Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wakely Dam Ultra 2014: Taming the Beast

Last weekend we ran the Wakely Dam Ultra in Pisceo, New York. Last year I had a very tough time at this race because I raced it so stupidly, and I was looking to run it very differently this year.

I had a much better experience this year, and was able to enjoy this beautiful, remote section of trail in the southern Adirondacks which passes no roads for its 52 km length. Being self-supported out there makes this race unique, special and a bit more challenging.

I started out at a very comfortable pace, determined not to make the same mistake as last year. For the most part I felt good, with just a bit of a low point around 3 hours in. By 4 hours I was enjoying the run again and stayed at a very even effort.

During the good points, I was feeling very in-the-moment and almost in a trance where I'd wake up and feel like a bunch of time had passed. Very Zen, very cool. Then in the downs I would be scheming about not racing anymore (training only, yay!), and thinking up fantastic, completely original slogans for the sport like, 'Ultras: Even when they're good they're still pretty bad'. 

Happily those latter thoughts thoroughly evaporated at the finish line. There was a welcoming group of friends there who all cheered me in, and hanging out chatting afterwards was a lot of fun. Kimberlee and Doug Gardiner do a great job with this race, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a July trail race. 

La Sportiva C-Lite
La Sportiva Nova Short
UltrAspire Alpha Vest