Sunday, November 08, 2015

JFK 50 Miler pacing times and strategy

[Edit:  Stuff has happened re JFK.  These times may not work anymore, but see below for a link to the REVISED times!] 


This blog entry started as a heads-up/warning about pacing times and strategy for getting through the JFK 50-miler ahead of the cutoffs. The old post was here. But -- from the JFK 50 websiteas of late January 2016, changes are afoot.

The race times you need to qualify for this race have been relaxed.  For years, there were classes of runners, "A, B, & C."  I got in for the 2014 race as a "C" class runner (sub-4 marathon), although a few years prior to that I would have been a "B" runner.  In 2015, they made all qualifying times "C" class (so a 4:15 marathon or men, and a 4:45 marathon for women, plus commensurate times for ultra distances).  

In 2016, they're changing again:



Next.  The days of the 14-hour charity runners are gone.  It's a mass start, and you will get 13 hours total. 




Finally, the fees will gradually increase during the year. 



I'm not sure what to make of this.  I'm looking forward to the JFK 50 organizers explaining their rationale.  Maybe they've been losing runners too much?  Hard to say.  So hard to say that I hesitate to speculate yet.

I'll update this post as I learn more.

Update!

Here's a link to my revised pacing times and cutoffs with the new JFK 50 Miler format.


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The old post was here.

I'm making this a separate entry, and won't publicize it , because I'll just rely on the Google effect to send search traffic here.  If it doesn't get a lot of pageviews, that's fine with me.  I'll just use this for my own reference.  (note:  See below -- changes afoot for JFK)

So.  Pacing times and cutoffs for the JFK 50 Miler -- what is the MINIMUM speed you can run/walk to avoid getting swept off the course?

First things first.  Let's talk pacing.

You CANNOT simply say, "Oh, 50 miles in 12 hours, that's about a 14:20 min/mile, so I can do that!"  Um.  No.  The cutoffs account for the varying terrain in the 3 "portions" of the JFK 50 Miler, and you should read my race report on it if you haven't for a description of those portions.  I'm assuming you're familiar with the race if you've found this blog entry.


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JFK 50 cutoffs and pacing (for standard 12 hour runners)


Start to 9.3 miles:  16:07 minutes per mile pace.
9.3 to 15.5 miles:  19:21 minutes per mile pace.
15.5 to 27.1 miles:  11:38 minutes per mile pace.
27.1 to 34.4 miles:  10:16 minutes per mile pace.
34.4 to 38.4 miles:  15:00 minutes per mile pace.
38.4 to 41.8 miles:  17:38 minutes per mile pace.
41.8 to 46.0 miles:  14:17 minutes per mile pace.
46.0 to 50.2 miles:  14:17 minutes per mile pace.

See anything?  Yup.  Me too.  After hippity-hopping over 15 miles, you need to get off the AT and just CRANK up the speed.  You need to push, press, and run at LEAST to Miracle on 34th Street, and should keep it up to 38 Special.  If you've made it to there, you'll probably be ok for a sub-12 hour finish.
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Finally, here are the pace times for 5am starters (who had 14 hours to complete the course):

Start to 9.3 miles: 22:34 minutes per mile pace.

9.3 to 15.5 miles: 19:21 minutes per mile pace.
15.5 to 27.1 miles: 12:55 minutes per mile pace.
27.1 to 34.4 miles: 14:23 minutes per mile pace.
34.4 to 38.4 miles: 18:45 minutes per mile pace.
38.4 to 41.8 miles: 17:38 minutes per mile pace.
41.8 to 46.0 miles: 14:17 minutes per mile pace.
46.0 to 50.2 miles: 14:17 minutes per mile pace.
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