Race Team Member Olaf Wasternack is preparing for his first attempt at the 24 Hour National Championships. Follow his journey below and read part 1 HERE.
Last weekend was the Loonies Midnight Marathon, which served for me as a major mile stone on the way to NC24. The race was ideal because the conditions in terms of weather, and the fact that it started at midnight made it harder than a regular marathon.
I went into the race with 50 easy miles in my legs and felt pretty overall pretty good. That feeling was quickly in doubt as the start was super fast and I found myself as 6th after the first mile without having the top 4 in sight. After that initial shock I went quickly into default mode and settled for a 6:30 pace. After all placing wasn’t as important as executing the race well and delivering a solid run. The following miles felt great and getting plenty water was easy, as there were plenty of water stations that were staffed with lots of volunteers. Also, at the finish line volunteers handed out ice cold towels! The miles came easy for a while and I started to reel some people in and by mile 17 I moved up to 2nd place. I decided to keep my pace but was hoping I can move a little closer to first without pushing too hard and risking a blowing up. When I started my last lap I was told that he is a little over 2 minutes ahead. I figured there was still a chance and sure enough with 1.5 miles to go I could close the gap – my patience paid off. I tried to turn the pace up a little to make sure that I get some distance between us. I was fortunate and it worked and I was able to finish in 2:56 and get 1st overall. Once again I learned how important patience and knowing how far you can push without overdoing is.
Big thanks to Lynn Burnett and the other organizers of this race. It was very well done and I hope I can do it again next year. Also, big thanks to Race Team Member Yong Kim, who in addition to crewing for Robert Peetree also helped me out tremendously.
After passing this milestone I am looking forward to significantly increase mileage over the next few weeks. Yes, it is hot, but I see that as an opportunity to work harder on my goal. I figure that training in ideal conditions also only prepares you for ideal conditions.
See you out there, The Olaf.