Jacob Puzey recaps his day en route to setting a new course record and winning the Canandian Ultra 50K Road Championships:
The race started out fast as it served as the national championships for both the Half Marathon and the 50K. The half marathoners, marathoners, and ultrarunners all started together. I went out with the marathoners and tried to run about 2:30 pace through the marathon in hopes that I might be able to slip under 3:00 for 50K
A group of friends from Calgary were pushing a young man with mitochondrial disease for the entire marathon with the goal of running under 3:00 hours. My hope was to catch them as we all ran toward the finishing chute so that Evan (the young man in the wheel chair) would be able to break the tape.
We saw and cheered for one another a few times throughout the course of the race and it appeared as though it might just happen, but ultimately they were too fast – they finished in 2:56 and I fell off sub 3:00 pace with about 10 miles to go.
I still tried to grind out the best performance I could on the day, celebrating the gift it is to simply be able to run. My previous best at the distance was 3:06 from 2016 on the same course when Cal Neff and I pushed one another to a 1-2 finish at the Canadian 50K Road Championships. This year, I was grateful to cross in 3:04 – a new personal best and a new course record.
I hadn’t run that hard or that far in over a year – especially after spending much of the winter sidelined with an injury – so it was nothing short of exhilarating to cross the line with absolutely nothing left in the tank. Words can’t describe how good it felt to literally fall into the arms of my loving and supportive wife, Amy. It would be another 5 minutes or so before I regained enough consciousness to be able to walk and talk without assistance.