North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile race recap!

I just ran the NFEC 50 mile race up in Wisconsin this past Saturday and I have three words: I LOVED IT!

Because I am writing this in between classes, I am going to break it up into sections:


High points/low points:

  • loved the miles 11.5 to 18. It was a grassy, beautiful prairie. I was running behind a woman named Kelly (who ended up getting 4th woman overall) and was chatting with her, with my mom right behind me. We were flying through there, at a 9 something pace, but we were all feeling so good that we didnt feel like slowing down!
  • The 14 mile there and back stretch from mile 21 to 35 was the most difficult. This was where our lack of hill training came into effect. It was 7 miles of rolling up, down, up, down, kill me now hills! But we made it through, slowly but surely.
  • I enjoyed running in the dark, first time doing that in a race and only second time overall. No one with me fell and it went on smoothy.
  • I loved the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! I am a peanut butter fanatic but usually just before or after a run. Almost every aid station I ate a bite of the cut up sandwiches and i never had any stomach issues the entire time.
  • That said (above bullet) i think I over did the food ( if that is possible)? I never felt bad stomach wise, but I think I ate too much, usually eating pb and j and a gu.
  • The nice, lonnngg sand trails at the end. I live and train on the beach now, you would think I would get used to trudging through sand? nope!
  • I switched shoes after 35 miles into a little thicker trail shoes but not too much. I could have had a little more cushion but it was a nice change from my New Balance minimalist ones. And no blisters from the race!
Mile 40-getting tired!

Mile 40-getting tired!

Thoughts of/during the race

  • Never did I think I want to be done, get me the hell out of here. I enjoyed the race basically the whole way, with a few negative thoughts during the hilly sections.
  • As you know, since I wrote a pre-race post, I ran the race with my mom. Our goal was to run between 10-11 hours and we finished in 9 hours and 19 mins. And that was walking alot the 3 miles due to my mom’s twisted knee. We were flying and we could have been closer to 9 hours easily!
  • Mother and daughter running: We heard a alot by friends and strangers how cool and nice it was to be doing this race together. I guess I have always taken it for granted running with my mom because she is the “runner” and I was just tagging along, but now I know what people are talking about. It is because of her I ran this race and I am so grateful for her, her advice and support. I love running with her and could not have done that well on the 50 miler without her. I mean who else gets to run 50 miles with your best friend, who can also kick your butt into gear when you need it?
  • We both finished first on our age group, 7th and 8th woman overall!
  • I was not dead crossing the finish line, due to helping my mom. I could have gone faster starting earlier in the race, so I guess I am going to have to do another one!
  • I never had any issues, pains during the run except my hips. They were very sore even at the start of the race. I got a massage after the race and the evil massage lady dug her fingers into both hips-causing more pain than I actually had during the race!
  • One thing I found out more about myself: I am competitive. At mile 11.5 the volunteer filling up my bottle said I was 5th woman and I was done. I could not let that leave my thoughts and by mile 15 I knew I was not going to finish past 10th place. Sorry Mom. It is odd thinking about it, because in swimming in highschool and age group, I hated competing and would rather practice for hours instead. I still like training runs, but running racing is so much fun, my competitive side comes out i guess.
  • My dad, who has had many years of Chicago marathon cheering, watching, etc experience, did a great job at his first time crewing. He was cameraman (needed my sister for that one) and had everything we needed ready to go.


  • Starting weight training-working on abs, shoulders, and hips!
  • Chicago marathon in 4 weeks! Plan is to take an easy week this week, and then get back into training plan mentality next week. Today I ran 3.5 and felt great, a little tight and sore but not too bad!
  • Again, my mom and I will be running together at The Huff 50k in Indiana in December. Being only a 50k, should be pretty easy right? haha
  • Planning on running either another 50 or and my first 100 miler (i will probably do the 100 knowing me) in April 2014, again in IN. The Indiana Trail 100 miler is a good one i have heard!
  • I am going to try to start a Anton Krupicka style blog and write a week recap with everything I did related to running. Might be easier to get me to sit down and write!
  • I would like to crew/pace/volunteer at races more. A friend of mine is running 150 miles in April and hopefully he will ask me to help crew! I think I need to see others running a 100 race, and see them at mile 76, to really see what I am getting in to!

Mile 21


SO, In two weeks I will turn 21, and can have my ultrarunner celebratory beer after my races, I am still waiting to lose a toenail or two, and most importantly I can officially call myself an ultra runner šŸ™‚


After the race: we both finished 1st on our age groups!


3 thoughts on “North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile race recap!

  1. I commend you and your Mom for doing a 50 mile run. I couldn’t run 50 miles in one month, let alone one day…….I think it is awesome you and your Mom run together. Years down the road you will look back and enjoy those moments with her. Best wishes as you keep training for the Chicago Marathon, and I hope the hip gets better soon.


  2. Jessica, you are more than welcome to pace/crew my 150 miler in April 2014 it is a good experience to see other side of a race. What’s up with the first picture you are running and your mom walking?!

    • awesome, I would love to help! And that was at mile 40. I think she saw my dad at the aid station and instantly stopped and began walking to him haha. I almost ran into her.

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