Blog Subtitle

Reverse-engineering the Ultramarathon

Sunday, July 28, 2013

What Makes me Think I can do the LAVS?

Google Map from this year's race.
(RIP symbols indicate where runners dropped out of the race.)
What makes me think it is remotely possible for me - a guy who's never run longer than 50 miles - to go 314 miles across five southern states in July heat? Before I say anything else I have to acknowledge that the bottom-line answer is that I don't know whether I can - and what that says to me is, "Go find out."

That's my genetic defect.

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Official - I'm Insane

Image (appropriately) lifted from Psyche Wimberly's blog:
"Run Like Ya Stole Sumthin'"
Imagine this:

You're out running with a good friend who happens to be a pretty experienced ultrarunner with some tough races on his resume: MassanuttenArrowhead 135Badwater, and a bunch more - over 60 ultras in all. Last year he managed to gain entry into the fabled Barkley Marathons, but was unable to finish.

As you run with this friend, you of course talk about ultrarunning. As it happens, another race cooked up in the imagination of the Barkley race director, the Last Annual Vol State Road Race (LAVS), is happening while you're running. Your friend ventures the opinion that the Barkley and the LAVS are the two toughest races in America.

You're an ultrarunner too, but one with just a few races to his credit. What do you do?
  1. Say, "Whoa!" with a sense of awe and wonderment in your voice, and keep running.
  2. Think to yourself, "It's so great there's no end of challenging goal races out there for me when I'm ready for them."
  3. Sign up for the 2014 LAVS as soon as they start compiling the list of entrants (which was yesterday, BTW).
If you chose #1 or #2 you are a sane person. I picked #3.