Thursday, January 16

Never. Say. Never.

Leadville.  A long time ago I had trouble imagining myself riding 100 miles off-road on my mountain bike.  In the process to change that perspective I was exposed to the startling reality that some people will actually run 100 miles in a single insane push.

Until this week I had never truly considered the possibility that I might want to do such a thing.  I've moved incrementally toward that point, but have resisted the notion that I'd ever reach a place where that might be a possibility.

I'm one step closer now.  Recently I saw a link suggested on Twitter or Facebook for the Cloudsplitter 100.  I was intrigued because Cloudsplitter is a rock formation in my beloved Red River Gorge.  In this case it is not a reference to that ridgetop dome that I'm familiar with.  It turns out the Cloudsplitter 100 is an upcoming run on the Pine Mountain Trail (PMT) in Southeastern Kentucky.

I'm not going to presume there are no other ultra-marathons in the Commonwealth, but I've not heard of one as compelling to me as this one.  Of course someone could develop one on the Sheltowee...

Even as I'm writing this I'm making the leap.  How amazing would it be to have completed a 100 mile trail run?  Maybe I couldn't do it.  Maybe I'm too fat.  But I think I've got what it takes.  I think I could do it.

I’ve already convinced myself that I can do a 50k (31 miles) trail run.  I’ve already normalized 100 mile bike rides into my every day thinking.  Why not kick through the envelop and go for 100 big ones?  Run.  100 miles.  Run.  100 miles.
On the webpage they state that the cutoff is 40 hours.  I know how I feel after twelve hard hours on the bike.  I know that it doesn’t even come close to the suffering that you would have to delve into to run for 30-40 hours. 
Here’s what 100 miles looks like:
My normal evening run looks like this:
The longest run I’ve ever done looks like this:
The big question is this: do I try to do the run this year, or do I train like mad, do the Sheltowee Challenge 50k, and shoot for next year for the 100 mile run on Pine Mountain?
Wait!  What did I just say?!


  1. Well....good for you (I think). No way I would do that much running. I have plenty on my bike bucket list ;)

    1. I think too? One of the reason this particular run appeals to me is because the Pine Mountain Trail doesn't allow bikes. The closest thing I could get to a MTB experience on it would be a trail run. I've wanted to go down and backpack it since I first heard about it, but that was years before I got into MTBing. My interests have changed somewhat, though I'd still go backpack it too.