April 22, 2010

Preparation Underway

The fall prep is well underway. Hard to believe but in a little less than 6 months the September bugles will be here. First ultra of the season is the Highland Sky 40 miler in West Virginia on Fathers day weekend. Should be a dandy....

"Point to point course begins near the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area on Red Creek in Laneville, WV. Following a 2 mile paved section, the trail ascends to Roaring Plains, Flatrock Plains and Red Creek Plains into Dolly Sods. The course proceeds north along the Allegheny Front to Bear Rocks. Here runners will turn west crossing Dolly Sods to the rim of Canaan Valley north of Timberline Ski Resort. A descent through Timberline leads to Freeland Rd and into Canaan Valley State Park.

This is not an easy ultra.....The course climbs a total of 5474 feet and descends 4856 feet and is basically in three sections; the Plains, the Road Across the Sky, and Dolly Sods. Two significant climbs occur in the first 15 miles where a 2300′ ascent is followed by a 1700′ descent, and then another 1200′ climb. In the first half of the course highly technical (rocky), single track sections occur from mile 7-11 and 16-18. The Dolly Sods section has an exciting boulder-hopping section from mile 30-31. The course is 75% trail, 15% Forest Service road, and 10% paved road. There are eight aid stations. You should carry fluids and fuel due to remote location and distance between of aid stations."

This year I'm committed to putting Pops in front of a bull with his recurve so anything claiming to be "not an easy ultra" sounds like perfect Elk prep to me. We're heading to some pretty rough backcountry and a little extra prep is going to go along way on the road to pulling it off.

Coming along for the ride on this and many runs this year will be the new Badlands Reactor. It's a sweet little pack that will help carry essential items while on the move. While weighing a tad more than traditional "running" hydration packs (a mere 1lb 8oz total weight) in the end it will be small potatoes to 100lbs of elk meat I hope to carrying in the fall. Stay tuned, LOTS to do.