2014 Black Mountain Monster



I better write something about this race before I forget it all!   I don’t have many photo’s yet, but if more show up on the Inter-webs, I’ll update this post…

This would be my 3rd year running the BMM24.  The 1st year, I “came out of nowhere” (with limited training, to run 99.2. miles and get 2nd place.  Last year, I was training for Leadville, so I had a lot more miles on the legs coming in, but I did not want to hinder further training by running too much, so the plan was to stop when I felt like I was no longer helping Pb.  Which I did, 19 hours into the race at mile 87, again taking 2nd place.

So what would year 3 hold, again with limited “ultra training” on my legs?  (Due to training for a fast marathon this spring — well, fast for me!)

We followed the typical plan of setting up camp early on Friday, around 4:30, to get our favorite spot, headed into town for last minute groceries, donation food, and a quick trip to My Father’s Pizza, and then headed back to camp to hang out and chill until bed time.  Don’t forget your ear plugs!  The train tracks are right next to the camp site and can be VERY VERY LOUD!

Here’s the quiet camp site shortly after we finished setting up, maybe 5:30 p.m.  It would fill in more that night, and much much more in the morning!


Race day came, and I just love the 10 a.m. start.  Allows a leisurely morning of coffee, chilling, and waiting.  Oh, and going through gear one more time…

Ray K caught this picture of me chill-axing right before the start — the sun came out and it was nice so I thought I’d catch a few rays.  😉  (I was talking to the kid’s back at Grandma’s…)bmm1

I almost missed the start —  I had taken the GoPro up and recorded a bit, but decided to throw it back in my tent rather than carry it the 1st loop.  And then I heard “Go!” as I was walking back, and I had to run up and get going….




It got warm after the 1st loop, so I lost the shirt….


This one is later on — I can tell because I’m wearing Hoka’s.  I only made it 25 miles before switching, but more on that below.  (I thought I’d switch after 50 miles!)


Here’s a fast re-cap.  I went in without any real expectations or goals, and that can be a problem.  But due to the lack of miles, I thought anything north of 50 would be good, and didn’t want to commit to much more.  The 1st 10-15 miles felt pretty good, so I started thinking 106 would be reasonable, and even mentioned this to a couple of 12 hour runners when they asked me what my goals were.

By mile 22 or 23, I had lost the good feeling.  😦   I’ll copy some of my notes from the race below in a pace chart/table, but suffice it to say that writing “too early to suffer” at mile 24.8 is not a good sign just 4.5 hours into a 24 hour run!

At 50k I was feeling even worse.  I decided a break  was needed, and sat down with some chips and guacamole — the Guacamole of Contemplation.   “Why am I out here?”  “What is suffering?”  That kind of thing.  I almost opened a beverage but decided to hold off.  After 12 minutes, I was back on the course.  “I’m not dead yet… I’m feeling better” (reference to Monty Python…) were my thoughts as I started a run/walk combo, trying to get in a groove.

I somehow trudged out another 55k before succumbing to the doldrums again.  At that point (68.2) it was 1 a.m. and I decided to crawl into my tent and go to sleep.  I opted not to set an alarm, figuring if I slept through and didn’t run anymore, that that was what was meant to be, and I’d be ok with that.   I didn’t fall right asleep, listening to the race going on, but eventually I did.

Sometime after 6 a.m. I woke up, walked to the port-o-pot, and felt quite good.  Barely any stiffness in the legs at all.  I decided to make another cup of coffee, and head back out.  My logs show I went back on the course at 6:54 a.m. and knocked out another 4 loops and finished by 9:45, for a total of 80.6 miles, tied for 3rd.  (Tied for 3rd with a 72 year old man — AMAZING!)

In hindsight, I’m happy with 80.6 miles + a 5 hour nap.  🙂  (It’s the least sore I’ve ever been after 50+ miles!  Naps are good!)

Martin T went for 103 and took 2nd place, and Baki ran an amazing 108 for 1st.  Mostly amazing because he came out to run 50 hard, and play it by ear after that.  🙂

Gear:  Sport Kilt, Saucony Viratta (too small!), under armor compression shorts, a couple different ice breaker tops, buff, Hoka Stinson, injinji toe socks and Luna sock + Altra Superior for the last few loops.

Food:  The Guacamole of Contemplation (saved my race!), corn chips, 2 or 3 VFuels, hard boiled eggs, fruit from the aid stations, boiled potatoes and salt from the aid stations, pizza from the aid stations, coffee with heavy whipping cream made at my tent X 2.   Espresso Beans.  My normal mixture of 1/3 grape juice, 2/3 water, sometimes with a squirt of honey, sometimes without.  MAPs (BCAA’s) at just about every loop.  I know I’m forgetting something…  Oh Bacon — I didn’t care for the thick cut stuff I had brought.  A gluten free cookie.

I had other things in my cooler that never sounded appetizing — sweet potato/coconut oil mush, pemmican, sliced turkey, cheese, salami…

Here’s the table I kept during the race…


  • 10 a.m. start
  • I really wanted to avoid vitamin I — but still had 2x600mg during the 24 hours
  • a couple of times I forgot to write down the times when leaving, those are denoted with a ?
  • I had to take albuterol at mile 27.9 as my lungs just could not get enough air
  • I started, from the first, walking all the big hills, and walking the big steep paved downhill; later I switched to a  run/walk pattern, sometimes as low as 1 min run, 1 min walk, when I was feeling bad, but always tried to build back to 5 run 1 walk
Lap Number Mileage Time In Time Out Notes
 1  3.1  10:29
 2  6.2  11:00
 3  9.3 11:31
 4  12.4 12:03
 5  15.5 12:37
 6 18.6 13:09 ?
 7 21.7 13.44
 8 24.8 14:24 too early to suffer; hoka
 9 27.9 14:59 albuterol
10 31 15:38 15:50 Vit I, chips, guacamole, rest
 11 34.1 16:32  a little better; run/walk
 12 37.2 17:13
 13 40.3 17:52 pizza, took the go pro out for a loop
 14 43.4 18:39 espresso beans
 15 46.5 19:24 espresso beans, rested 5 min
 16 49.6 20:08 Vit I; [ some gibberish I can’t read]
 17 52.7 20:54
 18 55.8 21:39
 19 58.9 22:22 22:3? coffee
 20 62 23:15
 21 65.1 0:03
 22 68.2  0:51 6:54 5 hour nap; coffee; etc
 23 71.3 7:36
 24 74.4 8:18
 25 77.5 9:03
 26 80.6 9:43


Photo’s added after initial writing:


2 thoughts on “2014 Black Mountain Monster

  1. Pingback: Hinson Lake 2014: Predictions. (or excuses?) | 2sparrows

  2. Pingback: Hinson Lake 2014 | 2sparrows

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