorial 100 (ODM 100), and the Old Dominion 100 (OD 100) were scheduled on consecutive weekends in 2007. A unique opportunity to run three 100-mile footraces in the Massanutten mountains of Virginia was too irresistible to pass up. This also posed an interesting challenge, as I have never raced the week after a 100 — never mind doing three 100-mile races back-to-back-to-back.
In this report, I examine the three Virginia 100s — coined the Virginia Triple — by comparing their respective altitude profiles, finishing times, and my physical performance (by analyzing recorded heart rate data). more …