Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Arrowhead 135 Ultramarathon

I know that many of you who read this blog feel that by running a 100 mile race or a marathon on snowshoes at below zero temperatures, or running 100 miles a week for weeks upon weeks is hard to imagine or hard to wrap your head around. I know, I used to think the same of others that completed these same activities. I no longer feel that way; now this is just normal.

You know, there is always someone else out there doing something more..something that I have a hard time wrapping my head around.

The Arrowhead 135 Ultramarathon. Not only is this race held in the dead of winter in northern Minnesota but there is barely any aid! Each participant can choose to ski, run on foot or bike. Each participant has to PULL a SLED with all of the nutrition, clothing and survival gear necessary. Yeah. Really.

The race began yesterday in International Falls at a balmy -10F and is still in process as of now. There is a 60 hour time limit. They will finish in Tower, MN.

John Storkamp has won the foot division the past two years and is running the race again. Along with my buddy John are my friends John Taylor, Matt Long, Kevin Martin and yes , Pierre Ostor who is the race director, along with his wife Cheryl.

John S and Pierre O have both finished before..John T, Matt and Kevin are first timers.

If I didn’t know these guys so well I wouldn’t even be able to imagine such a feat. It is amazing what a body can do; mentally as well as physically. Running/walking 135 miles is something I can actually wrap my head around. By running 116 miles at FANS, I know it can be done without having to be an uber athlete ..but at below zero, in the snow, in northern Minnesota, pulling a sled of goods .. this is difficult so very difficult mentally. I can’t grasp it. I don’t think I want to grasp it. Damn.


Check out Arrowhead 135 Ultra to see updates, rules, results, etc. Cheryl is keeping us all updated!


SteveQ said...

You've already got 400 miles run this year in arctic temps; you're a lot closer to doing Arrowhead than I am!

Anonymous said...

I think you would be perfect for this race! Grasp it Julie!


Steve said...

It's all in the mind,Julie. Well, okay, there's a lot in the legs too, but dealing with the cold and isolation is more mental toughness than physical. You've finished Superior 100, so I think you're more than tough enough. AHU is my goal for next year. Mitch Rossman has been mentoring me and it has been my motivation this winter.

Anonymous said...

Usually, it's not the distance I have a hard time imagining, it's finding the time to continually train for those distances. A 20 mile run might take me 3 and 1/2 hours, plus the getting to the start, and coming back home/shower/stretch/eat, in no time at all 5 hours is gone and that's hard to fit in on a weekly basis.

In this case, though it's the distance, the cold, the hauling my own stuff AND the training time. Wow! They must really want it.

Mitch R. said...

The AHU is not a run, it is a sled hauling contest under extreme conditions in very hilly terrain. One must master the gear, the clothes, and the nutrition. Beware, if you attempt it once, you will become addicted.