|Yes... I WILL re-use this picture. Over and over again.|
He's completed a couple half marathons and will be joining me in September to run his first marathon. We will be running Denver Marathon which is one of my all-time favorite races, not only because it's the local one, but it's the people, the course, the live music, the views. It's pretty awesome. This will be my 8th marathon... although if you REALLY think about it, I have ran 7 marathons plus 2 marathon distances with Ironman. So in reality, it will be my 10th marathon distance run. Exciting.
For some reason, the marathon distance run doesn't seem too daunting. Maybe because my last marathon, the Ironman one, was nicely broken into 6.55 mile splits. Four 6.55 mile splits seem so doable so I'm up for a bigger challenge nowadays... Since a few months ago I said I'd be looking into running an ultra-marathon again soon. An ultra marathon is a running event that involves running more than the traditional marathon length of 26.2 miles. The most common distances are 50 km, 100 km, 50 miles and 100 miles although many events are a variation of these distances. Most ultras are trail runs with severe obstacles, such as inclement weather, elevation change, or rugged terrain. Also, aid stations are a little more stocked than a regular marathon, but they are usually 20 - 35km (13-18 miles) apart so it's mostly a self-sustained event.
In February of 2010, I ran my first ultra-marathon. The distance was 55k (or 34 miles). It was pretty epic... I got to explore Moab, Utah a little more and the trails they have to offer. The views were quite amazing although we had to run through snow that melted halfway through the race and ended up being a crazy mud-fest.
|Roughly 10 miles into the Moab Red Hot 55k|
Not really knowing what I was getting myself into, I didn't consume enough food, water, salt, etc. Let's say I didn't feel great by the time I finished, but with time, I've learned (through my mistakes) what's an endurance athlete to do. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape and I'm ready to give ultra running a second shot, in the end, I'd like to eventually work my way up to run a 100 miler. Whoa, did those words just come out of my mouth? Well, yeah... I'd eventually like to do that, but not too soon.
I've decided to sign up for a beginner-type ultra-marathon. Is there such a thing? Since I live in Colorado and there's a lot of VERY athletic people out there, there are races for all types of athletes. I will be signing up to run the Bear Chase Trail Race which is a 50 mile, 50K, Half Marathon and 10K. I will be doing the 50K. What's beginner about that? Well, the starting elevation is roughly 5500ft and the total elevation gain over 50K is 1900ft... which makes it WAY easier than most ultras out there. Also, there are 9 aid stations along the course which means there's one every 3 to 4 miles. And while it is a challenging run with it being a trail run, the course is fairly fast (for ultra standards) and not overly technical.
So if you are wondering what I'm up to on September 30th, feel free to swing by Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood, CO. I'll be getting some miles in...
"Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible." -Escher