Get us out of this month of February that has seen two, yes two, blizzards strike the Northeast United States. We are keeping our fingers crossed for some warmer weather, and perhaps a few of our featured events this week in California might tickle your warm weather fancy. If not… if you still want some more cold weather running venues, we aim to please.
The RD has no doubt that you can run 100 miles, over the highest mountains, and through the heat of the desert valleys. However, can you run it in the heart of winter through inches or even feet of snow? “Are you ready to unleash the beast inside of you and run 100 miles on the frigid historic Erie Canal Towpath?” If you are, then “throw away your razors for the new year… on February 27th you’re going to need all the protection you can get” at the Beast of Burden Winter 100-Miler in Lockport, New York. Also offering a 24 hour event, the Beast of Burden course is not for the faint of heart. Starting at Wide Water’s Marina, runners run along a paved trail for about 1 mile before crossing one of Lockport’s historic lift bridges and continuing on the towpath for 11.5 miles to the turn around. There are roughly 5-6 miles between aid stations. How cold will it get? Who knows, but what we do know is that every racer must show proof of ski mask or similar mask prior to starting the race. Oh, and runners are also required to have a winter hat and winter gloves.
TWIR is a big fan of the events put on by Pacific Coast Trail Runs, and there is another one this weekend in the Sequoia Trail Run (50k, 30k, 20k and 10k) in Oakland, California. The course travels through beautiful Joaquin Miller Park to Redwood Regional Park, providing spectacular views of the Oakland Hills and Bay Area along the way. The 50k, 30k and 20k wind through tall redwoods on the popular French Trail and return on Golden Spike and West Ridge Trails. An added bonus….elevation. The 50k has 5,030 feet of elevation gain. Don’t miss the post-run picnic, as there’s soup and chili for all.
The Pony Express 50 Mile Run (also with 50k Sprint, 30k Jaunt and 10K Run & Walk options) kicks off on Saturday at Cameron Park Lake, Cameron Park, California. The 50-miler is a 1.25 mile loop (yes, repeated 40 times around the lake) on groomed horse trails. The 50k “sprint” is 25 laps of the 1.25 mile loop.
It isn’t a 100-miler. No, its a 118-miler. The Lost 118 Mile Endurance Run takes off from the Okee Tantie Campgrounds in Okeechobee, Florida. The scenic course around Lake Okeechobee consists of dual track dirt road, asphalt, and, at the detours, other surfaces. The course is flat, for the most part, with 14 public water access points as well as numerous roads and trails allowing crew members to reach runners. There is little, if any, coverage from the sun.
One last race for this week, the Mount Cheaha 50K Trail Race provides the opportunity to “run to the top of Alabama”. The fifth annual event is a point-to-point trail run that finishes in the Cheaha State Park at the summit of Cheaha Mountain. At 2,407 feet, this is the highest point in all of Alabama. Runners will experience scenic overlooks, creek crossings, lakes, water falls, and hardwood and pine forests. Eighty percent of the course is run on beautiful single track trails that wind through the Talladega National Forest.
That will do it for this week. Happy running!