How to start this post? The Hellgate 100k wasn’t only a race to me. It was more than that. It was an adventure, a saga, and challenge of how the human spirit can endure so much and be so strong in the face of adversity. This is my story of my Hellgate.
Only a week from running the Tussey Mountainback 50 mile, where I had placed 2nd place in the USA road championship, I would be testing my recovery efforts and limits at running a fast marathon in arguably one of the greatest cities in the world, New York City.
I have run this race many times. Every time I ran in the past, my finishes were 3rd place. I always struggled in the late stages of the course. Tussey is my kind of ultra! With about 6k of elevation gain on rolling gravel roads, this USA 50 mile Road championship course is one that a true smart pacer of their efforts will be happily rewarded.
This race was my crazy summer race. I knew how hard the Eastern States 100 mile was. It was a course that has been ranked as one of the top 10 hardest ultramarathons around. With elevation gain close to 30k and descent also close to 30k, I would be running the same elevation of summiting Mount Everest and then descend down to sea level all in one day while navigating through the rocky, wet, muddy and mossy trails that are Pennsylvania. What am I thinking!?