100 Miles of Racing with Myles Smythe
On mile 80, Smythe watched his second sunrise. Earlier Smythe heard a bear huffling and snarling at him in the dark. A few miles later, he saw a coyote run through the meadow. After another five miles, Smythe came back to life, running quickly and meeting his wife at the end of his first 100 mile race.
Myles Smythe, a 32 casino surveillance system designer and Sacramento resident began running in early 2005 as part of his training for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s academy. The Pipeworks member’s initial 5 mile runs on the American River Bike Trail were far from easy at the time. After taking some time off from running, Smythe returned in December of 2008 and slowly ticked the miles off under his feet.
Smythe running his first 5K race.
Smythe wrote, “In 2008 I thought it would be a good idea to strengthen my core for my rock climbing and thought to add running into my weekly training schedule. I was always hiking and loved being in the mountains. So it did not take long to realize I could be in the mountains more often and see as much as possible in the shortest amount of time while I ran. A strenuous 12 mile hike up in Michigan Bluff once took 6 hours to complete, but now I can run it in less than 3 hours.”
On September 10th, Smythe finished the Rio Del Lago, his 13th ultra marathon and his first 100 mile race in 30 hours and 57 minutes. Out of 84 starters only 38 finished. “I defied all odds against me and pushed through to the end,” said Smythe. “A 100 mile race is a true test piece to find out who you are and what you are made of.” Smythe ran his best ultra race at the Headlands 50 Mile in July. The run includes 20,000 feet of vertical change and he completed it in 10 hours and 45 minutes. “I prefer bigger hills when I race,” Smythe said. “I once thought 31 miles was long. Then adding 19 more seemed like an incredible journey to reach the 50 mile distance,” said Smythe about the long runs. “I can honestly say that 100 miles completed in any speed and over any terrain is always going to be an epic journey.”
Smythe spent significant time training for the race both mentally and physically. Smythe ran 40-65 miles per week and tried to simulate race conditions as much as possible, running the course trails and during the heat of the day since historically the race was expected to be in 90 degree heat. Smythe spent little time resting between long runs to stimulate miles 75-95 during a 20 mile training run. In August, he ran two 50K races at 100 mile pace on back to back weekends to prepare for Rio Del Lago. “Usually when your brain tells you to stop you actually still have a lot left in you and just have to train yourself to push through it,” said Smythe.
On December 3rd, Smythe will be running The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile race. Smythe hopes to run the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile next February in Texas and the Western States 100 Mile, which runs from Squaw Valley to Auburn next June. About his running, Smythe said, “Ultimately I have a love for the outdoors and when I step off the trail after almost any training run or race I just can’t wait to get back out and run more.”
Follow Smythe's races at www.runmyles.com
Labels: Myles Smythe, Sacramento Pipeworks, ultra running