50k National Championship Recap
50k National Championship Recap

50k National Championship Recap

a note from gnarly:

We are super impressed with Preston’s placement at the USATF 50k Championships. But we want to make sure our audience knows that fueling should be the top priority before, during and after any workout, time trial, big effort, etc.


During his race, Preston unfortunately gave himself hyponatremia by not supplementing with or consuming electrolytes. This is a serious condition that can result in death.


We have Gnarly Hydrate and Gnarly Fuel2O in our product lineup to help prevent conditions like hyponatremia. When going for your own records, workouts, etc., please take into consideration proper fueling, and make sure you’re consuming enough calories, electrolytes and nutrition before, during and after your effort.

USA Track & Field 50k Championships recap

This last weekend was the culmination of my spring season. I was attracted to the USATF 50k Champs as my goal race due to the automatic qualifying spot to run for team USA this fall, which was up for grabs. I have dreamed of getting to represent my country as a runner my entire life, so this race marked my first opportunity to earn that right.
Training was almost perfect up till about 10 days before the race. I had finished my final big workout that morning and was headed out for one of my nightly doubles. I must have overdone it that morning because during the evening run I strained my right calf pretty badly. I wasn’t able to run for two days and then following that I was only able to run in shoes with an added hill lift to reduce stress on my calf.
On race day not much had changed with my calf, I woke up with a lot of confidence in the fitness I needed to win still being there, but also experienced a lot of doubt that my calf would even allow me to run 31 miles.

The course was 10 laps around a pancake flat loop. The temperature and humidity were both higher than was predicted and definitely was going to be tough. Going into the race I planned on trying to slow the race down from the front to try and preserve my calf for as long as I could, but when I found myself putting a gap on the field on lap 2 that all went out the window. I averaged around 5:15-5:20 pace for most of the first 18 miles.


As the calf pain became worse and worse I secretly was hoping that I would just collapse so I had an excuse to be done. I just kept telling myself to keep moving, no matter what pace you are moving, it’s progress and at this point being in first it’s enough to win.

As the miles went by I could feel my form deteriorate and at times felt like the pavement was sucking all of the energy from my legs. Every lap I was always surprised to glance over my shoulder and see that no one had caught me yet.


As I approached the 9th and 10th laps my mindset changed from “I hope I collapse” to praying that I wouldnt collapse. With one lap to go, I knew it was on, but my body was ready to quit. To be completely honest, I don’t remember a whole lot from that lap. I remember trying to “stay awake” and keep my balance. Vision was blurry and I became really dizzy. I kept asking the guy on the bike if anyone was going to catch me because I couldn’t see far enough behind me to even tell where anyone was. That was the longest 3 miles of my life, I have never hurt that bad while running.

After breaking the tape at the finish line and being able to celebrate for a brief second, I collapsed on the grass and lost conciousness. I woke up being surrounded by paramedics about 30 seconds later and was being put on a stretcher. After an hour of IV’s, oxygen, and a bunch of tests on the ambulance everything was starting to feel back to normal and was essentially told that I had extreme hyponatremia (I think I was just sweating out all my salt). I will have to strategize a little better on this next time.
I am honestly still in disbelief. To win amongst the circumstances against the steep field that was assembled means everything. While earning the right to represent my country has always been my goal, I honestly believe we are just getting started!

Next big one: Pikes Peak marathon!

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