The Ultra Run
I did my first Ultra run last weekend, and Pinhead’s lovely quote certainly came to mind. An Ultra is any race longer than a marathon. I did the Lovers Leap 50km, at Strawberry in Kyberz, just south of Lake Tahoe. Lots of mountains and hundreds of miles of forest.
The races website was a little simple, so I hadn’t worked out how much elevation gain there was. It turned out to be 6000ft. It all became a lot harder.
We started at 5.30am, with a bladder on my back and protein bars stuffed into my pockets. An Ultra has been described as an eating competition with a little running thrown in. You have to eat while you run to keep your body supplied or it will start to cramp. Eating gels and bars though will make you feel sick after a while, so its all about getting the balance right.
Whenever I do a new type of race, I always find out, usually too late at the starting line, that my gear is not right. My bladder was bigger and heavier than everyone else’s and my shoes were no where near as cool. They were running on sofas!
The first 20 miles were not too bad, and the scenery was wonderful. After that though, things started to change. No need to get specific, lets just say everything began to get sore.
The last 7 miles were downhill, so the thighs started to complain and then I started to whimper. Each step hurt.
I took 6 hours and 45 minutes and when finished I just sat in a chair and stared into space for a while. I had come 3rd, which was a nice surprise, though it was a pretty small race, there was only about 50 people on the mountain that day doing various distances.
by John Tomnay.
CEO at Apex Office Centers