Race Report: Altitude and Heart Rate Profiles of the Virginia Triple

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 …