Part of the magic for me about running in general, and ultrarunning in particular, is that it constantly generates new experiences. As I train and race I’m constantly meeting new people, seeing new places and, to be perfectly honest, some strange shit happens. For exactly these reasons I can go back to the same races, year after year, or train on the same roads many hundreds of times and not ever get bored or feel that I’m repeating myself. This is possible for me because no two training runs are ever the same and each and every race is a unique experience.
Having said all of that – and it’s all true – there are times when I get the urge to strike out for pastures new, occasions when I feel the need for new roads, new races and new experiences. In most of Europe ultrarunning is confined to roads or tracks. There are honourable exceptions of course, but in the main, European ultramarathons are a ‘tarmac rich’ experience. I’m told however that this is not true in the USA. From the little I know about these things there appear to be many exceptional 100 mile races which are held each year on mountain trails and I’ve decided that I just have to give one of these a go before I hang up my shoes.
Of course, I can’t presume for one minute that I’ll be guaranteed an entry, but I do intend to apply. What I think need to do now is to do some research and to find out what race or races would suit me best. I feel I’m a reasonably strong runner but a very poor navigator and so I’ll need to factor that in when deciding which races to apply to for an entry. I’ve never been especially attracted to the biggest and most famous races, as my experience has been that many times the smaller events are just as well organised and have more personality and character.
Hopefully 2011 will be the year of the Trail 100 Miler. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.
Onwards Through The Fog.