Browsing: Race Reports
You never forget your first ultramarathon. On April 29, at 20 years old, I completed the 50-mile North Face Endurance Challenge in Washington D.C. It was by far the most humbling, mind-breaking, and physically challenging 11 hours and 54 minutes of my life.
The pace was hot from the beginning! With Zach Miller leading the way in his usual fashion we blew through the first mile at 5:56 a.m. and didn’t slow from there. Either I thought this pace was sustainable and forgot it was a 50-mile race, or I just felt like running fast and didn’t care what would happen.
It’s 4:00 a.m. The coffee is hot. The boys are ready to rock. For some of us, The North Face Endurance Challenge California 50 mile marks their first exploration into the ultramarathon world. For others, this is an opportunity for progression at the 50-mile distance.
In a typical year, the Hungerford Trail Races offer uniquely challenging terrain. You won’t find ten thousand feet of climb. You won’t find rocks, or roots – at least not too many. What you will find is long stretches of punishing sand, especially along the iconic Powerlines.
Plain is an unmarked, no aid-station race that provides runners the additional challenge of having to be totally self-sufficient. The event is held on established, well-marked trails in the Okanagan National Forest so route finding isn’t really an issue, it’s just reading the map and following directions.
This October, this area of Montana broke most known records for monthly precipitation. For the runners of this year’s Le Grizz 50 Mile Ultramarathon, it felt like a good majority of that water fell on race day.
As the sun rose over the Moab Desert, Dead Horse Ultra runners were already well into their race. Mother Nature had left a light dusting of snow atop the mountains in the days leading up to the race; the stark contrast to the red rock formations of the desert was a special treat.
My dropping from Brazos Bend 100 resulted in a silver lining I could never have imagined: on November 30 I was asked to crew Caroline Boller during her 50 Mile American record attempt.
The wooded hills of Connecticut offer many miles of gorgeous trail systems – some easy, some tough single-track with plenty of rocks, roots and climbs.
As the dust begins to settle from the the massive earthquake that struck near my New Zealand home and the tragic loss of a running friend in a motor vehicle accident, I have the space to pause and reflect on a bright spot of the last week: the 71km Queen Charlotte Ultramarathon.