Thursday, November 19, 2009

White Mountains 100

As you might know, I have all but decided to run the Susitna 100 as a replacement race for the Rock and Ice K-Rock. I haven't registered yet since there are no limits on the number of 100 miler entries. I did (or at least I think Derrick did) change my training to take the earlier (February instead of March) date into account.

I recently heard of another 100 miler in Alaska, the White Mountains 100, to be held on March 20-22 near Fairbanks. It will be the first year the race is held. I am torn. I would love to have an extra month to train. On the other hand, the course seems tougher with quite a bit of elevation change (about +/-7300 feet). Did I mention the water? Reading the course description, there seem to be quite a bit of water overflow on this new course, which might mean wet feet.  Then again, the views seem breathtaking.

I thought the Susitna aid stations were far apart, as far as 12 miles between some of them. Well, some of the White Mountains aid station are 23 miles apart. One of those 23 miles section will almost certainly fall during the first night. Can I deal with that? This probably means as much as 10 hours (maybe even more) without seeing anyone. The worst the conditions, the longer it's going to take. Food for thoughts.

A final problem, the airfare to Fairbanks is almost double the fare to Anchorage, usually with an extra stop, which in my book means an extra opportunity to lose my luggage without which I can't do the race.

Obviously, I am seriously considering doing this race or I wouldn't have considered all those factors. I am a bit worried about being ready for Susitna. Any down time because of injury could jeopardize my race. Having an extra month of training would mean a lot, even if it means a harder course. On the other hand, as much as I'm afraid not to be ready, Susitna is less than 3 months away and I just can't wait to DO IT!

I know that I don't really have to decide right now, although White Mountain is capped at 50 racers. They are up to 11 entries right now, none of them on foot. Mentally though, I'm going to have to decide soon. I simply have to know. Call me shallow, but pulling a tire on a gravel road is just not exciting without a specific goal.

My trainer is being very zen about all that. Wait and see. There's no hurry. Aaaaaaaah!!! I don't know how long I can wait. This is eating me up. I need to choose. You hear Derrick? I just need to.


David said...


I think training to run a 100 miles in 3 months is crazy

I think training to run a 100 miles, in snowshoes in 3 months is more crazy

I think training to run a 100 miles in snowshoes. pulling a 15+lb sled in 3 months is even more crazy

I think training to run a 100 miles in snowshoes. pulling a 15+lb sled up 7300 ft in 4 months is about as crazy as you can get.

What are you waiting for?

Derrick said...

I hear you loud and clear.

I've emailed a few thoughts to consider. Tough call, but ultimately has to be your decision.

Sara Montgomery said...

What a decision to make! I'll be interested to see which way you go.

Though if I had to guess....well, I'll just keep that to myself. :)

JD said...

My heart says left, my head says right.

F@ucker said...

Do I get a vote?

JD said...

No F@cker, you're going to stay nice and warm down here so you don't get a vote.

My toes might get a vote each though. I like my toes. I've grown attached to them.

Caroline Novak said...

What David said, haha!

But seriously, I have no idea about the ultras, so I'll be living vicariously through your adventure once you choose :)

Hone said...

I would run the SU. This is the first year of the White Mountain 100. I would wait a year to let them work out the bugs. The SU is a proven race that has been going on forever. It will be cheaper and you will not be taking a chance with it.

3 months is a long time to train for a 100. No worries.

JD said...

AA, that's pretty much what I've decided to do. Susitna has quite a following and I figured there must be a reason for it!