Saturday, October 22, 2016

Race Report - 2016 Wade Mountain Trail Marathon

Top 4 runners at Wade Mountain Trail Marathon.
The inaugural Wade Mountain Trail Marathon was a success for me. It was meant as my final long run before starting my Pinhoti taper. I knew I wanted to run a relaxed pace, but I also knew that I was willing and able to push towards the end, if there was any change of doing well, since I was headed into my taper, so no reason to take it easy.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Race Report - 2016 Stump Jump 50K

Thanks, Jobie Williams, for making me look like I still had spring in my step.
This race was kind of a last minute decision for me. My training plan for Pinhoti called for a 30 mile long run that day and a race sounded way more appealing than yet another solo long run. I caught a ride with Cary Long, who had also arranged for a sweet "house sitting" gig at Daniel Lucas' home, who happened to be out of town and strangely enough was comfortable with Cary and myself staying at his house unsupervised. Two thing stood out from our stay at Daniel's house. First, we tripped the home security system and spent roughly an hour waiting for the SWAT team to bust down the door while sitting on the living room in our boxers with bags of white powder in our hands. It would have looked really really bad. This is the short version, Cary already described the details in his blog post and a recent podcast interview on East Coast Trail & Ultra Runners. Second, we couldn’t get the coffee maker to work as our combined IQ apparently wasn’t enough to operate Daniel’s fancy espresso machine. That meant no coffee first thing in the morning, which could (but thankfully didn’t) throw a wrinkle into my morning routine.

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 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.

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.