To run a 100 miler is an incredible challenge onto itself but to run the same race two times in the same year in two extremes is down right crazy according to my wife.
The Beast of Burden 100 miler is essentially 4 loops of 40K that involve running alongside the Erie Canal in Lockport, New York up to Middleport and then back. You get to run on the infamous towpath. There really isn’t much to it in terms of terrain but there isn’t any scenery, wildlife or nature that can distract you from the distance and the fact that you have to run the loop 4 times within 30 hours. Many people that run the race for the first time are lead into a false sense of belief that the race is easy because it’s just 4 loops and the terrain is pretty much flat as can be. You get to face the reality at about 2am that it’s even harder on the legs to run on flatter terrain because its so repetitive to the same muscle groups for the entire 100 miles.
The double buckle challenge is just that – two times in a single year. You need to finish the Winter and Summer race in the same year in order to receive the prized Double Buckle. Let me tell you, it’s absolutely 100% worth the pain that you will endure both times!
The Winter 100 is in mid-January and yes it’s outright cold. Having done the Winter version twice, I’ve been through snow storms, freezing temperatures, wind and frozen/rutted footings along the tow path. The Summer 100 is in mid-August and yes it’s really stinking hot out there! The hot dog cart and snow cone machine are outstanding!
What makes the Beast of Burden the race that it is, is the race directors and the volunteers. I’ve had the privledge of running this race a few times now and I love coming back. The support and encouragement along with a few wise cracks makes the journey to the promised land worth the effort.
I wear my double Beast buckle with the utmost pride….I would encourage anyone to do the Beast!