I have been very public about how I am going to qualify for the Boston Marathon via the Rochester Marathon this fall. The Flower City Challenge half marathon was last weekend, and while I've prepped for this, I have been longing to run more trails.
Recently we launched TrailsROC, the Dirt Cheap series began, many of my running friends are hitting up The Segahunda Trail Marathon in a month, and my interest to run a road race has faded a bit as my passion for trails has taken off.
I have begun thinking more and more every day about running further and further. Every time I put in more miles on a long training run, it did not feel enough. I wanted more.
Last fall we ran the Mud Slog, A 12K in the woods, we also ran the Dirt Cheap Stage Races (3 races in 2 days), and it did not feel like enough. I felt ready for more. Ready to run. The trails made me just want it in a way the roads never have.
With that said, I began thinking about an Ultra. Last night we picked up hydration packs. Now we can carry food and water on long runs comfortably.
Then my brain really took off. I started to see what races were open for the fall. What would be acceptable. What could I accomplish with the base I currently have and the hard work I am willing to put in.
So. Where does this leave me?
The Western NY Ultra Series is one option. This leaves me with a lot of options (see below) and I like the choices. Some of these are roads, and while I like the ability for support, and the easy terrain. I believe ultras are meant to be run off the road. On dirt trails, climbing up and down. Getting muddy, getting wet. That removes BPAC and Can Lake.
The BPAC 6 hour distance classic
Highland Forrest 1, 2, 3 (30 miles)
The Finger Lakes Fifties
The Green Lake Endurance Runs (50K, 100K)
The Can Lake 50 Ultras
The Mendon Trail Runs (50K)
Other choices outside of the ultra series include the following:
Segahunda Trail Marathon
The Beast of Burden 100 Mile SUMMER – WINTER
The Virgil Forrest Monster Marathon
Virgil Crest Ultra 50K, 50 Mile, 100 Mile
This gives me a lot of great options. The Monster Marathon and Segahunda are considerable in terms of the challenge. They have finishing times that mirror many of the longer races.
What about Boston? I am confident I can qualify for Boston… I have the leg turn over and the lung capacity. I think I will give it a go anyway this fall at the Rochester Marathon. The great thing about goals are that they are adaptable. I am surely going to put in the work that would help me get to Boston. I just may not want to as much as I want to go crush some trails…
Have you ever run an Ultra? Do you want to run one? What do you love most about trails?
Let me know, then keep on keepin on.