After the trail 50k disaster I had last year, I was not looking forward to another trail ultra. No. But, for some reason, I signed up for this one, though I waited until a month before… I just wasn’t sure I wanted to go through such a painful experience again… You see, I just don’t believe there should be this much pain in a hobby! Hobbies should be fun, no?
Crazy me and my high (fun) expectations!And the Elevation chart, all straight from the website.
Friday I ate triple the amount I should have, and then I managed to sleep 4 hours, which is a lot for a night before a race, right? Saturday I was up at 3:10, and we all met up by our zip car at 4:30. The 50K was starting at 7 am and Bear Mountain is around 50 miles away, and you have to park and take a shuttle to the start. The shuttle… sleepy faces!
We got there as the sun was starting to shine. Bear (rar!) Mountain is a gorgeous place, so much green, the air smells a lot different!
We settled, got ready, took some pictures, and had some time to chat: the prerace hangout is always so much fun!!
The Course————————Was a mix of amazing and brutal. Half the course was what I would call “unrunnable”. Even if you run the crazy uphills, or the crazy downhills, which I’ve seen just a few people do, it’s really not really all running; it’s more like rock climbing!!!!There were parts where we were on our fours climbing up, or leaning back and/or holding onto trees so not to slide down!! Most of it was rocky; there were even huge rocks the size of my apartment, that you had to climb over. There were trees in the course, mud and rivers to cross through little hanging briges, mossy rocks, or whatever. There were lots of snakes, even a rattle snake in the middle of the trail (I freaked out a bit). There were trees with white flowers, lakes, and mountains all around us. Sometimes the mountains were in front of us, and sometimes they were under our feet. We crested a few of them. Going up was really hard. Going downhill was even harder. Enjoy the view!
So well organized, I should have loved it!!!! I picked up my stuff Thursday at the North Face store, and they were all super nice and helpful (I wanted to buy everything!!!). When we got to the race, everything was set up. The same at the finish. The people taking care of the race were all really fantastic, super helpful and upbeat. The course was RIDICULOUSLY well marked, I never ever got lost, not even for a second.
The Aid Stations & The Volunteers————————
I needed all kinds of help and they were all SO nice: band aids, blister assistance, moleskins, cheering… All I couldn’t get (at least from the First Aid people!!) was anti-inflammatories!!! They’d offer to refill your bottles… they’d tell you you looked great, they’d lie… and they had lots of food!! Peanut buttes sandwiches, gus, roctane gus, jelly beans, potato chips, potatoes, crackers, chicken broth, coke, etc. I am going to admit to just 6 Gus, some potato chips and three brownies!
Too tired for now, but I’ll post it up super soon. So far it looks like fun, right? No worries, lots of drama ahead, I promise!l EDITED, MY RACE is here.
North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain 50K – Race Report