Race Recap: Pointless 12 Hour Ultra Marathon

One thing I love about the Charleston running community is that we think outside the box. In fact, that’s true for the city as a whole- there’s a very entrepreneurial spirit here, and I think that’s why we have so many tech company and small business startups.

Along with being free spirits, we like to have fun. Along with having fun, we like to support good causes- so in exchange for the run, everyone was asked to donate to the Mt. Pleasant Track Club in honor of Peyton Moore, who threw javelin for MPTC and ran 5K races with his dad.

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Peyton is the son of Noah Moore, who is a local Couch to 5K coach, TrySports Mt. Pleasant Ambassador, and writes the MooreOnRunning blog. In June, Peyton passed away from a tragic seizure just a few days after setting a state javelin record and before he would have graduated 4th grade.

I only met Peyton a few times, but he was truly an inspiration to run with in the LifePoint Gift of Life 5K and the Catch the Leprechaun 5K. He helped Noah coach the Couch to 5K classes and encouraged the beginner runners, as well as the other Mt. Pleasant Track Club kids. Peyton’s spirit lives on in everyone he inspired, and those of us who knew him will carry that spirit forward to others when we cheer at finish lines, high five other runners, and encourage beginners.

It was a joy to run in Peyton’s honor and support Noah and Jen.


Some cities like Atlanta have big, famous, races on July 4- but not Charleston. In the spirit of being creative and crazy, some locals organized the “Pointless 12 Hour Ultra” a year or two ago, in Hampton Park, Downtown Charleston. An ultra marathon is anything over 26.2 miles or any race that is measured in hours rather than miles, so an ultra marathon can be a 50K (31 miles) or a 100 miler… or a 6, 12, or 24 hour race.

The best thing about the Pointless 12 Hour Ultra… you ran however long you wanted and counted laps. No official time- just a 12 hour limit- no real pressure unless you wanted to be competitive. Despite being slightly monotonous, a circular mile course lets you run with multiple people, run past your gear (water, gatorade, food) multiple times, and not get lost.

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I showed up just before 6 AM and had time to grab my shirt, pin on my bib, and start running just as the idiotic race director sounded the horn. You didn’t have to start at 6 AM- some people came later, lots of people left early (myself included) and a few people left and returned later. You came, went, and ran as you pleased, and the organizing committee even said the only rule was that you had to complete at least one mile/lap in the 12 hours.

(Of course, only those who ran over 26.2 miles truly *completed* an ultra marathon, the rest of us who ran less just ran an event named an ultra marathon. I want to make that known because of my respect for ultra marathoners and not to imply that those of us who ran fewer than 26.3 miles are ultra marathoners when we’re not. The actual results are on Ultra Sign Up, too).

Respect the distance.

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Each time we went around the circle, we marked off our miles on the lap counting board or shouted our number so the person marking could check us off. With the heat and humidity, we all took frequent breaks and people ran or walked laps with others just to make new friends. Here’s me with my friend and fellow TrySports Ambassador, E.C., who kept me motivated on Lap 20.

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Some runners ran 3 miles, others ran 30 miles, others ran even more- it was all about achieving whatever goal you wanted, encouraging others, having fun, and honoring Peyton.

I took advantage of the aid station, crowd support, and new running buddies to make this my first 20-miler of 26.2 Mile Fun Run training. I stopped my Garmin during water/food/bathroom/chat breaks, but I ran 20 miles in 3 hours and 26 minutes, with an average 10:16 pace.

I was still smiling at the end of it, so it was a successful 20 miler.

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I was the 4th female overall, not bad for being there 4 hours. Some people stayed all day, but some came for a few hours. The male winner ran 56 miles and the female winner ran 45 miles, but I am most proud of my “Smallest Runner” award. My medal is this little screw, and here I am with co-idiot race director Noah.

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Along with the traditional overall awards for how many laps you ran, this race had awards such as sweatiest runner, biggest bonk, bloodiest runner, most disorganized, best Southern accent, most miserable, crustiest runner, loose screw award, and biggest geek. It made it fun for people of all paces and distances. All of the “medals” were scraps the race organizers found on the ground throughout the year.

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Best of all, everyone had a great time. Over 80 people came out to run and support the Moore family, and over $1,000 was raised for the Mt. Pleasant Track Club in Peyton’s memory.

