2014 Bad Marsh 50K Race Report


LogoI came, I ran, I puked, I walked, I slept, I puked, I ate, I puked…….and I finished.  My longest 50k ever.

That, in one sentence was my latest 50K experience!  Wow, what an deceptively hard race Bad Marsh 50k was!

Since I DNFed this race last year I was not going to try it again this year however finding out that this was the last running of this race I felt like I had to go back and try to redeem myself.

As race day came upon me I was quite calm about the whole thing knowing that I had been heat training and putting in some good miles; I felt confident that this year was going to be different however it year was going to turn out to be more brutal than the previous year!

On race day I decided to sleep in a little bit and just enjoy the morning.  When I finally got up I had some work to finish on the van so I rode up to the auto parts store to get the fuse I needed to put the radio back together and apparently in the whole repair operation I lost track of time and It was about 12:15 when I finished up.  Beauford, SC is about 4.5 hours away and I wanted to leave before 12 so I could spend some time hanging out with people whom I have not seen in quite a while.  So I very quickly showered threw my gear in the van and off I was.  The drive was long but uneventful.

Arriving at the race 15 min after it started all i could do is pick up my packet, change and get to running, 30 min late…..UGH!

Bad Marsh has always been a hot race but this year it was going to throw somethingimage different at us.   That morning there was a heat advisory issued and 45 min before the race started the temps were at 97 degrees!  Wow, with the humidity that pushed the heat-index to a blistering 108!  But the race will go on 🙂


My main focus for the 1st 3 laps was to maintain a very moderate pace around 9:45 – 10:00 min miles.  Hopefully this was going to keep my stomach open and absorbing liquid so I would not become dehydrated like has been the results of the previous couple of races.

However this race I made the decision to try a new hydration product that is promising big things.  It was recommended that I pre-hydrate an hour before I started running and then the box instructed me to drink 1 every 1-2 hours until hydrated so I took another bottle of it with me on this loop.


The course was exactly like I remembered, very flat and grassy with that 1 darn hill that every race seems to have, and was absolutely enjoying it.   I was alone but had my music and was just chugging along at my predetermined pace…feeling good.  Shortly after I started the front-runners  started passing me and let me tell you how HARD it was to not speed up and pace with them, but I stayed the set pace.



Just about like lap one, very consistent pace and I was happy with where I was.  I was passing lots of people at this point , which made me happy, but It did not alter my plan.  Keep it slow!

This lap I carried plain water and drank about ¾ of my bottle still feeling good but was getting hot.



At this point I decided to switch back over to my electrolyte to try and prevent my typical muscle spasms.  I have been very conscious of my pace, heart-race & fluid intake.  Towards the end of the lap I noticed that my mouth was really dry from all the salt in the electrolyte and I was REALLY thirsty so I did not finish the whole bottle. However I was still feeling good with no stomach or muscle issues.



Back on water for this lap and I had noticed that I was absolutely drenched from head to toe and my shoes had been squishing for about ½ of the previous lap and were really bad now.  I figured with all this fluid loss now would be a good time to slow down and walk a lap.  Towards the end of the lap I started having the swimmy feeling in my head.  I Still super thirsty ,drank all of my water and ran out when I was still about a 1 ½ miles from the s/f line, not good I thought.



Now feeling really bad I decided to take a “Short” break and try and cool down in the van.  I chugged 1/2 bottle of water, turned on the van, got the A/C cranking and ended up falling asleep…….ya for an hour and ½….THIS WAS NOT IN THE PLAN !! Dang-it but on the good side I woke up feeling lots better…..So I thought


About ½ mile into this loop the vomiting started.  Same ole story I ejected what I would approximate about ¾ gal of fluid however the one thing that was different from the previous races was I did not have any muscle spasms.  Feeling better I picked up my walking pace to about a 13 min mile and figured I would be ok if I just walked it out.  I was wrong, things quickly went from bad to worse as it would seem my body was overheating.  I was the hottest I think I had EVER been.  My heart was racing, and I was not sweating very much at all….just not well.



Starting this lap I asked the RD how much time we had left in the race, to my surprise they told me 1.5 hours left.  That means that I had to do 45 min loops to finish within the time limit of the race.  There was no way this was ever going to happen!  So we discussed it and they encouraged me to go out and do another loop and as long as I started the final loop before the race was over it would be ok and my time would still count.  So out I went, BRUTAL is all I have to say.  Walk-stop…..repeat for the entire 4.5 mile loop…..ugh……so tired, so hot!



This is the final lap and had to stop and talk to the RD about what to do.  The previous loop took me 1:15 min!  Oh my gosh!!!  The race directors had to talk it over and finally agreed to let me go out with the knowledge that the S/F line would be broke down and there would be nothing when I finished.  That was ok to me, I had come this far and have fought through the sickness, tiredness and heat that I really NEEDED to do these last 4.5 miles and conquer this race.  So back out I went….I would go a couple of miles and would have to stop. Then I would go a little bit more and dry heave go some more and would have to rest.  It was awful but I was going to finish!  At one point I took a wrong turn but quickly figured it out, back tracked and got back on course.  I was so happy to see the spot where I had been using as my last rest stop ,about 1.5 miles from the finish.  At this point I knew I had this race locked down and was going to finally finish.  I pushed on around the final turn just in time to see some brake lights turn the corner leaving the race HQ.  Right before the S/F line someone asked me if I was running the race I told her that this was my finish!!!  She sounded so sad for me and told me that they had just left, but her and the people that were with her cheered for me.  Very thankful for them!!!!!


I went directly to the hose that the race was using to fill the coolers and doused myself for 3-4 min just trying to get my core temp down.

Finally I made my way to the van, dried off and crashed!  I had done it, I finished this race.  The 2nd race I had EVER DNFed, my nemesis had been defeated.

OH MY Gosh !!
OH MY Gosh !!

What went right

I think the new electrolyte is really going to help. With some tweaking on how much and when to take it I think this is going to be a winner.

I’m not sure that the low carb eating plan is doing me any good so thinking about mixing that up.  I do not think I will ever go back to a “regular” diet with wheat and grains but I am considering slowly adding back in some select Fruit & Vegetable carbs.

Glad I started at a slow pace, I’m sure that’s what allowed me to finish.


What went wrong

Still facing the stomach / absorption problem.  I have to get this figured out.

Not mentioned in the report above but I tried a new nutrition (uCann) product.  Nothing wrong with it but I think I should have eaten more and more often.

Heat, nothing I can do about that.


Notes: ate the meat from 5 arby’s jr roastbeef sandwiches + 2 packs of may about  2 hours from arrival

Drank water on the way down

Drank 1 16 oz btl of Drip Drop about 1 hour from start of race.




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 © 2024 - Tim Preble (@TimPreble) - UltraRunner and Endurance Athlete