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Tag: TrailsROC


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.





Over the past few days that I’ve had to reflect on last weekend’s Off Road Half Ironman, I’m realizing that this past Saturday is a day that will be seared in my emotional memory for years to come. It was that good. A perfect day in many ways.

When I started losing weight and got hooked on Triathlons in 2010, I knew almost instantly that I’d want to do an Ironman. Off Road. Lot’s of people do them on the road. There are very few who have done one off road. For good reason – it’s really, really, really hard.

I’ve been planning on tackling my “holy grail” of a full off road ironman later this year. But somewhere in the recesses of the under-used logical section of my brain, a little voice said, “Ya know… It would make a lot of sense to try a HALF Off Road Ironman before you try a FULL. Just sayin’.”

So, enter last Saturday. I decided to give the Off Road Half Ironman (1.2 Mile Open Water Swim, 56 Miles of Trail Mountain Biking, and 13.1 Miles of Trail Running) a whirl and see what would happen. What happened is that, in just under 9 hours of swim/bike/running, I rediscovered all over again that I’m capable of more than I think I am. I discovered that trails and open water possess an almost religious quality for me. I discovered that I have utterly amazing family and friends who support what I do (I knew that before, but it never hurts to be reminded).



Me and the race mascot chillin’ pre-race start. I was privileged to take part in Saturday’s 3rd Annual Sehgahunda Trail Marathon along with the other founders of and many other friends. What an awesome day! Here’s the recap…

Oh, Sehgahunda. You little bastard.

At this point in my short (I was obese less than three years ago) endurance racing “career”, a trail marathon isn’t too bad. I’ve soloed longer trails. 10-12 hours spent mountain biking or trail running are second nature by this point. Heck, I was actually using Sehgahunda as a part of my off road triathlon training because I’m tackling a solo off road Ironman triathlon later this year. Coming into Saturday’s race I’d already thrown in a 100 mile single speed road bike and 2.5 mile swim in the week prior just to see how my body would respond to it all. So I know what I’m capable of and had no reservations at all headed into Saturday’s race. I showed up ready to go, not play it conservatively, and see how fast I could crank through Sehgahunda’s 26.3 miles of trail with a goal of finishing in the 5:30 range – give or take half an hour.

But in my racing experience I’ve also learned, mostly the hard way, that I need to listen to my body. Especially with endurance undertakings. There’s a time to push your limits. The pain cave has become a familiar “friend” by now. But there’s also a time to back off, cut your losses, and live to fight another day. Like when you’re risking heat stroke; like during Saturday’s race.