The Ultra Experience

Here's to the adventures of my life which are usually ultra marathon trail running or backpacking but may include other trips, experiences, thoughts, opinions, or pretty much whatever I want. As co-founder of Altra Footwear my life and adventures seemingly revolve more around developing and promoting the best footwear in the world...and I love it!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Devil's Backbone 2013

I'm not the best with words, but even the worlds greatest poets can't describe the beauty of Devil's Backbone.  I've heard nothing but praises about this super low-key Montana race....and it didn't disappoint.  I had so much fun.  With only 1 aid station at mile 25 and a laid-back mentality, I loved this race!  Wildflowers, snow capped peaks, big horned sheep, and incredible trails, all at 10,000 ft while running an exposed ridgeline.  This run epitomizes the essence of Ultra Running.

 Really I treated this as a long run more than a race.  I got lost twice for a total of 10-12 minutes on the way out.  Stopped for 5-6 minutes to watch a big horned sheep.  Stopped and took about 20 pictures and generally had a blast.  On the way back I turned up the intensity.  Until I ran out of water....not exactly sure how it happened only 12 miles from the aid station (mile 37) but I'm assuming I didn't fill up the bladder completely at the station because I didn't see or feel a leak.  I rationed myself with a little snow until mile 44 when I crossed a stream.  Filled up my bottle then and there. 

I finished with a huge smile on my face.  My goal coming in was to try and run sub 10 hours.  Ended up with 10:02.  No biggy though.  I was happy with my effort and exhilarated by the course.  It was almost sensory overload for someone like me!  I think I'll come back to this one.  It currently stands as the most beautiful course I've ever run
 
Heading up Hyalite Peak
Typical view...
Rock cairn and looming switch backs ahead
Much of the race there was no trail...just rock cairn to rock cairn
Big horned sheep and I hangin on the ridge
Checked her out for 5-6 minutes...loved it!