avalon 50 mile run
11th jan 1997 - los angeles, usa
given that this race was only 7 days after the previous weekendís "epic" 54 miler (86km), and given that i had flown from the uk to the left-hand side of the us, i did not hold out much hope in this race. it started on catalina island, approx 20 miles off the coast of la, meaning that you have to stay on the island the night before the run as it is a 5am start.
the first two hours are run in the dark up into the mountains. its almost all uphill. once day breaks, you get some good views of the coastline of catalina island and of the californian coastline. the course is basically a figure 8 around the island, where the cross-over is at the top of the mountains, and the extremities are at sea-level - so you are constantly going up and down.
unbelievably, i took off at a gentle pace and kept that going all day. the weather was cool and cloudy - i just wore shorts and a long-sleeved thermal with my striders singlet. so many people asked me about sydney and whether i came over just for the race that i almost wished i hadnít worn it.
the last section of the run was about 8km on road going very steeply downhill. i even managed to pick up the pace here and burn a few people off, finishing in 9:06 giving me approx 50th from 180. this was my fastest race in my holiday and so i was well pleased with myself.
one of the best things about this race was staying in a hotel only 20 metres from the start / finish line !