18 October 2009

So I Lied

I LIED. I said I wouldn't post until after Murphy, but I just wanted to make a statement about Wild Duluth(WD) 50K (full report pending).

First...THANK YOU ANDY AND KIM HOLAK! Awesome race, incredible volunteers.

If you don't already know, Wild Duluth was my first Ultra. Months ago before I registered Andy Holak assured me that WD 50K "would be a good challenge for the beginner". I had no idea. I know that running any 50K trail race is never easy the first time. I now know for a fact that the WD is in fact a "good challenge". The only thing that doesn't hurt today is my ears. But I wanted a larger scale (besides the WD 50K results) to evaluate the actual Wild Duluth course difficulty. I needed a comparison. What did I accomplish? Was it really "THAT hard"? Compared to what? I did my best to answer those questions myself.

I counted all of the 50Ks posted in Ultrarunner Magazine's July '09 through October '09 issues (the only issues I have so far). It's a rough measurement, but it covers roughly two-thirds of the Ultrarunners Magazine race calender year, so I think it's a reasonable sample size. I counted 89 50Ks.

According to Ultrarunner's scale of difficulty (1-5, 5 being most difficult) for Terrain and Surface, for all 50Ks held between July 10th 2009 to March 27th 2010, Wild Dulth 50K scores a 4 in both categories. Of the 89 50Ks, including WD, only 8 50Ks (less than 9%) were rated this difficult. Of this 89 only 5 (less than 6%) were rated more difficult. Coast to coast.

I wish I had ALL of the Ultrarunner Magazines race calender data, but I'm new to the magazine. April-July are likely the busiest months for Ultra trail racing in the U.S. But, it gave me the perspective I wanted. And I'm confident saying this: The Holak's put together a kick ass race. WD is a race that any finisher- first or last place- can be very proud of.

I am.


  1. You should be!! Congrats on your first 50K. See you in a few weeks at Surf. Any special AS food requests now that you are a veteran??

  2. Thank you very much, Helen. It was nice to finally meet you. I have an even greater appreciation for your skill level after that race. WOW. Here's my request for Murph Helen:MAKE ME EAT...ANYTHING. I threw out all of my training and sage advice from others and didn't eat at the first 2 aid stations. I think I had a piece of PBJ at your AS, thats it. I still finished but paid throughout the race. Lesson learned.

  3. Congrats, Bill! Everyone's saying it was a very tough course. Looking forward to the full report.

  4. Congratulations, Bill! It was nice to meet you and run with you - especially when Rick and Karen ditched us. :) Enjoy the taper week (not!) -- see you Sat where we'll do what we can to both get our first 50 mile finish!