Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My October Ultra Runs

I love the fall.  The summer heat and humidity, and overgrown trails, give way to crisp mornings and well-groomed paths.  Leaves begin to change colors.  All the hard and slow summer training runs start to pay off with quick tempo paces that feel easy.  That's fall!  Unfortunately, my introduction to autumn has been accompanied by a nasty cold.  I haven't run in days...and probably won't be back to regular runs for a few more days.  Normally, I'd just accept this and welcome the time off to recover and feel rested for the rest of the season...but I have already registered for TWO UPCOMING ULTRA MARATHONS!  That's life.

My first race is October 9 (just over a week away) at the Farmdale Trail Runs.  I signed up for the 30 miler (they also have great 10 and 50 mile events ).  It won't be a fast race, but at least I'll get in a nice 30 mile training run, meet some old friends, and award the IL Trail Ultra Grand Slam awards (Farmdale is the last race in the series).  Add a couple of beers and that's not a bad day.  Slow race time does not equal "bad time."  I'll enjoy my time at Farmdale.

So if Farmdale is my first ultra race in October, what's my second one?  On October 30th I'll be running the McNotAgain 30 mile trail run.  It's a cool, laid-back race run on the same 10-mile trail loop that the McNaughton Park 100 miler uses.  Fall is much nicer on this trail...less mud, fewer runners, less mud, and only 3 loops instead of 10!  Usually less mud too.  I hope to survive the Farmdale 30 and come back strong for McNotAgain. We'll see.

I should mention that each of these races has something in common that I don't like...they mix ultra runs with shorter, non-ultra events.  I dislike mixing the short with the long.  I'm fine with 30, 50, or 100 mile distances being mixed...just leave the non-ultra distances for another day.  Let me run with fellow ultra runners...not speedsters looking to impress themselves and their friends.  And not mix an ultra relay with the real thing!  Several people running short 5-mile legs does not add up to an ultra.  Give ultra runners the respect they deserve and let them run with each other against a long trail course...not against road warriors looking for a quick adrenaline surge.  Anyway, there are no relays at these two fine races.  I'll forgive them for adding the shorter 10 mile distances to the ultra runs.  Maybe you'll join me at one, or both, of these events?

Saturday, October 9
East Peoria, IL
Farmdale Trail Runs (10, 30, 50 miler)

Saturday, October 30
Pekin, IL
McNotAgain Trail Run (10, 30 miler)

Now the only question left I run them in my Vibram FiveFingers or go with a more traditional trail racing flat?  Barefoot?  The weather is already getting colder and I may not have many opportunities to run with naked soles.  Hmmmm...  


Kovas Palubinskas said...

1 loop Vibrams, 1 loop flats, 1 loop barefoot? Enjoy your October races!

Chris said...

Nice combo suggestion. Actually thinking about starting in my BRAND NEW Vibram TrekSports. I'll have other shoes as a back-up.

chris mcpeake said...

Good luck with your october ultras

Chris said...

Thanks. I'm still suffering from a darn cold, but I hope to finish 30 miles at Farmdale this weekend. I should be fully recovered for McNotAgain at the end of the month. I'm itching to run a fast ultra.