Race Preview: Dirty Dozen 6 Hour Race

Date: Saturday, July 7, 2018 (which I just realized happens to be our 2nd wedding anniversary… happy anniversary, Gypsy Runner!)

Location: Point Pinole, Richmond CA

Format: 3.37-mile loops. You only need to complete one loop to be a finisher. There will be 6 hour and 12 hour runners (solo and relay teams), as well as a morning 5K/10K, and an afternoon 5K/10K. In the last hour of the 6 and 12 hour events, there will be a 0.6 mile small loop that opens up so runners can accrue as much distance as possible, because only finished loops count toward your total.

Why I signed up: I’ve been curious about this race for many years now. Even though the loops sound a bit repetitive, there’s also the comfort in knowing that the race will be well-supported (2 aid stations per loop) and you can even set up your own mini aid station at the finish area. When my friend DD said she was signing up, I decided this would be the year for me as well. Then, AS and KP signed up too, and now it’s going to be a good ol’ running party! The sad news is that DD came down with an ITB injury so she will be walking instead of running.

How this training cycle has gone: In terms of total mileage, I haven’t gotten above 35 or 40 miles a week, mostly because I didn’t increase my weekday mileage at all. So, that makes me a bit nervous. On the upside, I’ve gotten a lot of quality long runs in and my body feels good. Compared to previous marathon/ultra training cycles, I’ve spent more time on my feet for the long runs and I’ve been more consistent week to week, which is a confidence booster. I don’t have any niggles or pains going into Saturday (*knocks on wood*).

Race goals:

  • Outcome-based goals: My A-goal is to complete my second 50K, with a B-goal of completing something between a marathon and a 50K (still counts as an ultra!). My C-goal is to complete a marathon, which I am thinking should be very doable in 6 hours.
  • Process-based goals: I want to run consistently from start to finish, no matter what the pace. It’s really the mental aspect that I want to concentrate on. As long as I don’t quit or take stupidly long breaks for no reason, I’ll be happy.

Race Strategy:
My big three processes that I’ll be focused on are pace, keeping cool, and staying on top of my fueling. Based on my A-goal of completing a 50K, my aim is to average 11:32/mile. I think this will be a really reasonable pace for the first 3-4 hours, but I know I will slow down due to fatigue and heat. So, if I’m feeling good, I might bank a little bit of time in the first 2-3 hours, but not go out like Seabiscuit. 🙂 Here’s the pace chart I came up with:

loop total mileage elapsed time time of day (approx)
1 3.37 0:38:52 7:38:52
2 6.74 1:17:44 8:17:44
3 10.11 1:56:36 8:56:36
4 13.48 2:35:28 9:35:28
5 16.85 3:14:20 10:14:20
6 20.22 3:53:12 10:53:12
7 23.59 4:32:04 11:32:04
8 26.96 5:10:56 12:10:56
small loop 1 27.56 5:17:52 12:17:52
2 28.16 5:24:48 12:24:48
3 28.76 5:31:44 12:31:44
4 29.36 5:38:40 12:38:40
5 29.96 5:45:36 12:45:36
6 30.56 5:52:32 12:52:32
7 31.16 5:59:28 12:59:28

As for keeping cool, it’s supposed to get up to 80 degrees on Saturday. However, I’m hoping for one of those classic Bay Area summer days where it’s overcast for a few hours in the morning and the sun doesn’t come out until noon (fingers crossed!). From what I remember, the loop is about 50% exposed and 50% shaded. I bought a cooling buff that is made of a special material that feels cool to your skin when it’s wet. I tried it last week on my long run and it felt OK. I also used it to wipe sweat from my face, so that was a nice additional feature. On race day, I’ll wrap ice in the buff to keep me cool. Speaking of ice – I’ll have a cooler full of ice and so I can pick up a few pieces with every loop. My emergency plan is to ditch my tank top if need be and just run in a sports bra and shorts.

In terms of fueling, I will do an amped up version of what I’ve been doing for all of my long runs. In addition to taking a gel or eating a waffle every hour, I will drink a mini-bottle of Gatorade or Coke (probably alternate with every other loop). I specifically got Gatorade because, as much as I love Brazen, I hate that they use Ultima electrolyte drink. It has zero calories and tastes terrible. I will probably take advantage of the aid stations as well – for things like fruit, chips, peanut M&Ms, etc.

So, that’s what I’ve been thinking for the race. If you’ve ever done an event like this, I’d love to hear any suggestions, advice, or tips you’d like to share!

Happy 4th of July, all!



Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in Race Preview
10 comments on “Race Preview: Dirty Dozen 6 Hour Race
  1. Doug says:

    It’s less repititive/dull than you might think – the people who show up are of course interesting folks and Brazen does little things to provide amusement on the course (read every sign you pass) and the food keeps changing.

    • Jen says:

      Yep, I’ve volunteered at DD and also run the 10K before, so I agree that it is more interesting that it sounds on paper. Thanks for commenting! I’m looking forward to the race.

  2. Hillary says:

    Ohh! This is exciting and I’m sure you’ll crush it. Mentally, the idea of always being close to home in those last few hours will be a nice boost, I’m sure. You can do anything for 30ish minutes at a time!

  3. Cathryn says:

    Good luck gorgeous. Loved the Seabiscuit reference 🙂 Enjoy this, xxx

  4. ErinAMG says:

    Good luck! I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun. You’ll do great!

  5. Anna Li says:

    Sounds like you have a solid strategy going into the race! Living in the SF Bay Area, I feel like we get spoiled with moderate summer temperatures, but looks like this will be a hot one. I’ve never run a timed loop course (only full and half marathons or 5K and 10Ks). Excited to hear how this went for you! Best of luck!

  6. […] (You can read about the race details and my preview/thoughts here.) […]

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