Looking a little rough at mile 27…
Well it happened this past Sunday, I knocked out my first Ultra Trail Marathon for the winter running season. There were no aid stations, no cheering fans, and no medals, but plenty of gorgeous views, tough moments, and excellent trail.
I was a bit skeptical about the run for a few reasons. First off I had asked Kyle to map out something 17-20 miles long, and of course he comes back to me with this mother (map below). I wasn’t surprised as this is par for the course with Kyle; he likes adventure so more adventure equals more fun right? I was also a tinge worried about my fitness, as my longest run so far this season had been 16 miles. But hell, sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and on Sunday morning I found myself pulling into Sherando Lake.
Now this wasn’t my first ultra, which is both good and bad. On one hand I knew what to expect which is good, but on the bad side I knew what to expect. We took off from Sherando Lake and headed towards the St. Mary’s Wilderness. After many miles we were back in Sherando Lake area. The last climb of the day took us up Torrey Ridge, which was a special place for both of us.
Me: Kyle, um, I’m having a rough go of it back here.
Kyle: I’m in a vortex up here, so don’t worry you have company.
Me: You all right?
Kyle: I ran out of water 45 minutes ago.
Me: You want some of mine?
Kyle: Na, I’m going to ride this one out. See where it takes me…
Well needless to say we made it back to our cars alive, and only a little worse for wear. Ultra’s are fun, and I think are an activity many people could do. As Ken Chlouber, the Leadville 100 Race Director, would say “You’re tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.”
I have a few more big runs in the works for this winter, and many miles to run. Hopefully we will see each other out on the trail!