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Tag: mountain running


With the trail running niche of mountain running seeing a lot of growth lately, thought I’d chime in with my [unsolicited] two cents regarding the sport. I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve spent a considerable amount of time training and racing in the mountains over the past two years, so I thought it might be worth sharing some of the lessons learned that have served me well.

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As I reflect on my 2015 race season, it was… a strange one. I lumped my entire year’s effort into 3 ultras across 8 weeks. It came and went in a flash. I’ve never trained harder and delivered more than this year. I accomplished more in those eight weeks from June-August than I would have ever dreamt possible several years ago, tackling some legitimately hard races/runs, but – in one way or another – failing at each of them. Spectacular failures, though, so there’s that at least. I’ve never gained so much from, or been so proud of, accomplishing so ‘little’.



Back in 2013, Jamie Hobbs was kind enough to show Ron and I The Devil’s Path out in New York’s Catskills Mountains. Repeatedly ranked as one of the hardest/most dangerous trails on the planet, Devil’s packs somewhere around +/-19,000′ of climb/descent across 6 mountains (and 8 peaks) in its 25 miles of highly technical trail. It’s rated as a highly strenuous, three-day hike. In 2014 I was able to run the whole thing (along with my friends Ron and Ryan) in 12 hours (for comparison, the fastest known time is just under the 5 hour mark). In addition lots of climb and descent (there are no ridges in between the peaks), the trail is highly technical, riddled with roots, rocks, and cliff bands. If you’ve heard absurd descriptions of this trail? Don’t write it off as hyperbole. It’s almost impossible to overstate how challenging this trail can be.

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Well, that was one hell of an adventure. This past weekend’s Manitou’s Revenge Ultramarathon more than lived up to its brutal reputation, and I had an absolute blast. This was easily the most fun I’ve ever had in a race due to the beautiful setting, the amazing racers and volunteers, and the sheer ridiculousness of the course and the conditions. It was also probably the worst time I’ve ever had in a race due to circumstances out of my control that, ultimately, ended up costing me the chance to finish – exiting the race at mile 44, scratching my head on what had become a pretty bizarre situation.