Ultra trail runs and super hikes. Anyone ever done something like this?

5:28 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Looks like a cross between a marathon, day hike, and an adventure race. Thoughts?


5:39 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Cool! That's right in my neighborhood (I'm in State College, PA). I hadn't heard about it! I've even teamed up with that group (KTA) for trailbuilding in the past. Great group of people. 

I've done a decent number of ultras, and central PA is actually amazingly good for it. The mountains are big enough for 1000 foot climbs, the footing is really varied, and there are an incredible number of trails around here.

There are several other really good races like that around here -- kind of a cross between the different disciplines that you listed. The Hyner View Challenge this weekend is another one.

Maybe it's time to put that one on the calendar. And it's enough time before the Tussey Mountainback to have time to recover. Thanks for the tip!

5:57 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Looks amazing! I haven't done any of that type of sponsored stuff, but I have done a few 40+ mile days in fairly challenging terrain, and can certainly see how completing that course within the time limit could be challenging!

In order to be your most efficient, plan on eating something small every hour, during an hourly 5 minute break, as opposed to budgeting time for sit-down meal breaks. Shoot for ingesting at least 200 calories during that break, and supplement along the way with gels and chews. Don't starve yourself.

Don't take any other breaks than that 5-8 minute hourly one. Keep moving; don't sit down if you absolutely don't need to. You'll end up sitting for 30 minutes without even knowing it.

Towards the end, your gonna want to take a nap during your hourly breaks; taking one is not necessarily a bad idea, but limit it to 20 minutes; i.e., have a wolverine attack your genitals in 20 minutes, or do whatever your need to do to ensure you get up in 20 minutes. The body is a lazy thing.

Even if you normally don't bring an MP3 player on your trips, sometimes the motivation of a well-selected playlist, played during the crux of your journey, can help immeasurably with blocking out the list of nagging uncertainties you'll undoubtedly have running through your head.

Bring along a few tea satchels, each with about a half-teaspoon of your favorite coffee or caffeinated tea in it, to suck on or lip. I lip them because I think it gets the caffeine in my blood faster.

8:18 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Aside from a number of runs like the Western States 100 (100 miles from Lake Tahoe area to Sacramento), organized hikes of 25-40 miles in a day are pretty common and frequent in California. One section of the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter (south part of SFBay Area) is called the "Day Hikes" section. They have a 25+ mile hike about every two months, usually including cumulative elevation gains of 3000+ feet. Several are annual events - Henry Coe State Park HQ looping out to Mississippi Lake and back with only the last 5 miles being repeated, the 7-Parks hike traversing 7 Open Space Reserves and State Parks being two of them. Skyline to the Sea starts at Saratoga Gap at the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains and ends at the beach on the Pacific Ocean) is frequently done as a day hike (28.2 miles "all downhill", except there is an 800 foot gain between Waterman Gap and China Grade Road at the top of Big Basin State Park and a short 300 foot gain from Big Basin HQ over a crest before dropping into the last canyon that ends at the beach, though you can add an extra 5 or 6 miles by starting at Sanborn Youth Hostel near the town of Saratoga). These are all very beautiful trails, many going through extensive stands of the coastal redwoods.

Not to forget the Markleeville Death Ride, a bike ride of 129 miles, 15,000 feet of gain, and 5 major mountain passes, all over 8,000 ft altitude (actually 3 passes, since you cross 2 of them twice).

2:35 a.m. on April 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Those "all downhill" trails can be a special breed of hurt, as much of the training out there focuses on the up and not the down. I've done such trails without poles before, and have finished with jelly legs just barely on this side of functioning...

5:28 p.m. on April 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I thought hiking was supposed to be ENJOYABLE ??


I subscribe to my muse, Lao-Tzu.   He says,  "If one refuses to compete ... no on in the whole world can compete with you".

I'll buy that !




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