The Ultra Experience

Here's to the adventures of my life which are usually ultra marathon trail running or fly fishing but may include other trips, experiences, thoughts, opinions, or pretty much whatever I want. As co-founder of Altra Footwear my life and adventures seemingly revolve more around developing and promoting the best footwear in the world...and I love it!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ultra Trail Mount Fuji 2014

What do you do with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?!  Take full advantage!  That's what I did at Ultra Trail Mount Fuji.  Zanna was able to come along which was so much fun.  I'll make the report quick but I'll make no bones about it, this was the most difficult race of my life.  Imagine taking all the climbing at Wasatch and consolidating into 50 miles.  The steepness of the terrain was unbelievable.  I'll never complain about chinscraper or the plunge and dive again!  Its got nothing on UTMF.  Then between these monster climbs is 5-12 mile road sections.  It was brutal.  There was a 12 mile section which took me 6 1/2 hours!!!  And I was passing people.  The Tenshi Mountain range was epically monstrous and I was grossly under prepared for it.  Imagine going up and down 12 straight Bozung hills at mile 70 (Squaw Peak 50 reference).  I've never run a more difficult 12 miles in training, let alone at mile 70.  Ouch!!

I wanted to DNF after the Tenshi mountains, I was so exhausted, but was committed to getting a finish no matter what.  It flipped my 28 hour race (I was on split at mile 65) and turned them upside down.  I didn't eat anything but aid station food the last 40 miles...long rests, a massage, a lot of walking, and even a "oops, what the heck just happened" 90 minute nap at the mile 97!!  But I got to the finish.  34 hours and 27 minutes, 175th place, and my proudest ultra finish!  Only 59% of starters finished out of nearly 1200 starters. The race was brutal and at 169 km/105 miles it is the farthest I've ever run.  I learned a lot about myself out on the mountain and overall had a wonderful experience!  The Japanese people are such a tough yet generous people.  I've never seen so many volunteers or a better organized race.  Truly amazing.  Thank for the experience!
Zanna and I with Cherry Blossoms and our hotel in the background.  Beautiful!
Pre-race Dinner
Pre-Race Prep w/Nick Clark, Takashi (Japanese Altra distributor who ran STY), plus Rei and Masa our crews
Starting line with over 1200 over runners
Seconds before the start with Nick Clark
Mile into the race running through Cherry Blossoms
4 miles in with views of Mt Fuji
Entering A10, Mile 87
Leaving A10.  Feeling much better!  

Wow, I just finished that thing...
  Feels so good to me done!  Beautiful

3D Map of Course
1 minute video following Nick to his 10th place finish
The Altra UTMF Racers/Crew!  Awesome team

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratualtions Brian ! What a brutal Course ! Way to stick with it .
Danny Widerburg