Monday, December 3, 2007

Coming up: Hellgate 100K (gulp)

On Friday (12-7) I will make my way down to Natural Bridge, VA for dinner and the pre-race meeting of the Hellgate 100K, which begins at 12:01 am on Saturday, 12-8. If I am lucky, I will be able to get in a good nap after dinner, and then the REAL hell begins: the wait until the start. But once we start this amazing race, all other worries, nerves, anxieties, and negative thoughts fly out of my head and all I have to do is think about the beautiful night, the sounds of the forest and other runners near me, and how gorgeous the sunrise will be. I love this race.

I have written extensively on Hellgate in 2005 and 2006, so this time I will keep it short and sweet: I look forward to this race each year because it is a sheer adventure, unlike any other race I have done. I love running the first section in the dark because it seems to suit my biorhythms better. I have been much more alert in the night section during Hellgate than I was at either 100 miler that I finished, mostly because I am fresh (and freezing). And I LOVE running most of the next day back to Camp Bethel, where we started the journey---it truly feels epic to be cast off into the woods in the middle of the night and then run home, to a warm fire and warm food! Wooo-hoo!

Aaron Schwartsbard has written the most helpful and entertaining description of this race (or any race, for that matter) that I have ever read here. If you are running Hellgate, thinking about running Hellgate, or are just interested in what all the fuss is about, spend some time reading his report. I plan to read it all week as part of my taper :-)

Here are some fun pics from the 2005 event.


Trail Goat said...

Sophie, I can't wait for my eye balls to freeze! (Actually, the weather looks pretty awesome 4+ days out!) See ya down there,

Andrew said...

Hi Sophie...
Good luck this weekend.
The stories you write are always great and very informative to us Ultra-wannabes.
Be safe,

Andrew said...

I was just checking the weather for the race, and looks like you re in for a warm one, but damp.