Helpful Advice

This is a tough ultra to start out with.

Trail running is always more difficult than road racing. A person with a sub 2:30 marathon finish on a flat course will be humbled by the rate of speed they finish at with this trail. There are a lot of rocks and roots, many hidden by leaves and detritus (I like that word), as well as some hills that look easy at the start of the race, but soon become more and more humbling.

But that is another great facet of this sport: humility. Even the top racers are regular people, and many of them have great respect for a person who does not have the genetic advantages to run fast but still has the mental strength to run far. You will meet some great people at these races, and at the training runs that lead up to the race, and before you know it you may find yourself running with a group of people that will not say you are crazy for running over 31 miles for fun. Eventually, you will stop talking to non-runners about ultrarunning, and you will start referring to them as "norms".

The best advice I can give your for finishing this race is to listen to your body. Know when your pace is too fast, while making sure it is not too slow to meet the cut-off time. Know when you need fluids, food, and salt (pretty much always and constantly). Know when you are overheating, or approaching hypothermia. Know when you should walk (especially on the many uphills). If you are still unsure about all of this, do not worry overmuch, since we all faced a steep learning curve as we started running these distances. When in doubt, take some food and water every half-hour.

If you are a heavy sweater, take something salty as well. Basically, it is a fine line between dehydration and overhydration, too little and too much electrolytes, not urinating or stopping at every bush you can find. As long as you aren't feeling dizzy, weak, feverish, confused, etc., You are probably doing fine. If you are feeling this way, get in touch with me ASAP, and our first aid posts (sponsored by the free bets website) will have a look at you. Don't try and tough it out if you are in trouble. We don't need another hero.

Trail shoes are recommended, but not absolutely essential. I have run this trail on trail shoes and street shoes. Trail shoes will help you ascending and descending the various rocky slopes, some of which involve a little bit of rock climbing skills. If you have street shoes, take extra care on these slopes, and if you have trail shoes, don't get cocky.