Thursday, May 26, 2016

World's End Race Report

“Run like there’s no tomorrow”  What a great slogan.  What a great race, from start to finish. The course was brutal, weather was partially cooperative and the RDs and aid stations were exceptional.  I didn’t make my goal time, but I finished with a smile.

Back in Dec, I was looking for a spring 100k to keep me motivated through the winter.  I found a new ultra called World’s End Ultramarathon, running through World’s End State Park and Loyalsock State Forest in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania.  2015 was the first year it was held, with only 16 people finishing (I think 75 started).  The description went like this:

“  The Worlds End Ultramarathon is a challenging foot race that explores the Loyalsock Trail, Loyalsock State Forest and Worlds End State Park in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. The routes are largely rugged, scenic-dense single-track trails with some fairly remote sections, several waterfalls and multiple vistas of the beautiful Endless Mountains. The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources describes Worlds End State Park as "virtually in a class by itself, this wild, rugged and rustic area seems almost untamed." This is NOT a beginner-level ultra and participation in the race should not be taken lightly.

Just under 13k elevation gain, with 19 hours to complete.  Given I was still on a high from my Cloudsplitter 100k performance, I signed up.  Good thing I did early, since it sold out quite quickly (150 max). I ran a preview run in Jan, which should have been a warning.... (link to my report from jan: World's End Preview )

I am not going to give every detail of the race.  Leave it to say, I finished, over my goal, but under the cutoff time.  I had a wonderful time from start to finish.  Not once did dropping every cross my mind.  So the photos.

The Day prior:

Now to race threatened rain all day and started drizzling about 4 hours into the run.  The hard rain held off till later in the day (about 10 minutes after I left Mark at mile 50).  Luckily, I had a long-sleeved shirt in my pack and at the next aid station, I grabbed Mark's rain jacket and golf gloves to keep my hands warm.

Mile 22, after a long climb up from the river below...I was having fun and asked one of the spectators to take a photo.

Mile 30ish had a beautiful waterfall and ladder to climb.  Not at tough as the roots at Mohican, but still a climb.

Mark was waiting at mile 50 and took the next two pictures of me crossing the river into the aid station.  It started raining hard shortly after this stop.

I ran when I could, walked when I had to.  The climbs were tough, the descents rocky.  I fell once, luckily on soft ground, but rolled my ankles many times.