I’ve had the fortunate opportunities to run on the Perimeter trail around Sewanee, the beginning of the Western States 100 course above Squaw Valley, and in the mountains around Bread Loaf. The associated writers’ conferences were fun, too.
Took a research trip for Running Out up into the James Bay Area, five or six hundred miles straight north from Toronto. The North Road up there is the farthest you can get by road from a permanent human settlement, anywhere on the planet.
There’s an old ultrarunning saying, “If the bone isn’t showing, keep on going.” Which is all fine and good, but what do we do when the bone is very visible? Um, tape it up and keep going–duh. There are pictures of this. You will not find those pictures here.
I’ve been 70% of the way to my 1000-mile buckle at Mohican for a while, which is like my native hundred-mile race, as well as being the sincerest pumpkin patch in the land. I also captain the most epic aid station you’ll find in any forest, at Fire Tower.
My wife and I have run more ultras than I can count–well, actually, we could probably count them, but counting them isn’t the point, so. A few faves include Stone Steps, the Possum Races, and the HUFF. I’m not especially fast and don’t win or anything, except for stuff like Best Blood, which really recognizes clumsiness and questionable judgment more than anything, or maybe the loose age group award here and there. Did win the Writer’s Cramp race at Bread Loaf that year, but only because poet Roger Reeves had some kind of injury, and Jeffery David Stauch took it easy on me.
Now, my wife has won all kinds of stuff, including the literally heaviest prize in ultrarunning.
Solid marble–had to back the van around for that one. Lately she’s more into her swim, though, and occupied with her online fabric shop, Fresh Modern Fabric.
I’ve written up one piece about the Bridger Ridge Run in Montana, billed as the world’s toughest, most technical 20 mile race, to which we wore proudly our “Our World is Flat” gear from the Columbus marathon; this essay appeared in Weber – The Contemporary West, and was recently reprinted in Midwestern Gothic. Another essay compared the Burning River 100 to John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” and considered how we don’t really have that many real physical vision-quest-type tests in modern culture; this won Sport Literate’s annual contest, and got a Notable Mention in Best American Sports Writing.