This past Sunday I ran my first 50k, (31 miles) and I LOVED it!! It was Stone Steps 50k located in Mt. Airy Forest, down in Cincinnati. I had no clue what to expect not only was it my first ultra but it was also my first trail race. The weather was nice partly cloudy and upper 60's low 70's most of the way.
During the State to State Half Marathon 3 weeks earlier I met another runner named Derek who was also going be running Stone Steps. We managed to hook up at the starting line and stuck together for about 26 miles keeping each other company along the way. Made it nice to have somebody to pace with and share stories.
I really liked how the pressure was off to keep running full blast and to finish with a good time, like you do at a traditional road race. The coarse made a figure 8 shape. We had to cross the center 7 times along the route, which is where the aid station was located. When you came into the aid station most of us would stop for a minute, chat, grab a drink, something to eat, change shoes or socks if needed, etc.... It was a very laid back environment.
I ended up coming in, in 6 hours 28 minutes. Little longer than I had expected but this course was very hilly. We had to climb the "stone steps" 4 times. I couldn't believe how long and steep they were. They had to have been over 100 yards long and more than a 45 degree angle.
To sum up though, I think I'm now hooked on Ultra Trail Racing. My body felt better after this, than any of my previous road marathons. I also recovered much quicker. I did hit the wall around mile 21, but a pb&j and Coke solved that problem and I finished strong.