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.