Short story: Ultras 2, Eric 0. See below for some more details.
For those who have been around for a while, you might remember the crazy experience in North Dakota a few years back. Needless to say, I didn’t finish that one. Quite a different story this time, same result I guess.
I had signed up for the 30 mile component of the weekend around Christmas time to kick my butt in gear. It worked as I probably did more “training” then I usually do in the winter. It got me out a few more times for sure, all good in my books.
We got an email earlier in the week saying some changes to the course because there was still too much snow at the top of the original peak. And yeah, they got a mild form of the storm so there were lots of trees down on the trails.
The day for me was basically three loops, all of about 10 miles (more on that later). First and third on the same mountain and the second one on an adjacent one.
We started in chilly conditions but we warmed up very quickly since the first 2k were straight uphill. Then a lot of switch backs as we went around the first mountain. After almost 2 hours of mostly climbing, we reached the top. It was quite nice but there was really no time to take it all in as you had to make your way down and around the mountain.
Got to see the fam quickly after the first loop and then off to the second one. Some more climbing but it was more steady than crazy. That is until the end where you looped the mountain by bushwalking. I might have cursed the race director a few times there. It also corresponded with some low energy levels so that didn’t help.
Then back the trails to the start. I was getting a tad tired by then and not really looking forward to going all the way up the first mountain again, especially since I had already done it. So I decided to pull out after about 22 miles (or 35kms) according to the race director. Still not a bad day at the office!
Some highlights included some incredible trails by the water and some wildlife: a snake, a pretty blue jay and a turkey. Overall a beautiful course and some amazing trails. And the weather cooperated for the most part. It was getting a tad warm near the end though…
The race director talked about more than 5000 feet of elevation in the first 2 loops alone when we chatted after. Maybe I should look into these details a bit more next time..
The clothing and food choices were on point actually. I felt good for the most part. I think most of my prep was good. I was just missing the elevation. And maybe carrying a few extra pounds.
Some key stats from my FitBit: 47k steps, 7ooo+ calories burned, almost 440 floors climbed (only counts up) and 390 active minutes.
One of my favourite moments of the day was finishing the second loop with my niece. She was asking why I was walking and trying to get me to go faster. I don’t think she quite got the concept of these mountains…
Know what the state motto is for Vermont? Green Mountain State. They’re not kidding. Green everywhere and same with the mountain part. Still one of my favourite places around.
Overall, it was a great experience. It was even sweeter I got to experience it with my little family…
Who knows, we might be back again next year!