|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 ultrasignup.com 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.