I recently finished reading “Born to Run”, I re-read ”Once a Runner” and “Again to Carthage”, I am at the start of “Finding Ultra”. With all this endurance talk, trail talk, and finding our roots talk, my goals began to become more clear. I wrote this post about if I should run an ultra. Deep down, I think I knew the day I wrote that post I would not be chasing the Boston time.
So I began my research this week and I was looking to fill the following requirements:
1. A local trail Ultra – at least 50k – As a cofounder for #TrailsROC, I know we have the trail infrastrucutre to support the race I want right here in Rochester, NY.
2. Was it affordable? Running should be something anyone can afford. The greedy cost of some of the more famous races irks me. Trail running even more so should be affordable. I am not going to pony up to go do something I could do on my own.
3. Can I have pacers if I want to share the experience with people close to me or if and when I would like to be supported?
4. Would the race be well organized? Well marked, with a “headquarters” of sorts.
5. Is it a challenge? I am not looking for a flat boring course. I want to be climbing, slipping, falling, even walking and probably swearing. Most of all, I want to hurt, to feel alive.
So I searched for a bit and then….
I found a race.
1. It is local, and it is on trails and it has 5, 10, 20, and 50k options. I will be running the 50k of course!
2. It is only 20 bucks. This is an unheard of price for an ultra. Actually thats unheard of for most any race. This means I will be often self supported. I think I like that challenge more.
3. I can have pacers. My plan is to bring one person per loop. I will make a donation to the race organizers in thanks for allowing them to run. They will carry their own water for the 10k they run and we will of course respect any and all rules of trail running.
4. I have read wonderful reviews of this race. It has a good local reputation and is based out of a lodge for the day. That makes me feel confident and comfortable.
5. The course has over 1,100 feet of elevation GAIN on each 10k loop. That means I will climb over 5,500 feet during the race. That’s a serious challenge and one that actually makes me a bit nervous. Glad I will have pacers and supporters.
So what race is it?
What does this mean for Boston?
Well after putting some SERIOUS thought in to this. I am most likely going to forgo my Boston attempt. I will still do my Boston plan speed work on Tuesdays, because to be honest with you I love running fast. I love that feeling. So I will still do it. I will just be adding slower longer miles the rest of the time, which probably takes me out of the Boston Marathon threshold times.
So there it is. My goals have changed. Maybe they never really changed, they have just decided to speak up and stand up for what they believe in. If I feel fast enough this September, I will step out on to the course at the Rochester Marathon and give it a go.
My attitude of faster and better hasn’t changed. Just the race has. I never had any intentions of running Boston if I qualified, and I am more suited to life on the trails than life on the roads. The roads feel so… well, they feel corporate and I hate corporate.
I have no goal for the 50k. It is not a PR course. It is not something I think I want to kill myself over. Finishing will be fine. So, for the first time in… well for the first time ever, I will run a race with the goal “to finish”. It feels fresh. It feels right. It feels Ultra!!
Over the next few months, I will be looking for pacers… If you want to run 10k of this course with me, then I want you there! Let’s talk!
Until then, keep checkin back for updates, and then keep on keepin on! You will find me on the trails.