Wasatch Ramblings

Here’s most of an email I sent to a fellow ultrarunner who is running the Wasatch 100 in two weekends. […]

By on August 29, 2007 | Comments

Here’s most of an email I sent to a fellow ultrarunner who is running the Wasatch 100 in two weekends. It’s rambling, but sort of conveys a sense of the race. Take note that I spend almost the email discussing the final 25 miles … this is most of the race. Settle in and make it to Brighton, then the fun starts. This email was written for someone with a sub-24 hour run in mind, but the sentiments contained therein are equally applicable to all racers.

Wasatch 100 course Catherines PassThe Wasatch Mountains down course (south) of Brighton.

Except for folks way out of our league (not that I should put myself in your league), breaking 24 at the ‘satch takes a smart, consistent, patient effort. I should have done it two years ago and ended up with a 28:15 because I wasn’t patient. Mind you, I don’t think it take a remarkable, flawless race [for you or someone of your caliber] to break 24. Had I suffered through some low spells and been patient with the fact that they happen, I could still have made an attempt at induction into the ROotCC (Royal Order of the Crimson Cheetah). Unfortunately, too much of a smoke ’em if you got ’em mentality had me sitting on rocks and leaning against trees for a good 13 hours. Look at it this way, if you run conservatively, and take 16 hours to get to Brighton (9 pm)…. you have 8 full hours to bring it on home in sub-24. That said, while there may be exceptions, I think one needs to be out of Brighton not much after 9:30 to have a reasonable shot at sub-24.

In sum, my Wasatch advice is be smart/patient/conservative for 75 miles and then hold tight because the final 25 miles will be damn tough.

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.