My husband’s first trail ultra!!!!!!

Happy Monday and happy March!!!!!! We are that much closer to spring!

This weekend was my husband’s first trail ultra and he did amazing in some very not amazing circumstances!!!!!!


This was a small trail race not far from our house on the Hashawha Hills Trail. They cap at 120 runners and my husband was number 120 to get in (although come race day not quite all 120 showed up)! One of the awesome things about this race is the cost!….$19.55!

He signed up for this race at the beginning of January, so it was about an 8 week training cycle.

Marathon training is hard enough! It is one of those things that you just have to be prepared for anything and learn to go with it. You can have an amazing training cycle and just have an off day or come down with a sickness the day before. There are just things in life that you cannot control and you have to make the best out of it.

Training for a trail 50k is a whole other ball game! Being that this was his first trail race and his first ultra he really did not have a time goal, but was thinking on a good day it would be between 11 and 12 minute miles.

It turned out the race conditions were terrible, making this a very challenging race to be doing as your first trail ultra! Of all the runners that raced about 40 dropped out by the half way point because they were done or did not make the cut off time.

There was about 8 inches of snow on the ground. The temperature at the start was 6 degrees.

Here is how the race report describes it:

“As I’m fond of saying, “You always remember the vacation when the car broke down” …..getting hit with something far out of the ordinary, whereas stressful at the time, provides for memories that will never fade. It was 6 degrees on Saturday morning when 96 runners hit the Hashawha Hills, and within minutes, found themselves post holing through 8 to 10 inches of crusty, granular, and just downright miserable snow, making progress extremely slow and difficult.  The consensus among most was that these were simply the hardest trail conditions they had ever faced.  Memories in the making though.  This is the stuff that makes the attitude, the effort, and the will, all coalesce into the realization we may just be a little tougher than we thought.  And that’s what makes this all so unforgettable.  The brilliant sun shown down from a crystalline sky, the beauty of the landscape unfolding before them, as runners worked their way through snow covered fields, forest, and meadow, on a day none will ever forget.”

The race is a giant 15.5 mile loop so the start, half way point, and end are in the same spot.

The girls and I made signs and got ready to head over to meet him at the half way point. I had a bag ready to go too with anything he might need to keep going. He called me just as we were walking out the door and told me to bring some band aids and neosporin because he fell.


I was not quite prepared for how bad his fall was, and I found out I do not have that strong of a stomach. I quite honestly have no idea how he kept going. I am nearly positive that I would not have even been able to make it to the half way point after a fall like that (he fell around mile 12). It basically took a chunk out of his knee (I have a picture, but just couldn’t decide if it was too graphic/gross or not so I decided to leave it out). He took a picture of the mean rock that he hit when he fell…


He bandaged it up and kept going. I called him a few times to make sure he was ok and he was.

We went back to watch him finish 18th!!!!! I am guessing that his fall probably added a good 25-30 minutes to his time. He ended up using rubber bands to hold gauze on his knee so he could finish. He did such an amazing job, and if it wasn’t for his knee he would be feeling really good. The man who finished in front of him is a pretty experienced trail runner who has done a bunch of 50 mile races. He was hoping to finish in around 5 hours and finished in just over 7! The winning time was almost 2 hours slower than the course record.


I am sure that if he would have gone in they would have stitched it up, but he has it bandaged together and this morning it looked a lot better, just really swollen.

So if you need some motivation for your run today just be thankful that you are not running 19 miles on a snowy trail with a knee injury! 🙂

Here is his prize mug that he got as a finishers medal:


Tell me something fun about you week?

How are you with injuries…tough stomach or weak stomach?

What is your favorite thing that you have gotten from a race?

Who else is ready for spring?!!!!!!!!



    • Jen says

      I am pretty proud of him :)!!! They did extend the cut off time past 9 hours because some people finished after that :).

  1. says

    Holy WOW!!!! Ok, I’m going to stop complaining about the wind on my 14 miler today. Geez!!! That is seriously amazing and you must be so, so proud of him. Congratulations and I hope you had a big celebration!!!
    Is he going to do another one?…just have to ask 🙂

    • Jen says

      I know right!!!!!!I am super proud of him!!!!! And…yes :)….he really liked it minus the knee issue! He is totally planning on doing another one…just not this year. He wants to do some shorter races and then he is doing Richmond with me this fall again.

  2. says

    Wow Jen!! That is crazy! Your husband is a rock star!! I am so sensitive about knee injuries and I can’t imagine how he was feeling trying to finish the race. Just shows how amazing the human body is 🙂
    He will think a marathon is a piece of cake after this experience!!

    I have a pretty touch stomach for injuries…
    I need to do cooler races – I haven’t gotten anything other than a medal and a tee-shirt!

    Something fun about the weekend – we got serious RAIN!! Yay!!!
    Sending spring weather your way!! 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thanks! There is a small part of the race that was a road and he said an 8 minute pace felt super easy when he was on the road. One of my favorite things i got was for my fall marathon they passed out fleece blankets at the end instead of foil :). The warmth hasn’t gotten to us yet…in fact it is snowing….but I see that it is supposed to be 61 next Thursday!!!!!!! Hallelujah!

    • Jen says

      I am super proud of him…I can’t believe he finished and did so awesome :). You should TOTALLY pull that trigger…you can do it!!!! Do Richmond 🙂

  3. says

    Congrats to him! What an accomplishment, especially in those conditions! I love trails, but will admit I haven’t been on them in quite some time because of the snow ice. Cannot imagine going 50k right now like that. Hope the knee is improving every day!

    • Jen says

      Neither can I!!!! I don’t do very much trail running. My last marathon cycle I did my long runs on the rail trail….I loved it, but it is not a rough trail or anything.

  4. says

    Thats so exciting! I bet that meant the world to him that you were there for him so much during it! Especially with it being so intense! You are one amazing wife! You are going to LOVE some of the runners connect podcasts I have coming up, you definitely will need to check them out. Did you listen to my one with eric schranz from this week? I think you will enjoy it 🙂 Don’t wanna put a link on here, so just message me if you can’t find it 🙂

  5. says

    Oh my gosh – he went through some horrible conditions to earn that finisher’s mug! I’m not sure I would’ve even made it to the start line with that temperature & snow combination. I’m glad his fall didn’t cause a serious injury as well, hopefully he’s all healed now (I’m also glad you decided not to post a pic 😉 ).
    Congrats to him on toughing it out! Should make his next ultra feel like a piece of cake 😀

    • Jen says

      I know…it was a rough race! He is doing a lot better, but still healing. The cut looks good and the swelling is down…just working on mobility and soreness. He thinks it will be several more weeks before he can run again….but it is coming along 🙂

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