Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Deadman Peaks 50 Ultramarathon (Round 2!)- Continental Divide Trail
On Oct. 22 I toed the line in the early hours of the morning with 46 other runners for the 2nd annual Deadman Peaks 50 (54 actual) mile ultramarathon on the Continental Divide Trail outside Cuba,NM. At 6am, with my toes pointed south towards Cabezon Peak far off into the distance, under a biting cold and star filled sky, I did everything I could to not think about the long day ahead. A siren and the voice of the race director and spectators cheering us on signaled the start to our journey and I quickly settled into a smooth rhythm up in the front end of the pack early in the race, a somewhat costly mistake that would later haunt me for almost 30 miles. I don't care much to give a play by play of the day's events as I've already flushed those out, my day mostly involved ingesting calories, running, consuming Endurolyte tablets in a vain attempt to revive my cramping and seizing leg muscles throughout the day, more running, scrambling, smiling, sweating, running, power hiking, and running. Ultramarathons kick your ass, especially once you break past the 50K distance. 50 milers are going to be the death of me, ok, maybe not the death, but my mind is now increasingly consumed with "figuring" out this distance in particular. Through trial and error, suffering and jubilation, I believe I'll one day run a 50 mile race where everything comes together like clockwork for me, until then it's continued training and learning through experience as I grow as a newbie ultra runner. This year my fitness was superior to last year, but I was lacking the specificity in my lead up training that would have produced a faster finish time come race day. I have no regrets, nor am I disappointed in any way about my finish this year. I finished 50 miler #2 and was back at work on Monday, I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend than falling face down into a sleeping pad along the Continental Divide Trail after running 54 miles. Last year I documented periods of the race, this year my game plan was to focus on running so no onboard camera. Here are a few photographs that were taken of the race and a few of me along sections of the course, courtesy of Jeff Edgar the roaming course photographer. The Continental Divide Trail section that skirts the small town of Cuba, NM is an amazing place of beauty, raw and wild. I will be back again next Oct. hopefully a different person and ready for the distance. Running along these ancient mesas and sweeping vistas of sand and sun, I cannot help but recognize how much I am only a visitor on this beautiful Earth and that I must tread lightly. Headlamp racestarts are badass. 6am and all the runners are moving. Running down from Mesa Portales into the Mile 9 Aid Station.... feeling very fresh and running smoothly at this point, it would not last. Still managing to crack a smile around mile 32 despite suffering from a lengthy bout of cramps from hell. Running in the last few feet before crossing the finish line a second time. Jim Breyfogle the race director greets me warmly.