Ultras

Iditarod record earned

Awesome blog post about Tim Hewitt’s record breaking 1000 mile trek in the Iditarod Trail Invitational by Craig Medred! Worth the read.

Craig Medred

10570347_10153392429056611_2091238505391719584_n Tim Hewitt on the Iditarod Trail at White Mountain/Joanna Wassillie photo

You can’t begin to do what Tim Hewitt just did in walking 1,000 miles across the godforsaken, frozen wilderness of Alaska in less than 20 days to set a record in the Iditarod Trail Invitational, and he doubts you’d want to.

Who’d choose to beat themselves up this way?

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Categories: #happydays, Trail Event, Ultras, Winter Running | Leave a comment

Iditarod Trail Invitational

Right now the Iditarod Trail Invitational is going on in Alaska. No I don’t mean the famous dog sled race (although that is going on now too). I’m talking about the Trail invitational that involves people on foot, skis and bike, running, skiing or biking 130, 350 or 1000 mile across the Alaskan wildness.

The 1000 mile race runs from Knik Lake outside of Anchorage to Nome Alaska. For the most part this race follows the Iditarod Trail, the same one that dogs will use but these people head out before the dogs start (in some cases the dogs will pass them by). Fully self-supported; these cyclists and walkers can expect to spend up to a month riding or walking in the wilderness. I can’t imagine sleeping outside in the Alaskan wilderness by myself in a bevy sack on the side on a trail at 40 below but that is what these participants will do if they have to. Tough people these racers.

Iditerod map with Spot tracking of particilants

Iditarod map with Spot tracking of participants.

I’m following Jill Homer, a young endurance athlete/writer who is riding a fat bike in the 1000 mile race. She is the only women in the 1000 mile bike race. I’m so excited because she is almost done! She has made it down the Yukon River and across the sea ice, and now is only about 100 miles from Nome!

Jill Homer Facebook image by JJ Weizel. Check out that bike!

Jill Homer Facebook image by JJ Weizel. Check out that bike!

I’ve followed Jill for a few years in all her exploits ever since I read her first book Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide, an inspiring story of her race in The Tour Divide – 2745 miles from Banff Alberta to Antelope Wells New Mexico (where she broke the women’s time record). I didn’t even know these types of ultra-endurance races existed. It isn’t a bad thing for me to find out about these event now because if I was younger I would probably want to do one dragging Glenis with me – Go Blister Sisters!

I’ve thought of Jill and her stories a few time when I find the going tough in a run. Her strength through adversity reminds me that nothing I do is that hard. I can’t wait for her next book.

 

Just a quick update. Jill finished 937 miles in just over 17 days, a women’s course record! We are so impressed! Yeah Jill!

 

Check out Jill Homer’s blog Jill Outside!

Categories: #happydays, Cycling, Other stuff, Run, Ultras, Winter Running | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

#happydays 50K Done! Haliburtion Forest 100 – 50K

Haliburton Forest 50K

50K done!

A big thanks to Helen Malmberg and her crew for putting on another terrific race and to the Haliburton Forest Center for hosting it in their beautiful forest.

There are a few lessons to learn running this type of race.

  • It is an emotional experience, you might cry.
  • You will have a lot of time to think about things. Be grateful.
  • Your feet will take a beating.
  • Recovery is a bitch.

We took our time on this race and did a little videography. Have a look at our movie of the race to see the beauty of this run.

 

Highlights of the run were:

  • The huge rain and electrical storm Friday night.
  • The forest.
  • Sleeping in the van in the rain.
  • The dark morning rain.
  • The beautiful single track trail.
  • The aid stations.
  • The 50k turn around.
  • Did I mention the forest?
  • The amazing runners that passed us. They were just awesome.
  • The gnomes.
  • The cheering at the finish line.

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#happydays Haliburtion Forest Trail Run

The Haliburton Forest Trail run is just two days away.

The excitement is building! This year is the 21st anniversary of this event which features a number of distances from 12k to 100 miles through the beautiful Haliburton forest. We haven’t run at Haliburton for a few years, but we do have some experience, running the 50k a couple of times and finishing the 50 miles distance. It will be fun to be back at the beautiful Wolf Center.

We really like this race not only for the great wilderness trails it follows but there is no time limit for the shorter races. As long as we finish before the course closes for the 100 mile race on Sunday, we are good. The 100 mile racers have 30 hours to cover the course so we won’t have a problem.

Haliburton Forest Tail Map

Haliburton Forest Tail Map

We are heading up to do some van camping Friday night so we will be rested and ready Saturday morning at 6am – in the dark – with headlights – running in the wilderness – up hills with a bunch of great runners who are, oh so much faster than us!

Nightlights, that reminds me of when we ran the 50 miles. It started to get dark about 8pm in the forest and we pulled out our tiny flashlights. Both of them started to fade and we were forced contemplate running the last bit of trail in the pitch black. As we trudged up the forest road to the trail head in the dark; we mumbled “hi” to two figures walking by with flash lights. One of them called out “Glenis”! OMG, it was our husbands! They walked out from the finish to see if we had passed through the 2nd last aid station yet! We quickly exchanged our dying flashlights for a pen light and a wind up flashlight. Those two tiny lights got us through the last 10k! Too funny!

So Saturday morning 52 amazing runners will head off to run 100 miles through tough single track tails and 67 of us will head out to do a fraction of that distance. Let the fun begin.

Categories: #happydays, Trail Event, Ultras | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

#100happydays Day 90 Ultrarunning Field Guide

#100happydays Day 90   Ultrarunning Field Guide

The other day I came across a great article on my Facebook page from Outside Magazine about ultrarunning and I fired the link off to Glenis in an email with instructions to read the article.

The article was about Hal Koerner and Hal’s Top 10 Must Do’s on Race Day. It included obvious must do’s like wear a watch and have fun along with ones you might not give much thought to like be ready to be resilient when things go wrong and do stay aware (after all most ultras are not in urban areas). The article also touched on what not to do like don’t fret over natural phenomena and don’t let aid stations dictate your personal fueling. That last one is so important not only for ultrarunners but for any racer. Race directors placing aid stations don’t know where or when you will need fluids only you do.

Not only did Glenis read the article, she bought each of us Hal Koerner’s book! Yeah sister! Hal Koerner’s Field guide to Ultra Running. It covers training for ultramarathons from 50K to 100 miles.

Field Guide to Ultra Running

Field Guide to Ultra Running by Hal Koerner

A few years ago we ran a 50 miler; it was an awesome event in our lives but talk about winging it. We only did a little research and figured out our own training schedule then drew on our experiences from all the marathons we had run. Having a field guide would have been great.

Well we aren’t planning on a 50 miler this year, just a little 50k, but this book will be a great reference. We should have an easier time finishing. Check out Hal Koerner’s blog.

Categories: #100HappDays, Ultras | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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