This was my first timed event, and I am convinced that the timed race on a short 1.x loop takes more mental grit than a point to point race of equal distance. These are just a few things I noticed. First, since it is a short loop, you see the same section of trail over and over again. This can get to be a little boring, but at least you learn the best approach to each section. Since I knew exactly what was coming up next, I could play little mind games with myself about running to that one tree this lap without walking. I could also get into a zone without worrying about making a wrong turn. Second, you have to push yourself to keep moving out of the Aid Station/Start Finish area. Seeing that race clock would give me that end of race feeling especially towards the end of the race. I noticed that some runners would run harder faster laps, but would take sit down breaks. My strategy from the start was to keep moving with a slow steady run with some walk breaks, and to power hike the hills. There was one good climb that I power hiked every loop, and a few sections that I would walk some laps to allow my core temp to drop plus allow my muscles to recover. I also wanted to experiment a little with hydration and nutrition without being too far from help. I consumed on average about 10oz of fluid, either water or 50/50 water sports drink. I would take a SCap about every hour, and I would eat about every 30-45 minutes. I only used Gels twice during the race, and ate small amounts of real food the rest of the time.
Over all I enjoyed the timed event. I want to try a 12 hour or 24 hour next to see how I really like this format.