I Placed First Female in a 48-hr Ultramarathon: This is How I Did It

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert
12 min readOct 23, 2023
My First Place Female Plaque and Belt Buckle

The Hainesport 48-hr ultramarathon was my second 48-hr event and my 36th ultramarathon. My goal at the 2023 Hainesport 48-hr ultra was to collect 120 miles. I had a plan for collecting my miles on the USTAF-certified .9913 mile park loop course.

I divided the 48 hours into four chunks of 12-hr runs. In August. 2023, I collected 45 miles at the Loopy Looper 12-hr ultra. Using that as my baseline, and knowing that I would be slowing down, I created the following strategy and mileage goals to hopefully collect 120 miles.

My Plan

My plan on race weekend October 7–9, 2023 was as follows — divide the 48 hours into four chunks of 12-hr runs and collect the following miles.

First 12 hours — 45 miles

Second 12 hours — 35 miles

Third 12 hours — 25 miles

Fourth 12 hours — 15 miles

Going into the event, I was prepared for the weather with gear. I had food for fuel. I napped. I ran. I walked. I had companions on the course. My husband Jon crewed and fed me.

At the 9 am start on Saturday, October 7, 2023. Photo by Jon Gilbert.

WEATHER & GEAR

The weather, which we can’t predict with accuracy and can’t control, is a big part of any race day. When I ran the Hainesport 24hr ultramarathon in 2022, it was super hot, sunny, and at times humid. Not a drop of rain. This October weekend’s forecast called for sun, some rain, clouds, temps in the 60s and much lower overnight temperatures through the morning. How we prepare for the unknown and how we respond to all kinds of weather is important. I packed the following gear plus, two pairs of Asics and a pair of hiking sandals.

I packed pairs of running tights, capris, and compression shorts. I packed two long-sleeved running shirts, one turtleneck, several running bras, a couple of underwear, one skort, seven pairs of socks, a rain jacket, a windbreaker, a fleece jacket, a beanie, a running cap, a pair of gloves, and my Dawn to Dusk to Dawn track ultras swag blanket.

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Miriam Diaz-Gilbert

My debut memoir Come What May, I Want to Run: A Memoir of the Saving Grace of Ultrarunning in Overwhelming Times is published. Website: miriamdiazgilbert.com