Thursday, November 19, 2009

UpChuck 50k - The Hardest 50k in the Daisy

Just saying.

The Upchuck 50k is the brainchild of two very demented trail runners. The run starts in Soddy Daisy and traverses over mountains, through canyons, beside an interstate, over ladders, across waist deep streams, along ridge lines and requires extensive mountaineering experience. Well maybe not the last one but the Upchuck does offer an trail running experience unlike anything else!

As my fourth race over the 26.2 distance mark in the last 7wks, I really wanted to come to Chattanooga to get in a long run in a fun environment without getting hurt. Mission accomplished. The trail itself was extremely challenaging as the wet leaves on rocks made for slippery descents and frustatratingly slow ascents. At times I found myself questioning if I was even still running on a trail but I came to realize that this is trail running in its truest form; a runner with limited assistance blazing down an endless trail through some of the most beautiful scenery the Southeast has to offer.


The numerous bridge, ladder, random obstacles that lined the trail broke up the boredom of running alone off the front for five hours.

The interstate section nuked my legs. Less than a mile long, the transition from trail to road and back to trail shocked my legs for the next few miles.

Two aid stations. Awesome. Who needs anymore than that, I ask?

Getting lost for fifteen minutes following property line flags instead of the actual trail race markers. I am a freaking genius.

Swimming across what probably was a knee high creek for most of the other runners. I was too zonked out to realize that I probably could have walked across, but instead I plunged headfirst into the creek and began swimming. Once again, freaking genius. Hey, I'm not in triathlon anymore so I've got to incorporate my swimming somehow.

Leaving the creek bed soaking wet, knowing I had six more miles to go.

Running to the next creek crossing two miles later only to be told I had six miles to go.

Running three more miles to the road only to be told that I had six miles to go.

Only having a mile and a half to the finish when I thought I had six miles to go.

By far and away the greatest, most challenging trail race I have ever competed in!

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