January 7, 2014

Stepping up my ultramarathons in 2014

After a successful year of running in 2013 - including my first ultramarathon, the Trail Rail Run 50K, and the Blue Mountain 30K - I've decided to push myself farther and harder in 2014.

Over the weekend, I registered for a couple of major regional trail ultras: The Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run 50-mile race and The Rut 50K. The 50-mile race is about 20 more than my longest run and both have significant elevation gain compared to last year's mostly level 50K.

In it's 22nd year, the Bighorn starts west of Dayton, Wyo., and runs back to the town just north of Sheridan. It starts above 8,800 feet, reaches as high as 9,300 feet and runs down to 3,900 feet, with 12,800 feet of elevation gain in between.

The Rut 50K at Big Sky Resort south of Bozeman is in its second year, but has quickly risen to prominence. Organized by local shop the Runner's Edge and world-class ultramarathoners Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe, who both call Missoula home, it recently was named the 2014 Skyrunner World Series Ultra Final. It gains 10,000 feet of elevation over its course between 7,500 and 11,100 feet.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little nervous, but I've been running well for the past year - building speed and distance, and taking to the trails no matter the weather. I've also joined a spring marathon training group through Run Wild Missoula to continue that progress through winter.

There probably still will be smaller races along the way, and as always I'll be posting updates here!

January 1, 2014

My 2013 in photos

Google+ recently created a slideshow of photos I uploaded to the social network last year - here's what my 2013 looked like: