Freedom Park 24 Hour – Race Report Fred Dumar

Posted on the Ultralist:
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2009 10:27:13 -0500
From: fred dummar
Subject: Freedom Park 24 Hour (ATY – East)


What a gem of race David and Rhonda Lee and the whole gang at the Brown Mountain Running Club put on over the New Years celebration.

I completely enjoyed myself at ATY last year, but knew that a trip to Phoenix every year would probably be out of the question given our normal holiday schedule.

The good folks of BMRC came to our rescue sponsoring an East Coast 24 hour version.

The race was held in Morganton NC in a park adjacent to the local high school, and proved to be a great venue.

Race features:
1 mile paved running loop (pretty close to 1 mile, it was .98 and something) Great aid station with some of the best options I’ve seen at any ultra (the spread equaled the race that I consider to have the gold standard of aid stations – Umstead 100) Friendly and helpful volunteers (I know this can go without saying at most ultras, but these folks practically begged to be of use to the runners)
Cool running weather…(Some people don’t like night time temps in the 20s, but it was a welcome respite from the 40 mile wind gusts during the day) Great Competition (NC’s own Annette Bednosky posted 122ish, while Richard Lilly, Scott Hayward and I brought home the state challenge for NC)
Heated bathroom conveniently located adjacent to the track (obviously a requirement when not running in the woods, and when trying to spend as much time as possible on the track)
Just enough elevation change to keep it interesting (19ft change a lap as advertised by the RD)
Lighted Track (no need for lights of any kind for the runners)
Chip lap counting (an odd but comforting feeling to hear your beep every lap)
Camping available at the park

It was a great day and night for a run in NC. The ever lovely Mrs. Doom and our friend Lucinda started pretty conservatively and I spent the majority of the first twelve hours alternating laps with Susan and Lu. I would occasionally speed up to get a lap ahead then return to their pace. They were moving around 4.5 to 4 MPH and I wanted to stay at 5 MPH. At the 12 hour mark the 12 hour and 6 hour runners joined us, and Susan and Lu decided that they had enough fun and packed it in
for the night. I hooked up with Richard Lilly for a few laps, ran two laps with Annette, then ended up running the last 4 hours with Tony Rouse. Tony had joined the run at 8PM with the other 12 hour runners and he kept me moving. It got a little chilly during the night time hours, and decent pace was required to keep me in a good comfort zone.
The cold weather started to freeze the drinks, but a Mountain Dew slush is surprisingly refreshing with some M&Ms…Over the course of the race I also noshed on pizza, a burger, a grilled cheese sandwich and lots of other snacks along with my usual suspects: Glucerna, Clip, Amino, Monster. Susan and Lu came back to the track at 5 AM, and that provided a nice morning boost as Susan walked a lap with Tony and I before we broke into a late surge to get the final two miles in an
attempt to set a new personal best for 24 hours.

All day long the race leaders were burning up the track, and I never saw my name on the top ten leader board until about 2 AM. After 2 AM it was a steady climb on the leader board as the faster runners retired with injuries, got tired, or went to the warmth of their tents/campers. I was able to keep chugging along ultimately finishing 4th with 107.5 miles (a new personal best).

David Lee commented during the run that he had been inspired by ATY to put on a New Years run and then he participated in Tom Gabell’s Hinson Lake 24 hour to get a feel for the logistics. He nailed it, and even hinted that he might keep it going and expand the format in years to come. I’m personally hoping for a 48 hour option next year.

Congrats to everyone that ran at Freedom Park and Nardini Manor.


Checkout Annette Bednosky’s write up of the Freedom Park 24 Hour Race. The home of multiday running news and events.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Fred!
    Excellent report-and you were an awesome companion out there in Morganton! I just can’t believe you didn’t feel freezing all night long! Congrats to you (Yay Team NC!)Recover well-and I’ll see you a “round” one way or another…

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