It was a fun way to spend July 4 with my running friends that morning before our cookout that afternoon, and I really hope I can do the Pointless 12 Hour Ultra next year too!

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This entry was posted in 26.2 Mile Fun Run, Downtown, Holidays, Moore On Running, Race Recaps, TrySports Ambassador and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Race Recap: Pointless 12 Hour Ultra Marathon

  1. KrisLawrence says:

    Oh wow, hearing Peyton’s story is heartbreaking. What an inspiring little guy. It’s wonderful that you were all ale to find a way to honor him that was fun and uplifting.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks- yeah, it was really heartbreaking. I cried a lot when I found out Peyton passed away, it was on my mind for awhile and really affected me. He was a great little boy and did this same race with his parents last year so it makes sense it was dedicated to him this year.

  2. That sounds like a super-fun kind of race and perfect for a long training run. Too bad about the circumstances behind it (tragic story), but glad everyone can have fun with it. I would not mind doing all those laps since I would know that my gear and water were right there. And plenty of different people to help mix it up. Way to go!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was really fun, and I think a lot of us used it as a training run. It’s fun to get together with friends on the morning of the holiday then spend it with your family in the afternoon. The laps really flew by, it was surprising. It would have been harder if it was a track or the lap was less than a mile, but the one mile was perfect.

  3. What a creative race! I think it’s a wonderful way to honour Peyton. 🙂

  4. Very cool. Did not know this event was going on.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was on the Charleston Running Club page and I think some of the local running stores shared things about it on Facebook. It wasn’t a huge event though, so not super promoted (I don’t think the other two races that occurred on July 4 were very well promoted, either).

      • I had no clue there were any July 4 races. I have got to be more in the loop. I do miss lots of things because of marathon training, but I would love to do a bit more.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        Yeah, Trophy Lakes and one at Laurel Hill in MTP. You can still do them even when marathon training (I do). Just use em as tempo runs or speedwork. That’s what I’m planning to do tonight. The 5Ks and 10Ks help me keep my speed during this whole 26.2 mile fun run training thing.

  5. chasingthekenyans says:

    that’s a fun ‘race’! and a great way to get in a 20-miler in this summer heat 🙂 so wait, a 5k is not a marathon?? lol. i always love that one… but i do get why you felt you had to clarify that you do respect a true ultra (I wouldn’t want people to think i claimed one without actually doing one!)

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I do hate it when people say they ran a marathon, and it turns out they ran a 5K or something. But yeah, I wanted to clarify mainly that this was an ultra but not for everyone. But, it was still so great that everyone was welcome to come out and just do what they could.

      We did have a few people who did it was a first… one guy ran 26.2 for a marathon and another ran 31 so he could put a 50K sticker on his car. A lot of us just used it as a training run or an excuse to have fun with friends!

  6. That is such an awesome way to get a long run in! Being around people, having gear close and supporting a good cause, can’t beat that!

  7. Adrienne Levy says:

    This would have been so fun! I didn’t even know about it! I once did 13 miles around Hampton in a training run for a marathon- Running in circles can make you dizzy! Congrats on your accomplishment!! =) – Adrienne

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks girly- yeah, it was great! They did try to publicize it on Facebook but it’s really difficult to make sure that everyone knows about these things (unless they somehow go viral, then *everyone* knows, lol). As far as I know they will have it next year, so keep it in mind for 2014.

  8. Adrienne Levy says:

    If they need help next year making it “viral”… I can help with that! lol 😉

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yep! Will definitely consider that. I know some of us are doing a half marathon from a guy’s beach house tomorrow night too. One of my favorite things about living in Charleston is that we do things like these types of runs that are advertised online, through friends, and just for fun… it’s more fun than organized races sometimes!

  9. Congrats on getting 4th female overall! Also, congrats on winning at http://happyrunnergiveaways.blogspot.com! I followed the link there to visit your blog.

  10. allieksmith says:

    What a cool race concept! I bet the race directors were able to target a lot more people for the race because of the loose rules. I think that is such a smart idea. CONGRATS ON RUNNING 20 MILES! That is a huge accomplishment!

  11. LilMysNinja says:

    Now this sound like a fun one! Definitely perfect for all runner & goal levels. Plus it was a great way to honor Peyton. Great job on the 20 miler!

    I would love to do something similar like this.

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