Sunday, March 30, 2014

Going back and looking forward

As we get to know each other, I thought I would give you a summary of my past races while letting you know what I have planned for this upcoming season.
I did not start out in the ultra marathon world.  My start came 10 years ago and conquering a 5K back then was the first challenge.  Over the years, I have worked my way through the distances -  5K,10K, half marathon, full marathon, 50K (31 miles), 50 miler until I reached the 100 milers. 
Like I said, I am not "elite fast" as you can see by my PRs listed to the right.  Each result represents training, effort, time, accumulated knowledge and experience.  Which all leads up to the 100 mile races. 
My first was Umstead Endurance run, 23:29:28 in 2011.  100 miles on a looped course in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It is a great race for a "newbie" 100 mile ultra runner.  Great people, great support and when you've finished it and they hand you that belt buckle you will look for another 100 mile race to conquer.
My second was Javelina Jundred, 25:50:40 in 2011.  101.4 miles on a looped mountain trail course in Phoenix, Arizona.  Another great course, runners in costumes and throw in a torrential downpour (yes, in the desert) and 2 hallucinations around mile 85 and I was handed another belt buckle.
My third was the Keys 100, 23:13:21 (2nd place AG finish) in 2012.  Start in Key Largo and finish in Key West, bring your guts and courage because a lot of it is run on the shoulder of the highway into oncoming traffic.  Stay alert and run straight because if you don't your two choices are traffic or swimming, I chose to run straight.  A great crew and three rainstorms, the first storm 10 miles into the race created some formidable challenges that my crew helped me hurdle.
In order to apply for Badwater, the bare minimum is to have at least 3 ultra marathon (100 mile) finishes and one must be within the previous year.  So, at this point I applied for Badwater 2013 with a small chance I might be picked. 
I was not.
No worries.  In 2013, I picked Chimera 100 in California.  I live in the Midwest and there is nowhere, I mean NOWHERE to properly train for (what some consider) the hardest single track technical mountain trail 100 mile race.  Let's start with a rain storm (yes, rain again) that delayed the start by 30 minutes. Get your quads ready for a beating because it is over 22,000 feet of elevation gain/loss, including climbing boulders and staring down fall away cliffs but stop on occasion to enjoy the views.  I fell on a granite slab at mile 11 and by mile 85 my posture looked like the symbol pi.  I was carted off in an ambulance and I declared my first ultra DNF.
10 weeks of recovery and an off season on the treadmill gave me plenty of time to ponder my 2014 season.
I have signed up for the Midwest Slam,  It consists of four races in the Midwest over the course of this Summer.
June 7-8, 2014 Kettle Moraine 100 mile Endurance run
June 21-22, 2014 Mohican Trail 100 mile run
August 2-3, 2014 Burning River 100 mile Endurance run
September 5-6, 2014 Hallucination 100 mile run
Just to put the cherry on top of this Summer, I will be going back to Chimera on November 15-16, 2014 to finish what I started and claim my belt buckle.
There you have it, a recap of where I have been and a glimpse as to what I have planned.  There's plenty of room, who wants in?

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