The ultrarunning world has its own lingo, its own customs, its own podcasts, its own “major” races, its own stars, its own running clubs. It also has its own website: ultrasignup.com.
For the past few months, I’ve secretly held an account on Ultrasignup, lurking in the background without actually having run or signed up for an ultra race on the site. In other words, even though I’ve run a good bunch of trails, and even though I’ve fallen and gotten “best blood” on a run or two, and even though I took an official rite-of-passage full immersion dunk in the swimming hole with a crew of badass trail runners this past summer in Southwest Virginia, and even though I ran in Colorado in the dark and in the snow for the last few months of 2016, I am not an ultrarunner. I’m a wannabe, a noob, an interloper, a poser. But that’s going to change…
Because yesterday, I registered for the Mt. Hood 50K on July 9th on the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon! On Ultrasignup!!! So official!
You might be thinking, Wait, what about that whole BQ thing? Fair point. As I was planning my schedule this year, I had my one big goal for 2017 in mind, but I also wanted to avoid burning myself out chasing Boston, and I wanted to keep up my trail dabbling because it think the challenge of trails improves my running, both mentally and physically. So my hope is that having a few ultras on the calendar should help with all of that. Also, my first two target BQ races take place before the Mt Hood 50K. Ideally, I’d have a good race at either or both of those target races and then could spend the second half of 2017 doing races that aren’t necessarily the fastest courses and without the pressure of more BQ attempts. If I do need one more later-season race to get that BQ, I’m planning to do the Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon in September. Assuming I don’t break my ankles or fall off a mountain, I should be sufficiently recovered from a few summer ultras to run Big Cottonwood.
Oh yes, I did just say “a few summer ultras.” That’s because I’m actually planning to do an ultra before the Mt Hood 50K, but registration for that first race hasn’t opened yet. When registration for that race (Golden Gate Dirty 30) opens later this month, I’m hoping to get in and reunite with some of my CO trail running buddies in June.
So how does the 2017 race calendar look now?
February – Phoenix Marathon (Arizona) (BQ attempt)
April – Big Sur Marathon (California)
May – Bayshore Marathon (Michigan) (BQ attempt)
June – Dirty 30 50K (Colorado) (not yet registered)
July – Mt Hood 50K (Oregon)
September – Revel Big Cottonwood (Utah) (not yet registered) (BQ attempt)
Woohoo! Pretty glorious. Hopefully I still like running after all of this…
Have you ever done an ultra? If so, what do I need to know!? What is your most/least favorite thing about ultras compared to road running?