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Stump Jump 50k Trail Run 2021

  • Monday, October 04 2021 @ 01:39 PM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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On October 2, 2021 I ran the 20th Annual Stump Jump 50k trail race at Signal Mountain, Tennessee (just north of Chattanooga). I did something very different for this race compared to other races... I ate a lot of sweets (and consumed a lot of electrolytes) rather than trying to be a "low carb athlete" during the race. It paid off pretty big! I generally felt good through the whole race, had a strong last few miles, and even felt good afterwards. I'm normally a cramping mess after marathons and longer so this is a great personal discovery.



The night before the race I went to bed early and had a great sleep. Morning breakfast was much larger than my usual cup of coffe. I ate a few spoons of greek yogurt, a banana, and a bowl of oatmeal with chia seeds.

Race fuel, electrolytes, and water setup - I used GU and SaltStick caps, half with caffeine, half without. I carry the SaltStick caps in a flask of honey and water. The "pills" don't tend to dissolve in the bottle, I usually end up shaking it out of the bottle into my mouth after consuming the liquid.

Duke's Shorty Sausages are a real food option but I need to practice with those more. When huffing and puffing up a steep incline it is hard not to get a piece of food down the wrong pipe and then having to deal with coughing for a few minutes. Dried dates also make a great "real food" calorie option for me.

I also carried some granola with me decided not to eat it.

For water I carry two soft flasks in my race vest and a waist pack water bottle.



I put the following in my drop bag so I could quickly swap in calories and water quickly:

* two soft water flasks
* one bottle of honey and water mixture with a SaltStick cap
* dried dates and shorty sausages
* Two GU gel packets.

I probably took in at least 700 calories total during the race.

I also had an extra hand-held water bottle in the drop bag just in case, but didn't use it. Aid station staff were doing a good job of filling my waist belt water bottle and the stations were frequent enough. I didn't refill any of the soft flasks during the race, I just changed them out at my drop bag.

The course was pretty well-marked with pink tape and signs. I did go off-course at one point, and there were a few intersections at creek crossings where it wasn't totally obvious where to go once passing the pink survey tape, but overall I have no complaints. Having never been on these trails before, I needed to develop the habit of looking for the trail markings frequently.



What else can I say about the race? There were many runnable sections, but lots of rocky parts too. And some very steep climbs. I ran conservatively at the beginning, letting quite a large number of people get ahead of me during the first section of pavement, telling myself that I would see these runners at mile 18. Or 28. Sure enough from about mile 14 to the end I didn't get passed by anyone (except one person I passed before an aid station who passed me right back afterwards). One by one I moved my way up in the field. I didn't really take time to "enjoy the views" during the race but the course has a lot of neat features (overlooks, the mushroom rock, the bridges, some creeks and waterfalls, rock gardens, various different forest types, ...). After leaving the the Suck Creek aid station for the second time I heard cheers as a runner behind me entered the aid station. There is long steep climb after this and by the time I got to mushroom rock the runners behind were right on my tail. I felt the pressure and started pouring it on, able to carry a pretty strong finish thru to the end. A number of people were mostly walking by this point so I passed a few more people running the final trail section around Signal Mountain High School.

I popped out of the woods to the sound of cheers and happily came across the finish line. The event photographers got some good pictures:


Photo Cred:
Ryan Lay / @rtldemonstrations


Photo Cred:
Ryan Lay / @rtldemonstrations






I am very happy with my finish of 13th overall.





T-shirt, medal, beer cups, Topo Terraventure 2 shoes:



My Topo Terraventure shoes were fantastic, they actually have more grip on slippery rocks and roots than any of my Inov-8 shoes, and offer a lot of protection while not being "too much shoe".

The Stump Jump is a very nice event, I would do this one again!
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