So the race & medical briefings are done, and the runners are tucked up in their beds, resting up before an extremely tough race.
The 5 stages build up a truly awe inspiring number of steep inclines and declines, couple that with a starting elevation of 9600ft and you had better have brought a spare pair of lungs – that or have arrived early enough to acclimatise!
Being the inaugural race we were asked to keep the field below 20 for the first year, we did this by working with ultra-runners that have a high level of ultra experience and only releasing a few places on general release, the result is a truly magnificent field. Usually you see a group of runners and can instantly tell who the strongest may be, but not this year – only time will tell.
As a part of the pre-race briefing, competitors were provided with a small can of Bear Spray as well as a Bear Ball (a kind of bell with a magnetic on/off control). The native Black Bears are not usually aggressive, in fact they tend to be quite shy, but females with cubs can turn on any surprise visitors, something a warning bell is designed to prevent. We have a truly great group of volunteers, medics and competitors this year, the buzz around camp is extraordinary.
We can’t wait for the start of this momentous event, with our competitors not only taking part in a race using some of the USA’s finest trails, but also in the world’s first ever self-sufficient Mountain Ultra.