I used to be very good about writing race reports, but not so much these days. So this is only 4 months late, and won’t have much detail.
But with that said, I will write a little… Some of you know I had sort of lost interest in most races, and this was before covid even started. I’m not sure why I lost interest, but traditional races like WS100 or UTMB that I once had on my bucket list, no longer called to me. Maybe it’s temporary, maybe not. What did interest me were crazier races and events, such as Barkley Fall Classic, Rogaines (24 hour orienteering events), and “projects” — self supported efforts like the Linville Gorge grand loop, SCAR, the Quad, etc.
But one day late September, Hellgate suddenly popped into my head… Not sure why, but I thought that would be “fun.” I figured it would be sold out, but a quick search found that it is application based and I had a week until applications were due around the 1st of October, so I waited for the application to be published, filled it out, and waited to hear something.
Funny thing — I received the following text from David Horton, legendary ultra runner, Barkley Finisher, and the RD:
Guess he couldn’t read my writing on the app! I responded with:
“woohoo! That’s exciting! And Terrifying!”
So now my current training philosophy would be put to the test — I want to be able to jump in to *any* *event* (running, biking, hiking – anything!) with just 2 months notice. With minimal run training (10-15 mpw), now I suddenly had two weeks to get ready to run 66.6 miles with 13,000′ of climb.
Quick report: Felt really good until about mile 45, then there was the “forever section” which was rocks and roots, all covered by a thick layer of leaves. I think that strained my R knee, which began to really hurt around mile 55, where I was reduced to a shuffle. And my feet started to fall apart. I went from being close to a “Horton Time” of 15 hours, to a finish in 16 hour 49 minutes. But now I want another shot, to have a good run here! Lack of run volume really caught up to me after mile 45…
And some photos:
Just a note on what I was turning over in my mind right up to my mid seventies. How much is too much to threaten a comfortable seventies, eighties and nineties. I began in earnest in my fifties and sixties and for two decades I put hundreds, even thousands of miles on my body, but I spread it out over swimming, cycling and running. You have been at it now for at least two decades of thousands of miles primarily on your legs, so a word of caution , think carefully about saving your body for the decades you have in front of you.
Sent from my iPhone
I definitely consider “healthspan” in my approach to training and racing — it’s why I am such a low volume runner. There are pros and cons to that — pros for longevity for a runner like me who has a history of “niggles” when I run too much. But con’s in that I tend to suffer more in the latter stages of races.
But I have moved away from mostly running to be a lot closer to a 50/50 split between that and biking, which does not include time spent paddling/rowing or lifting etc. I am spending a lot more time on strength these days. I know I should work on mobility too, but I have not done as well in that area!