Ridin’ a fine horse in new country

Dang! Just went to send in my entry for Cascade Crest and decided to check the entry status before I mailed my check…full! Man! I can’t believe how fast stuff is filling these days. You have to be faster than a fly on stink these days. Where are all these runners coming from? They’re like pecker knats on a humid Missourah night.

Gone are the days of thinking about a race and then entering as it gets closer, when your training has proven to come along nicely. No more seeing how your season progresses, you have to enter immediately, then deal with any issues later.

This is challenging with many races not allowing refunds and as we all know, ultrarunning and your health can be a question as the season progresses. With the kind of running we do, it’s easy to overtrain, roll your ankle on a rock, or in my case, drop an extension ladder on my pinky toe…and not make to the start line AND eat some cash for dessert.

The pinky toe? Yes, I was reminded of just how fragile your racing schedule can be last Saturday. I was painting the kitchen for my wife and accidentally, while lowering the extension ladder, it slipped and the ladder slammed down on my pinky toe.

Couldn’t weight it for 3 days…it’s 10 shades of purple and I’ve now biked for two days and tried to run one day. The 35 minute run was okay, but half hour afterward…bam, pain came back…can’t weight it again today. Back to the bike. Bye, bye Hagg Lake 25k…maybe even bye, bye Cool 50k. I’ll give the biking a week then try to run again…hopefully it’s just badly bruised and not broken. Time will tell.

Back to my original point…races filling up fast…

You have to enter immediately, then deal with wriggling out if you can’t make it to the start line. This can be an expensive deal, especially if you like to run 100 milers and with entry fees on the rise. I’m “attempting” to run 3 this season…I say “attempting” because we all know that you can’t just say I’m running this race and that race. Things change…extension ladders slam toes, IT bands flare up, runner’s knee rears its ugly head.

I have a wife and two kids…and as any runners in my situation understands, you need approval to run a hundred miler…especially three 100s in one season. In December, my wife gave me the green light (like the old country boy that I am…I even made her shake on it). A deals a deal, right? My original plan was running Bighorn, Cascade, and Iroquois, but now Cascade is out. So…

After a few choice words, I said “you gots to roll with it”, opened up my Cascade entry, voided the check, recycled the envelope and entry, and proceeded to look for another 100 that fits in with my other two 100s on the plan. At least a month off, preferrable in August or October. Well, to my surprise, I found the race…the new Syllamo 100 in Arkansas.

Steve Kirk of Little Rock, Arkansas, who many of you might know as the RD for 3 days of Syllamo, 24 hours of Syllamo Mountain Bike race, Syllamo Canoe Marathon, and now his new brainchild…the Syllamo 100. Check this out you hardcore trail runners from the west who think the west coast is what all trail races are judged by…

This race is in late October when the hardwood leaves are changing in the Ozark Mountains. Plus, the best part…boasts 100% singletrack…wait, I’ll repeat…100% singletrack for 100 miles…and, it get’s better…27,383 feet of climbing!! That’s more than Wasatch! What other 100 has 100% singletrack? The course is a “Y” shaped out and back on the famous Syllamore Mountain Bike Trail and the Ozark Highlands trail. After some review, I was sold.

I sent my entry in today and pondered how cool it is that Cascade filled and my fate changed. Thanks, Steve for the creative energy and the trail running love. I’m thinkin’ there ain’t nothin’ like ridin’ a fine horse in new country…giddyup.

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