Sunday, September 18, 2016

Race Report - 2016 Barkley Fall Classic 50K

It's easy to smile when you don't know exactly what lies ahead:-)
Training for and running ultras in Huntsville, Alabama, it doesn't take long until you hear about two things, the Mountain Mist 50K and the mystical Barkley Marathons. In case you didn't know, Huntsville is one of the original meccas of ultra-running. Don't believe it? Just check out and other related sites featuring ultra race results from the 80s and 90s and you'll notice quite a few wins and course records by local Huntsville runners. In other words, there are more than your normal number of "ultra studs per capita" that call Huntsville their home and when you consider doing a particular ultra marathon anywhere in the US, there is usually one of those local studs available to give you info about that race, because he or she had won it a few years earlier or at least done extremely well. It doesn't matter if it's a 50K, a 100 miler or a multi-day event, these guys have done it and excelled at it. But unlike these races scattered around the continental US, Mountain Mist and Barkley usually come up without anyone asking about it. Mountain Mist is the local premier ultra race and the Barkley Marathons had legendary cult status around here long before Netflix.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Race Report - 2016 Yeti Snakebite 50K

The bounty of my labor.
It had been a while since I'd toed the starting line of an ultra marathon. The longest time between ultras for a while. In fact, crossing the finish line at the Cruel Jewel 100 Miler, I was ready to take a serious break from ultras. It was time to recover and do some stuff just for fun. Not that I don't love running, but training for an ultra is always a serious time commitment and it requires one to be somewhat serious about their training. Anyway, I decided to just run for fun and not race for a while, I started to dabble a little in mountain biking and road cycling, attempted a couple of MTB time trials and logged a few century rides on my newly acquired road bike. But it was time to get back for some fun in the mountains. Heck, I couldn't even remember the last time I ran a local 5K. I started to look at my calendar and it looked pretty blank. Time to fill 'er up. The Yeti Snakebite 50K had been on my calendar, but I wasn't even close to tackle this race as a competitor, so I decided to start properly training again in August and to use the Yeti as a fun training race with friends. I knew a lot of other Huntsville runners would be there, so hopefully I would have some company as I trudged through the woods.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Race Report - 2016 Cruel Jewel 100 Miler

The Huntsville crew just before things got real.
After completing my toughest and most epic race to date at last year's UTMB, I wasn't sure if that level of difficulty could ever be matched by another 100 mile race other than the famed Hard Rock 100. And then I signed up for the Cruel Jewel 100. You'd think I would have known better than to do that. After all, I had run the Cruel Jewel 50 Miler last year in preparation for UTMB. Well, the mind of an ultrarunner is a funny thing, I guess. We somehow have the ability to forget all the misery we endure during these events. So Thursday afternoon after I left the office, I grabbed my bags, jumped into my car and headed over to my buddy Paul's house to meet him and Jerry before all of us piled into his car along with our gear for the four hour road trip to Vogel State Park.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Race Report - 2016 Ultra-Trail Barcelona

Extremely fortunate circumstances had me in Europe during the Ultra-Trail Barcelona 100K. I decided to sign up for it as my final tune-up race for the Cruel Jewel 100 Miler two weeks later. I arrived the evening before the race, picked up my packet and returned back to my hotel. No point in sticking around for any prerace was in Spanish only. This would actually be the theme with pretty much anything, but I managed.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Race Report - 2016 Boston Marathon

Team Nuun
I had never run Boston, so when I got a qualifying time of 3:02 at the 2014 Rocket City Marathon, I couldn't wait to sign up. I know, I know, initially I said all I cared about was a BQ, actually running the race wasn't that important. I guess I was wrong about that one. Luckily, my wife agreed to come along. Would not have been the same without her there. We were able to split a room with a couple of our friends (Kelsey and Andrew) just a couple of blocks fro the finish. Andrew knew the area and chose the hotel, which was perfect.