Things are ramping up on our 2022 UltraRunning Calendar this weekend with over two dozen races to choose from in just about every corner of the country.
One of the most unique races we’ve ever seen is the Skydive Ultra Run 50k/50m/100k/100m in Clewiston, Florida. Believe it or not, runners start this race by free-falling from an airplane for nearly 60 seconds before dropping a parachute and then running the multiple-loop course that has some elevation change (but not nearly as much as the wicked-fast two miles you just descended to the ground). If any of you are attending this thrilling event, we definitely need a first-hand account.
Way up the eastern seaboard in Lockport, New York, is the Beast of Burden 50/100-mile winter edition. With a high of 13 degrees forecasted for Saturday, January 29, just staying warm enough to keep moving will be an accomplishment in and of itself. You might want to bring your snowshoes for this beast as a snow blizzard is not out of the question. Past events have seen over two feet of snowfall during the race.
In International Falls, Minnesota, you’ll find a race that is perhaps even colder than the last one: the 18th Annual Arrowhead 135. This point-to-point course across Northern Minnesota on the rugged, yet scenic Arrowhead State Snowmobile Trail finishes in Tower, Minnesota, and features temperatures pushing -30 degrees, if you’re lucky. Participants can pick their mode of transport, be it a bicycle, set of skis or their own two feet. Regardless of how you get to Tower, if you finish, you’re a winner at the Arrowhead 135. Historically speaking, more entrants drop than complete the 135 miles.
Looking for some warmer weather and a slightly shorter ultrarunning experience? The Arches Ultra 50k/50m in Moab, Utah, is the place to be. The course travels along the border of Arches National Park, using the Bar M, Klonzo and Klondike Trail networks. Some of the trails will flow nicely, while others are the technical slick rock that Moab is known for. When you’re not focused on the terrain, views of the towering Moab cliffs, Arches National Park and the snow-covered La Sals will satisfy your soul.
On the West Coast in California, we have the Folsom Lake Sweetwater Trail Run 50k. This gently rolling, out-and-back course is 95% single track and 5% dirt road, primarily following the South Side Trail in Folsom, California. While some technical sections will require focus, the stunning scenery of the surrounding Sierra foothills is not to be missed at this ultramarathon.
Also going down this weekend are the Black Toe Run 12/24-hour in Watertown, Tennessee, the 10th Bigfoot Snowshoe Festival 50k in Midway, Utah, the AZT Oracle Rumble 50k/50m in Tucson, Arizona, and the TARCtic Frozen Yeti Trail Races 30-hour in Westwood, Massachusetts, all on Saturday, January 29.
Where are you lining up for an adventure-filled winter weekend? Let us know What’s Up in Ultra in your lives by dropping a comment below and as always, be sure to enjoy those miles!