First Endurance Runner Jacob Puzey Cruises to Victory in the Mt.Hood 50

Photo Credit Paul Nelson

Photo Credit Paul Nelson

The Mt.Hood 50 in Clackamas Lake, OR on July 11th challenged runners to 50 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail with 5,630 ft of elevation gain and offered majestic views of Mt.Hood along the way.  The 2013 record holder, Jacob Puzey, came to the race focused on running his race without getting caught up in the talk of winning  and managed to run away with the win and better his previous course record.

The Mt.Hood 50 in Clackamas Lake, OR on July 11th challenged runners to 50 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail with 5,630 ft of elevation gain and offered majestic views of Mt.Hood along the way.  The 2013 record holder, Jacob Puzey, came to the race focused on running his race without getting caught up in the talk of winning  and managed to run away with the win and better his previous course record.

Puzey’s strategy to lead from the get go and hold a controlled pace proved to be a well calculated effort. “I led from the gun and just tried to run within myself.  The first few miles I ran with Jeff Ruhl from Portland, OR, but gradually pulled away as we went through the first aid station.  He was carrying a bottle and I had all of my liquids in a pack so he had to stop a bit more than I. We ran by a couple of mountain lakes under the shadows of Mt. Hood and a pretty dense fog on the Pacific Crest Trail so I didn’t really know where I was in relation to any of the other runners until we reached the first turnaround at mile 14. When I got to the turnaround I was in the lead, but the next runner, Rob Russel, was right there when I turned around. I tried to take the climbs easy and stride out on the flats and descents.  I’m about a foot taller than Rob so I was able to put a bit of a gap on him on the long downhills.  When we came through the start/finish area before heading out to the second turnaround I was told I had about a three minute lead.  I ran through all of the aid stations other than the two turnarounds and just relied on the nutrition I was carrying and/or could snag as I passed the aid stations. I ended up hiking a couple of the climbs so that I could catch my breath and regroup. Then it was just a matter of using whatever momentum I had to get to the finish. Fortunately, it was downhill toward the finish so I was able to hold of those following me.”

Photo Credit Paul Nelson

Photo Credit Paul Nelson

Photo Credit Paul Nelson

Photo Credit Paul Nelson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surpassing his 2013 record time of 6:12:25 by 3:13 was a feat Puzey attributes in part to his game plan to be mostly self sufficient throughout the 50 miles. “When I race I try to be as self sufficient as possible and carry what I’ll need so that I don’t have to spend a lot of time at aid stations.”  While Puzey views nutrition as an important piece of the puzzle every day, dialing it in on the days leading into and on race day were paramount. “In terms of nutrition, I try to keep it simple – a steady stream of sugars, salts, and starches seems to do the trick.  First Endurance has that dialed in so that I don’t have to worry about it.  I just eat & drink.” Puzey added “My overall nutrition plan for the race was to consume as many calories and electrolytes as possible as efficiently as possible without upsetting my stomach. I woke up about an hour before the race and had a couple Larabars with Trail Butter and washed them down with some EFS-PRO Lemon Water. I wore a Nathan Hydration pack for the first 28 miles with 2 liters of EFS-PRO Lemon Water in it and sipped it at least every 5 minutes. I also nursed flasks of EFS Liquid Shot aiming to consume one every two hours. When I went through aid stations I usually grabbed a handful of gummy bears and potato chips to mix things up. I completed the 2 liters of EFS-PRO Lemon Water at about mile 27 with a mile to go before I’d switch out the packs. I picked up another Nathan Hydration pack with 2 liters of EFS-PRO Lemon Water in the bladder and two bottles of iced Coke up front. I quickly downed the Coke before the next aid station to reduce the weight and get in some quick calories. I ditched the empty bottles at the aid station and then continued with EFS Lemon Water for the next 10 miles. At the final turnaround with about 11 miles to go I ate two slices of watermelon, more gummy bears, and chips and finished the last few miles drinking Coke.”

“For me, finding a balance between family, work, running, and everything is else in life is the key to longevity.  I’m not getting any younger, so I try to not to hammer my training, but rather do what I can and need to do and be ok with that. ”    

Puzey set a new course record of 6:09:12, followed by Rob Russell in second 6:27:26 and Tyler Green in 3rd 6:34:50.
“Fortunately, things came together enabling me to stack my training and nutrition together for a solid effort.” 
Next month on August 11, together, Jacob and his brother are scheduled to tackle the Trans Rockies Run  (https://www.transrockies-run.com) , a 6-day, 120 mile team race with 20,000 ft of elevation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB6RW8RsS8Y) .
Photo Credit Paul Nelson

Photo Credit Paul Nelson