09 March 2019


After completing my 50K goal, I completed the Taco Challenge.
AKA "a 50K run with a Taco Challenge chaser". I signed up for this one pretty last minute, 4 days before the race. My training schedule called for 80 miles for the week, so I figured this would be a fun way to accrue some of those miles. Actually, I knew this would be a fun way to do so. After all, this would be my sixth time running this event. My goals this year were much less ambitions than last year, when I got lucky to walk away with the win for the 50 mile event.

The weather forecast for race weekend turned nasty just 3 days out, so I started to scramble to front load the week to try to get the majority of my weekly training mileage ahead of race day, just in case the race got cancelled or delayed due to severe weather.

On Thursday I scrolled across a post on Facebook challenging fellow Delano Park racers to part take in the Taco Challenge, conceived by local ultrarunner and rock painter extraordinaire Youngsu Hoy. Participants would have to eat a Taco of their choice followed by running a mile, rinse, repeat five times. Upon completion,  finishers would get an awesome hand painted rock. Good enough reason and motivation for this guy to jump in on the action. 

My plan was simple, run a 50K at a decent pace, then do the Taco Challenge for good measure. My wife was kind enough to get some vegan tacos for me from Taco Bell on her way to Delano Park to join me for a couple of miles, so I could complete the Taco Challenge. By the time she arrived, I was just heading out for the final lap of my 50K goal. I had started off the day and my first few one mile laps at a 9 min per mile pace chatting and catching up with other runners and friends I hadn't seen in quite a while. After the first few laps, I continued to lower the pace ever so slightly to inch closer to a 8 min per mile pace.

The plan worked as I managed to run my second fastest 50K ever. I used a total of 5 prepared bottles of fluids and 5 gels. During the Taco challenge, I did chug a few small cups of Coke.

However, once I completed the 50K, I was ready to take it easy for the remaining miles. My goal was 30-40 miles for the day, so when my wife came out to join me to walk a few miles (she hasn't been able to run due to injury), it was a very welcome change of pace. We logged another 8 miles before I finally called it a day at 39 miles. And the best part, we managed to beat the worst of the storms. My fellow runners who stayed out there for the full 12 hours were not as lucky. In fact, the race had to be suspended for about 45 minutes while lightning and severe weather hovered above the race course.

Big thanks to Jon Elmore and his awesome crew of volunteers. This race is as much a social event and hangout to catch up with your running family as it is a top notch ultra running event. State records are surely going to continue to fall as this race continues to be a local favorite year after year.

The traditional finisher mileage plaque for the Delano Park 12 Hour and the awesome hand-painted rock finisher award for the Taco Challenge.

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