Race Report: Extreme North Dakota Sandhills Ultra Run Experience #ENDSURE

Race Report: Extreme North Dakota Sandhills Ultra Run Experience #ENDSURE

Posted In: Running divider 4 Comments »

What a day! And that’ a bit of understatement. I always tell people who want to do long distances about the rollercoaster rides that come with the territory. Saturday did not disappoint.

I DNF’d. I pulled out at the last aid station at 40k or so. I couldn’t feel my feet and it the darkness was coming. I was fearing frostbite and I got some but not that bad considering what I saw out there.

Let’s just say the forecast changed quite a bit the last week or so. We went from looking at a nice mild day to -28 degrees with the winchill at the start. Awesome! And Andy, the race director, wasn’t kidding when he said there was 6 to 24 inches of snow on the trails.

There were 5 sections. The first 10k was pretty good. Beautiful scenery and not too much snow. Got to the first checkpoint in about 90 minutes so I knew I wasn’t going to set any records that day. Second section started being more a challenge since it was more and more snow.

The third section was probably the best and easiest since it was a short out and back section on a gravel road. It was just long enough for me to thaw out my feet and relax my legs. Too bad the rest wasn’t like that!

The fourth section is when it started sucking. Snow is fun but after 8+ hours running and walking in what seemed like mash potatoes, I was getting close to getting tired of it. The good thing is that I was still in good spirits. I just couldn’t feel my feet anymore and I was getting worried about getting back late for my workshop in Winnipeg the next day.

And I couldn’t tell you about the fifth section but from what I hear it was similar to the second and fourth sections so yeah…

Even if I didn’t finish, I’m glad I did this race for a few reasons:

  1. Kickstart my fitness: I had been a bit on the lazy side for the few years while concentrating on teaching and coaching. This year I woved to change that
  2. Prove that ChiRunning works: With minimal training and my longest run being around 30k, I wanted to see if I could could carry by 245lbs frame around a fairly gruesome course and smile the whole way. Great inspiration from Race Director Andy Magness and his minimalist approach helped
  3. Another adventure: Piggybacking on Friday’s post, I love getting myself into new territory to find out more about myself
  4. Myself: I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. Even if I didn’t, I’m sure with better footwear I would have finished. No promise on making it look pretty though!
I will have some more details for you in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned!

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