OH, WHAT HAVE I DONE NOW.
It’s a new year, and with that comes the feeling yet again that all things are possible. And in that blithe, careless frame of mind, I signed up for my first ultra of 2020.
Make that two ultras, actually.
On the same day.
I have no excuse for this. I did it of my own free will, being of sound mind(?). I wasn’t even hungover.
A bit of history: back in March 2018, I ran a 12-hour race called the Dogwood. It’s a 3.47-mile trail loop with rolling hills. It’s a pretty course, but running it over and over tests one mentally as much as physically. It reminded me of a short roller coaster loop I was subjected to as a kid at a local carnival, the difference being I could stop when I wanted instead of at the whim of a sadistic clown holding the power lever.
I managed 16 loops in those twelve hours, and in an unexpected surprise, came in third! (My prize was a bottle of beer, which I accepted once I recovered from my bonk.)
I don’t often repeat ultras (I like variety and have only so much time and money) so I wasn’t planning a return anytime soon. But the Dogwood has changed. First, a 24-hour option was added. Makes perfect sense; just add more loops, and a psychiatrist to the medical staff. But the following feature was what grabbed my attention:
Interested in a different challenge this year? How about running two 50k’s in the same day? At different locations. We have teamed up with our friends at Single Track Maniac to offer the Virginia Tour Challenge. The concept is simple. Start your day in beautiful, scenic Williamsburg Va. Run Single Track Maniac 50k. Get in the car. Drive to Twin Lakes State Park. Run a 50k here. Participants will receive a special award.
That’s right. Two races in one day, totaling 100K in all.
As I made 2020 race plans it kept poking its head up. And the more I thought about it, the more intriguing it became – a You know you wanna… kind of thing. So I finally bowed to the inevitable and signed up.
I see the challenge as not so much the distance, though it sure isn’t trivial. Rather, it’s how I’ll handle the time between the two races. It’s a two-hour drive from Williamsburg to the Dogwood, which gives my fatigued muscles lots of time to tighten up and remind me how sore they are. It helps that I know the Dogwood loop very well, so I know what’s in store. Getting started will be the biggest hurdle.
But the registrations are paid and the airline ticket is booked, so I suppose I’m committed. (Or ought to be.)
Assuming I survive race day I can also look forward to spending some time with my daughter Tori afterward, who lives in Richmond with her wife and two charming pooches. She ran a loop of the Dogwood with me last time, and says she looks forward to doing it again!
P.S. I just thought of another good reason to run this event. It will be great practice for when I do a 200-mile race. Since I’ll most likely need to take at least one extended break during it (you know, sleep and all that) this race will be excellent training. Man, this is just making more sense all the time!
Oh, excuse me, gotta go. There’s some guy in a white suit outside my front door carrying a giant butterfly net. Wonder what he wants…