Start of the Dizzy Fifty trail run at Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville Alabama on November 17,2007
And we are off on our fifty kilometer or fifty mile adventure! Fifty Kilometers only took me 5 hrs. and 44 minutes. That is a long time to run!
Mountain Mist 50K Trail Run: Late January at Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville AL. The run loops the entire mountain with an occasional trip down and back up to the top. Two of which come in the last 6 miles.
Mt Chehah 50K run: February - Point to point run ending at the top of Mt. Chehah, the highest point in Alabama at 2,407 ft elevation.
Mt Mitchell challenge Run: Late February - Mt. Mitchell is the highest point east of the Rockies. The run starts in Black Mountain NC at 2,360 ft and tops out on Mt. Mitchell at 6,684 ft with a total elevation gain of 4,.324 in the first 20 miles. The run then descends back to the start at Black Mountain for a total of 40 miles.
Oak Mountain 50K Trail Run: March - The run is held at Oak Mountain State Park here in Birmingham. (My trail running training ground) The route never repeast the same trail and climbs 3,900 feet. Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run: June - Silverton, Colorado. Possibly the hardest run on earth. The run begins in Silverton and loops through Ouray, Telluride, Opher, Lake City and back to Silverton. The route climbs 33,000 feet in the 100 miles. You should go to the site and read about the event.
Did you ever wonder how someone looks after running 50 kilometers. Note the extra eyebrow over my left eye. That is what happens when you do a face plant on a large rock! (24 stitches and there are still 3 left)
I am one hour into my Saturday morning trail run. I have just reached the crest of the Northwest Ridge of Double Oak Mountain near Shackleford Point (the highest point in Oak Mountain State Park) following the "white" trail. The sun is just beginning to show over the Southeast Ridge of Double Oak Mountain about a half mile to the east. The air is cold and crisp and crystal clear. It is spectacular. "Ah - The unencumbered joys of trail running!" Well, almost unencumbered. When I started the temperature was about 34° and by now has dropped below freezing. I am wearing a Craft top as a first layer, medium weight long sleeve Coolmax second layer and Mountain Hardware short sleeve top laver. Then there is the toboggan, Pearl Izumi mountain bike gloves (crash insurance) and Pi arm warmers. The layers are necessary because it will probably warm up to 60° before I am finished. Did I mention this is a 6 hour run!! Oh yes, I am wearing a headlamp. The first hour of the run was in the dark. I never return to the car the entire six hours so I have to carry everything I will need. That is a lot of water and food. First I am wearing my Camelbak with 1.5 liters of water. I am carrying two Nathan hand held water bottles with hand straps and I am also wearing a Nathan “drink” belt with (4) 10 oz bottles full of Perpetium sports drink (mixed double strength). Then, there are the 5 packs of ExcellGell, two Inervett tablets (cramp pills), a packet of Enlyten electrolyte strips, several small Snickers bars and of course the peanut butter and (grape) jelly sandwich cut in half and in separate baggies. (Easier to eat while running) Oh yes, I am also carrying a cell phone/GPS, one chapstick, and my running cap for when it gets a little warmer! That's about it! Typical Training Run!
Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent: Mid August. It does not qualify as an ultra, unless you do the "Double" (The Ascent on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday.)
Although the course is on Mont Santo, the same location as the Dizzy Fifty, there is no comparison. Before the start temperatures were at freezing. It rained right up to the start and then just quit! The day turned out to be perfect for running, cold and breezy and clear. Unfortunately the rain early left the trail treacherous. Everything was wet and slippery and some areas were icy. The real treat of the event is the two trips from the bottom of the mountain to the top you make in the last 6 miles. Each climbs over 800 relentless, vertical feet. The first, the climb up "waterline" I actually feared for my life. I have already signed up for next year.
And we are off! The Mountain Mist is one of the largest and most popular trail runs in the Southeast. The race fills early and 258 runners finished.
Somewhere along the way. You can spot me by the fluorescent yellow gaiters.
Did I mention that some of the course was a little rocky!
My coat and gaiters no not actually match,