September 11, 2010
I have been wanting to run some kind of ultra marathon for a while. (An ultra marathon is any event greater than 26.2 miles.) So when a couple of friends asked me to run the Dances with Dirt Hell 50 km (31.1 miles) race, it did not take a whole lot of arm twisting before I gave in.
Dances with Dirt Hell, also known as DWD Hell, is a one day race event at the Pinckney State Park in Hell Michigan. There is a 100 km (62.2 miles) Relay race, a 50 mile race, and a 50 km race. The event is called Dances with Dirt because the races are not your typical paved roads. The majority of the course is trails. Any by trails I don't mean the nice gravel packed trails you find in the suburban areas. I mean the kind of trails that are about 12 to 24 inches wide and littered with obstacles such as tree roots, fallen trees, and large rocks. The course includes multiple shallow (up to waist high) river crossings and an one tenth of a mile run upriver.
Normally before I run any kind of long race (more than 20 miles) I create and follow some kind of training schedule. Unfortunately, I did not decide to run DWD Hell until about 1 month before the event, so there really wasn't anytime to properly train. Factor in that I also spent most of the summer with my longest run of the week typically not more than 10 to 12 miles, I would have to say that I was definitely trained for running 31 miles. Therefore my goal for DWD Hell was just to finish the race, have a good time, and not get injured. And that is what I did. I completed my first ultra marathon in 7:57:14 (hh:mm:ss).
Dances with Dirt Hell http://www.dwdhell.com/