I decided that it would be best to give myself a few days to write about this one.
Signing up for the Seaton Trail Ultra-marathon (52k race) was a part of a long-term plan leading up to a spring-season full marathon race in May.
Take on something more challenging than the full marathon distance with enough time for recovery and adaptation before the targeted spring full marathon. With any luck, the marathon might seem a little easier.
It’s definitely not a new concept. But this ultra-marathon business is certainly new to me…
So the goal is to finish… That’s it.
I’m standing at the line with several people who appear to be quite familiar with what I am about to realize is pure madness.
No start gun, no pre-race rituals, not even a starting LINE.
“Follow the markers. If you don’t see them, you’re off the course. Good luck. Ready, Go!”
Awesome. Really it is. These people are running for pure joy. A community of ultra-distance junkies, getting their fix from fresh air and exercise.
And when I say “community” I really do mean it. These are some of the friendliest people I’ve met at any endurance event. Suddenly, I can understand how some people get hooked.
A Humbling Experience…
Speed and efficiency through form don’t count for much here if you’re not willing to trudge through knee deep water, and get plenty dirty.
Even still, don’t be surprised to find yourself trailing behind others you might otherwise run circles around in a typical road race.
Endurance definitely takes on new meaning here. But if you’re up for the challenge, it’s definitely worth it.
The good news…
52 kilometres of trail running over fairly “unforgiving” terrain is likely far more difficult than any full marathon road race, yet the recovery seems to be much faster.
As challenging as it may be, calling on our legs to carry us this far on the soft surfaces of the trail seems to do much less damage than pounding the pavement for only half the distance.
This in itself is enough to make me thirsty for more! Perhaps though, not quite 52 kilometres more… at least not for a while.
Kudos to all those Running Free folks who took on the challenge! It was awesome to see so many of us out there on the course!
Happy training! See you on the trails… maybe.