I was finally able to return and run the race where all my running started. A race that I have a lot of history with and I first ran back in 2008, my first ever footrace. I ran well that day and finished in 4:05 on a course a .5 mile shorter than the current route. I’ve started the Wapack 50 Miler twice, finished once and proposed to my wife at the finish line after she won the 50 in 2012.
As I was looking for a race between Rock the Ridge 50m and Cayuga Trail 50m, I came across the Kettletown State Park trail races in CT, part of the Trail2Trail series. The races are held on a 10k loop that was described as challenging, and there were options for running 5k, 10k, 20k, or 50k. After Tammany and Breakneck, how hard could a race that never got over 650 feet of elevation be?
I've been trying to get to Lake George for the Prospect Mountain hill climb for the past few years. I like hill races, even those on pavement, and this one, less than two hours from my house, has been on my radar for some time. The race has a long tradition; this year marked the twenty-sixth running, and several top-flight competitors have taken on the climb, most notably New England mountain running legend Tim Van Orden.
I came into the 2015 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50k at Bear Mountain State Park unsure of my fitness; I hadn’t raced since September of last year, I hadn’t done the volume or long runs in training that I would have liked… But I was also very excited! It was time to race again, and it was my first race representing the MPF/RNR team!
When you look back at most races, especially ultras, there are usually areas for potential improvement. As I was preparing for the Rock The Ridge 50 Mile Endurance Challenge this year during my big two week training cycle following the Breakneck Point marathon, I realized that improving on my 5:58 from last year was going to be highly unlikely, however...
Each year one of my favorite races is The North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain, NY. This was to be my fifth year participating in the event, but my first attempt at the 50k. The previous 3 years I’d ran the 50 mile, and before that, the marathon. However, there was a new obstacle to contend with at this years race...
I went into this past weekend with a pretty ambitious goal: run teammates Jason Friedman’s New Paltz Pizza Challenge Friday night, (register for and) run The North Face 50k in Bear Mountain Saturday morning, drive back up to Rochester Saturday night, and race the Medved Madness 25K in my hometown on Sunday. Well, in brief, I did not accomplish all of these goals, but whatever I did accomplish, it turned out to be one of those weekends you just hope never ends!
It was a another big weekend of racing for the team with The North Face Endurance Challenge visiting the great trails of Bear Mountain & Harriman State Park of New York, as well as the Rock the Ridge 50 Mile Endurance Challenge set in the beautiful Mohonk Preserve of New York! These 2 great races really showcase the beauty and diversity of the New York parks and trail systems.
Here is a video of the inaugural Breakneck Point Trail Marathon & 25k! This was an epic day for all the athletes that showed up ready for an adventure on one of the toughest courses out there. A great moment in sports unfolded when MPF RNR Athletes Ben Nephew, Iain Ridgway, Carlos Agostinetto, Ryan Welts, as well as Denis Mikhaylove raced hard against one another, competing for the top spots. It wasn't until Mount Beacon, mile 24, with its 1,400 foot climb to the top, things started to separate. It was a sprint to the end and most of it was captured on camera.
Garmin’s AutoSync feature allows you to upload your training data to your Garmin Connect account and then it will automatically send that data, in about 10 seconds, to any other connected sites, such as Training Peaks & Strava. This now means that you only need to upload your workouts to one site!
Recapping the 2013 Boston Marathon, I finished in just under 4 hours, feeling proud, feeling tired, feeling emotional, feeling strong. I shuffled through the finishing chute, got my medal, my Mylar blanket, and my baggy of snacks. I headed toward the buses loaded with drop bags and retrieved mine. It was then that I heard the explosions...
The target all winter was the Boston Marathon, so 90-100 mile weeks and key sessions and bi-weekly long runs with one week per week 15-20 miles. All went well-ish. Come Late March I was feeling OK and starting to knock out longer runs at a decent pace but the winter was harsh. Even in the Mid-Atlantic States we had a bad winter, not lots of snow, just bad sequences. Snow, thaw, freeze; or freezing rain.
This is the World Record Ultra-running extraordinaire, Michael Wardian set last year in December of 2014. The pace per mile equates to roughly 5:59/6 minutes a mile. To run the time, a runner must split 45.0 seconds every 200 meters for the allotted 250 laps required for a 50k (31.1) miles while not using pacers or switching directions of the track.
In addition to Iain Ridgway racing at Breakneck, we had Denis Mikhaylove, who beat me two years ago at Escarpment and is one of few runners to break 3 hours on that course, Ryan Welts, former owner of several FKT’s in NH, and Carlo “the Jackal” Agostinetto, who just ran a 1:13 at the NYC half marathon. While Ryan had not gotten in much running due to all the snow up north, I knew he would be tough on the climbs
The trail season coincidentally began with the first real day of spring in the area. Since Warren Street’s friend Sebastien introduced me to the Breakneck Ridge Trail last summer, I’ve visited the trail a half dozen times, enjoyed it with dry, humid and icy/snowy conditions. I even loved to initiate a wonderful chase (I only started it, then the big dogs came to claim the territory) for the Breakneck/Beacon FKT...