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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Deadman Peaks 50 Ultramarathon on the CDT

After what has seemed to take far too long I was finally able to finish a 50 mile ultramarathon this past Oct. 23rd. Nagging illiotibial band syndrome thwarted my success at running any ultramarathons last winter/spring so when the opportunity arose to run the inaugural race of the Deadman Peaks 50 this fall I set my eyes on the goal. This race can be described as grassroots and raw as it is still in its infancy, the course was a challenging 27 mile out and back that traversed along the edges of a steep rocky mesas for the duration of the race, interrupted by a few sagebrush choked valleys and sandstone bluffs in the lower elevation sections of the course. The "trail" was faint, leading us along the path of the Continental Divide Trail outside Cuba, NM which sees few thru-hikers annually. Typical trail race markings were present for the early miles of the race, but the majority of the race we relied on the white tipped wooden spires and abundant and large rock cairns that dot the length of the course on the CDT. The finish rate for those that braved the chilly wind and dark sky in the early morning was around 40%, many entrants either dropped out at the turnaround physically beat from the first leg of the race, or dropped out shortly after, some failed to even make it to the turnaround opting out at the 21 mile aid station. I wouldn't say this was successful overall, my training leading up to this race was inconsistent and my time reflected this. It is my intention to shave 2 hours minimum off my time next year, so photographs and video will likely be nonexistent as my focus will not be diverted from my running. For now, I have the memories of a long and rewarding day running 54 miles through beautiful and remote country. To finish to me was a physical achievement in and of itself, but it was the journey leading up to the finish that will stick with me for a while. Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim is in the works for spring if all goes well.

Oct. 23rd, 2010 marked the inaugural running of the Deadman Peaks 50 mile ultramarathon held on the Continental Divide Trail southwest of Cuba, NM. The "trail" was a challenging route filled with mesa traverses, sage filled valleys, sandstone climbs, short craggy descents, route finding, and general desert mayhem. This is my account from a long day on the trail running. Looking forward to next year and 2 hrs. shaved off my time.

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