Ultramarathons, past, present, and future

Big Sur Trail Marathon

                Big Sur Trail Marathon                     San Juan Solstice 50 (photo by Blake Wood)

  • JFK 50 Mile Hagerstown, MD, 20 Nov 99, 8:32.
  • Laurel Highlands Trail Run Ohiopyle, PA, 10 Jun 00, DNF @ mile 57. High heat and humidity. As nice a trail as you'll find in Western PA.
  • Muir Beach 50k Muir Beach, CA, 22 Apr 01, 6:45ish, about 4500' gain. Went off course on second loop (you'd think I would have learned the route first time around?).
  • Quicksilver 50mi San Jose, CA (or thereabouts), 12 May 01, 10:56, about 8000' gain
  • Ohlone Wilderness 50k Fremont, CA, 19 May 01, about 8000 ft gain. Very hot.
  • Lake City 50mi Lake City, CO, 21 Jul 01, ~12.8k ft climb, 15:xx. Finished near last place. Run in the lovely San Juan mountains of SW Colorado. Elevations range from 8600 to 13300 ft. Highlight was seeing legendary mathematician and ultrarunner Steve McCormick at several aid stations--and chatting about FOSLS and multigrid :-). Oh, and dodging an electrical storm along the Continental Divide. Race is now called San Juan Solstice.
  • Rachel Carson Challenge 34 mi Pittsburgh, PA, 22 Jun 02, 7000 ft gain (or so they say), dreadfully hot, humid, hazy (it's the East, it's summer, whaddya expect), brambles, power line hills. Good fun. 8/323, 9:10. Went way off course. Twice.
  • Fall Groundhog 50k Punxsutawny, PA, 9 Sep 02, 4:48, 6/73, went off course, natch (on second loop!).
  • Umstead 100mi Umstead State Park, NC, 5 Apr 03, attacked by killer North Carolina pollen durng first loop. Ran with eyes closed to the 10 mile aid station. Took out contact lenses, waited until eyes recovered, drove back to hotel, got glasses, returned and rejoined race--after 2 hour delay. Finished 50mi in 11h, good for 31/90. Try that at your local 10k.
  • Big Sur Trail Marathon Big Sur, CA, 04 Oct 03, 3:37:35, 4/77. It's Big Sur. Need we say more? (OK, not an ultra, but it's offroad and very hilly.)
  • Tussey Mountainback 50mi Rothrock State Forest, near State College, PA, 11 Oct 03, 8:01, 5/19. Nice fall colors.
  • San Juan Solstice 50mi San Juan mountains, CO. 19 Jun 04. DNF- turned around at the Divide and bailed at Carson with blown-out knee. A beautiful day in the San Juans--brilliant blue skies, snow capped peaks, lots of sunshine. Nicest 50 miler around, if you like high altitude mountain 50s.
  • Santa Cruz Mountains Trail 50km, Santa Cruz, CA. 17 July 2004. Nice run through old growth coastal redwood groves. Around 5 hours, around 2nd place. But it’s one of Wendell and Sarah’s runs, so who’s counting?
  • Golden Hills Trail Marathon, East Bay Skyline trail, CA. 15 October 2005. 10/85 in 4:20. Basically half of Dick Collins Firetrails 50 course, with 5800ft of climb. A nice day in the Berkeley Hills.
  • San Juan Solstice 50mi San Juan mountains, SW CO. 18 June 2005. Lots of snow, sunshine, blue skies. Finished 97/100 J in 15:45 with (re)sprained ankle and blown-out knees, which was worth it for the amazing San Juan views.