First Endurance runner Calum Neff toed the line at The Cowtown 50k Ultra running race after a lengthy break in racing, following setting the Stroller Marathon World Record in October and came home with another victory.
Neff had the Ft.Worth, Texas 50k race scheduled as his first “A” race of the season following a break from running to recharge. Having started back to training in January, the weeks leading into the race were far from typical for an ultra runner. Neff explained, “Work has been extremely busy which included leaving my typical office job as an operations manager and fill-in for some guys in the field which required a couple hour helicopter out to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. The first day there I was able to run a 1:42 progression long run on a treadmill inside a shipping container before I was kicked off for keeping people awake below me. Then work began, including lots of stairs up and down the drilling rig with equipment, and I slept a total of 8 hours over 3 days – but long hours on your feet is perfect ultra-training.”
To fuel the 50km effort, Neff outlined his nutrition explaining “The week of the race I started seeing the bottom of my OptygenHP bottle so I knew I had timed my build-up use of it for a good duration in addition to the MultiV-PRO every day too. The key to both of those is I was showing up on race day healthy. On race morning I followed my standard plan, two hours before the race I sipped on one serving of EFS finishing it one hour before start at which point I actually cut back on liquids slightly, other than some sips of water. I carried a handheld with a high concentrate version of EFS that I could sip throughout the race and supplement with water on the course. Post-race there was no protein to be found so I had mixed up a vanilla Ultragen shake.”
With multiple race distances starting together, Neff was able to sit in with the elite pack of marathoners (primarily East Africans) for the first 10k, aiding him through the strong headwind and separating him from the rest of the 50km racers (a field of 190 men) early in the race. Neff stated “I ran solo for the rest of the race trying to run as close to 3 hours as possible. I continued to run most my mile splits between 5:30 and 5:45 feeling very efficient.” By the end of the race, Neff opened up over an 11-minute advantage on 2nd place John Finn to win his first race of the 2017 season.
Accompanied to the race by his 4-year old, 1-year old and 8-month pregnant wife, Neff said, “My favorite part of the race was running by my family at mile 10 and seeing them at the finish. This win was for my daughter Holland’s 2nd birthday so it gave a little something extra to celebrate on the day.”
“It was great to be back to racing all-out again. When you set a record (whether it be personal or world) or take some time off, you never really know if you can get back to that level of fitness again.”
“Now I can try to ride this fitness through the spring and into my next goal race at the Wings for Life World Run”
The Cowtown Ultra 50k
Ft Worth, TX
1. Calum Neff 3:09:35
2. John Finn 3:21:13
3. Craig Ottman 3:26:04