Just Like That, Another 50-Miler

Bel Monte 50 Mile Endurance RunBel Monte Endurance Race – 50 Miles

So it’s back to those gnarly, nasty Blue Ridge Mountain trails of Virginia.

March 22, 2008, I will again attempt 50 miles of trail running in under twelve hours. The race is called the Bel Monte Endurance Run and takes place at Sherando Lake near Waynesboro, Virginia. Runners at the Bel Monte have three distance options: 25K (~16 miles), 50K (~32 miles) and the 50 mile option, which is, uhhhh… well, 50 miles.

Making this year’s event even more exciting, the 50 mile race will be held as the United States Track and Field (USATF) Virginia 50 Mile Trail Championships; but, as you might expect, I have zero chance at competing at that level. I just simply want to scoot my big ol’ behind across the finish line in under twelve hours to nail that 50 mile distance once and for all.

The Bel Monte Race Course 

From the Bel Monte Endurance Run web site:

The race begins and ends at Sherando Lake, in the heart of the George Washington National Forest. The course covers some the most scenic portions of this area on the east coast, with over 90% single track trail and about 10% fire and gravel roads. It includes about 6000 ft of ascents and descents following creeks and waterfalls fed by Sherando Lake. Some of the trails are technical but very spectacular.

My Goals for Bel Monte

For about a week I was pretty bummed that I was cut at 40 miles during the Mountain Masochist; but after the initial shock and disappointment of my first DNF (acronym for – did not finish), I realized that I didn’t finish because I was not adequately prepared. I went out too fast for me, wore the wrong shoes for the first half of the race, and let the mental meltdown get in the way of my true potential.

Not this time.

I am determined to ensure that I am adequately trained and well prepared. At Masochist, I underestimated the jump from 30+ mile races, up to 50+ mile races. It’s a huge difference. And after having my cocky butt handed to me, a difference that I now respect a whole lot more.

Should I be worried?

Hmmm… This should put the race potentials in proper perspective.

Below is a photo of a 2007 Bel Monte race particpant who won the ”Best Blood” Award. Not sure what happened to him out on that trail, but he certainly deserved the award. Egad…

Best Blood Award at the 2007 Bel Monte Endurance Run

Picture ripped from the Bel Monte web site

Off to the trails… I’m excited. 2008 is gonna be a great year for ultrarunning.

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Hi Christian,
We ran together a short distance at the Red Top Rumble not too long ago. I’m also going to be running the Bel Monte. It’ll be my first attempt at this distance and I’m feeling a bit intimidated. (My goal is 50 miles before I turn 50, 7 months from now). I ran the Black Warrior 50K Feb.16 and felt great but promptly went on the road for the next 3 weeks straight due to my job. Gotta pay the bills and entry fees. Needless to say, training suffered. My goal has gone from winning to just finishing….ha,ha, not really. I DO just want to finish. Regardless, it should be a beautiful course and a lot of fun. I’ll say hi at the start if I don’t see you before then. Good luck and happy trails….Vic

Good reading a few of your blog entries. Keep up the running & writing. The picture above is fantastic!

Good luck!

nice to hear it! good for you and good luck with your training

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