Winter ultras are a completely different beast with unique challenges. They tend to involve extensive required gear like a specific caliber of sleeping bag, bivy (shelter), fuel, emergency food and other things to survive the winter. Most people place this gear in a pulk and run with it. Generaqlly you can ski, run or bike the distance.
|Loading my pulk|
In short, there was a need for a good introductory winter ultra. So this was a great idea.
To add fuel to the fire, St. Croix included a couple of skills tests that needed to be performed as part of the race. First, we all started in our sleeping bags and bivy. Tucked in. (Sidenote, I've participated in 9 winter ultras and I have never used my sleeping bag and bivy).
|My first bivy|
As you may be guessing. This is a perfect event for someone new to or interested in winter ultras. The 40 mile distance is challenging while not overwhelming. The skills tests are cool confidence builders. Also, ts a water only checkpoint at 20 miles so you aren't doing a 30-40 mile section without aid.
We started at 6 p.m. and the event has a 16 hour cutoff. I started with Adam, but he took off about 5-10 miles in and I spent the rest of the event alone. I found my all day hiking pace and cranked out a book (Artemis by Andy Weir) and a bunch of podcasts. I settled into some classic rock in the end and finished comfortably around 12 hours. Other than a few blood blisters from a problem I am developing on the side of my foot in these Hoka Bondi's (yes, I for some reason ran in road shoes) I didn't have any issues.
For nutrition I ate 2 RX Bars, 2 Nutty Buddy's and a bag of cheese munchies. I drank 80 ounces of water. Memory, I cried a little during Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven.
So 14 hours of driving, no hotel. And a nice stop at Culver's later. team ASS (Adam, Siva Scott) came home victorious.
If you are considering winter ultras or curious about them, this is your obvious first step. A great taste of what the sport has to offer in a safe environment which requires you to perform a few of the skills essential to it. I highly recommend it!
Thanks for the support, and thanks for listening to Ten Junk Miles!!!
Sidenote: the first price increase for the Badger Trail Races is coming soon. So get signed up so I can see you in the tunnel!!