Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bib #49

Good morning, friends. It's been awhile, I know....nearly 6 weeks since I wrote last. I won't say much today but I had to share a little something. I'll be running my capstone race of the year in about 48 hours from now, the Highland Sky 40 Miler in West Virginia. From a friend, "it's a 40-miler that runs like a 50-miler." Oh joy! But really, I am looking forward to it and escaping to a totally new area that I have never been to. As I ramp up the carbs today, the water, and all things good and cut out the crap, I got my bib number this morning: Bib #49. I have no idea where they came up with the numbering system as it follows no apparent pattern but this race is also my 49th marathon/ultra-marathon. (see my running "resume" on the right sidebar of this page...scroll down) I'm not superstitious or anything but I think that's pretty cool.

Here's one photo from the West Virginia Mountain Runners Facebook page of one section of the course...Dolly Sods.
Photo Courtesy of Daniel Todd
Since I can't yet speak first person of this area, I can only share what the race website says about this race. I think it kinda hit me about 48 hours ago...yikes! I'm not worried or afraid...I'm excited. I do know that I'm going to have to dig deep, though. I know I will persevere and be's a state of mind...and that I know how to do.

Course Description from website: The point to point course begins near the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area on Red Creek in Laneville, WV.  Following a 2 mile paved section, the trail ascends to Roaring Plains, Flatrock Plains and Red Creek Plains into Dolly Sods. The course proceeds north along the Allegheny Front to Bear Rocks.  Here runners will turn west crossing Dolly Sods to the rim of Canaan Valley north of Timberline Ski Resort. A descent through Timberline  leads to Freeland Rd  and into Canaan Valley State Park. This is not an easy ultra, but very rewarding when completed!The course climbs a total of 5474 feet and descends 4856 feet and is basically in three sections;  the Plains, the Road Across the Sky, and Dolly Sods. Two significant climbs occur in the first 15 miles where a 2300′ ascent is followed by a 1700′ descent, and then another 1200′ climb. In the first half of the course highly technical (rocky), single track sections occur from mile 7-11 and 16-18. The Dolly Sods section has an exciting boulder-hopping stretch from mile 30-31. The course is 75% trail, 15% Forest Service road, and 10% paved road.   There are eight aid stations. You should carry fluids and fuel due to remote location and distance between of some  of the stations."

Here are the rest of the race details along with plenty of race tidbits to make my skin crawl: Race Details

You know I love photos so as I thought about the 12hr time limit and battery life...and photo quality...and carrying a camera, I realized that my iPhone 5 takes better photos than anything mobile I own...but dang, that battery life stinks. I did some research on how to extend it and found a bunch of tips. So, my plan is to use my new waterproof case I got for my 40th birthday and put the phone on airplane mode which shuts off all transmissions. It'll basically be nothing but a camera. Hopefully, that'll suffice for the journey.

So that's it, friends. I'll be sure to come back for a race report post-race. Also in my brain these days: 2014. I am tossing around a thought to go after the 2014 Midwest Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. It's a series of four 100-mile trail races. If I were to be doing it this year, my 2nd 100-miler would be on Saturday at Mohican State Park where many of my friends are running either the 100 or 50 miler or volunteering. I already have the full support of my wife if I decide to pursue this. More later. For now, it's all about the finish line of my 49th.

Run Happy, friends.

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