I’d been looking forward to the Grasslands Trail Run for more than a year. Late March weather in Texas would be a break from New York’s lingering winter, and the course follows gorgeous sandy trails – for a barefoot runner like me, this would be a real treat.
The race was three months off, but here I was stuck in New York for the winter, and heavy snow was falling — conditions not conducive to barefoot running. This raised an interesting question — how would I prepare for the race? Continue reading “Getting Ready for the Grasslands”
By way of background, I’d registered for this race a year ago, curious about the trail, only to find out a few weeks later that it was canceled. Evidently the Knob Hills Trail is maintained by mountain-bikers, and when conditions turn muddy, they close the trails to prevent erosion. The race was rescheduled to January 18, 2020, and my prior registration rolled over automatically.
For barefoot runners, the nature of the trail matters for the obvious reason that smooth dirt or sharp-edged rocks have different implications for speed and thus goals and strategy. Since this race would take place on the northwestern shore of Grapevine Lake, I imagined a mix of sand and dirt with some crumbled limestone strata, which is what I’d experienced on the lake’s southeastern shore, where I’d participated in the Rockledge Rumble…. Continue reading “Knob Hills Trail Race”
In the last few weeks a little bit of chaos has been spreading through my life, or so it seems (maybe it was always there). I attribute the chaos to excessive business travel, but some amount of disorder is inescapable, whether in daily life or in ultramarathons for that matter. Here’s my account of the Rockledge Rumble 50k ultramarathon, a recent race along the Northshore Trail in Grapevine, Texas, together with the travel, logistics, planning and other headaches that led up to and spilled into race day, and how I tried to manage them….
Continue reading “Managing Chaos at the Rockledge Rumble 50k”
A few notes from the Batona Trail Races 33-miler, October 12, 2019, which was notable for being the first ultramarathon I’ve run without shoes…
Continue reading “Batona Trail Races 33-miler”
This is a guest blog post by Jeffrey Adams, an experienced ultrarunner who recently thru-ran the 358-mile Long Path in 7 days, 12 hours, and 18 minutes, establishing a new fastest known time (FKT) record on a supported basis.
Continue reading “Jeffrey Adams’ Account of his Record-setting Long Path Run”
The sixth edition of the SRT Run is now in the books. The event celebrates the values of self-reliance and endurance, and we congratulate every finisher… Continue reading “2019 SRT Run Race Director’s Report”
This is a guest post by Jessica Velez who participated in the 70-mile division of the 2019 SRT Run. I was at checkpoint #5 when she arrived with only a few minutes to spare, and based on her pace at that point I didn’t think she would make it to checkpoint #6, but she did, this time only seconds before the cut-off, strained, blistered, and sopping wet. Given the risks associated with rain, darkness, and cooling temperatures I offered her the option to drop here and get a ride to the finish, but she barely acknowledged me, instead got to work replacing the batteries in her headlamp, and then headed off into the dark, wet forests for the final 6-mile stretch, arriving at the finish in 29 hours and 49 seconds, and along the way demonstrating the values of determination, self-reliance, and endurance that we seek to celebrate with this event. — Ken.
Why did I do it? It wasn’t for fun, I wish I had the level of fitness where 70 miles would be fun. When I run marathons- they are fun, I socialize, take in the views, people watch- I actually have a lot of fun with marathons. I signed up for a 70, because as I finished my 50 miler at Rock the Ridge in 2017- I felt like I could have done more. I wanted to challenge myself and see if my body was capable of the “more”. Why did I choose the Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT) race specifically? Simply because it was local and scenic and priced extremely reasonable.
Continue reading “Jessica Velez: Reflections on my 70-miler”
Note: Ben Leese won the 70-mile division of the 2019 SRT Run with a new course record of 16:28:16, eclipsing the prior record by almost two hours. More info on the race at www.srtrun.com
Ben’s 2018 SRT race report here
Shawangunk Ridge 70 miler
Last year was my first attempt at the SRT and my first attempt at running anything longer than a marathon. After missing my goals at a succession of road races over the preceding couple of years I was thrilled to achieve my main objective of grinding out a finish. But the experience was brutal. The distance was of course a big part of that, but I’d made a number of rookie errors as well and as soon as the chafing had healed and the toenails had regrown I began to think about ways to improve in 2019.
Continue reading “Ben Leese’s 2019 SRT Race Report”
Guest post by Jaime Peca, female winner in the 2018 70-mile SRT division, with a time of 24:27:08
About two years ago I was trolling through ultrasign up and stumbled upon a race called SRT. It had multiple distances and looked like an extremely beautiful course. I had been going through a lot of difficulties and low points in my life and I was looking for something that would really test my inner strength and determination. Looking at this event, a 70 mile fully unsupported race that was pretty close seem to fit the bill. I started working on building up my miles in the couple of years as well as continuing to deal with a lot of difficulties in my personal life. Continue reading “Jaime Peca’s 70-mile SRT Race Report”
By guest author, Ben Leese, who completed the 70-mile SRT race on September 14-15, 2018, coming in second place in a time of 19:15:48.
After many months of procrastination and joking off my impulsive entry into the SRT 70 miler as a midlife crisis (“cheaper than a motorbike am I right?!”), raceday finally rolled around. With no injury to hide behind and with a pre-booked afternoon off work I found myself waking up on Friday on a disconcerting autopilot – am I really going to try and do this? Continue reading “Ben Leese’s 70-mile SRT Race Report”