I had set a goal early in the year of hitting 250k elevation gain for the year. Midday through it was clear that I wasn't going to reach it so I re calibrated to 200k. I finished with 210k which I'm happy about. Mileage wise I ended up with just over 1600 miles which is fine.
Once again racing took a backseat as my appetite for it has waned. I managed a whopping three races this year - two of which were classic events: the Blessing of the Fleet and L'il Rhody. The third event was the inaugural Bubba's Backyard Ultra which I'll detail below.
Not going to bother with predictions/resolutions/goals for next year. I want to get up to the Whites and other assorted mountains as much as I can. I have some plans in mind but nothing I want to talk about yet. The one tradition I intend to cling to is to list my Top 5 races/adventures of the year - let's get this done so that I post this blog before the year ends.
5. Blessing of the Fleet
Been a while since I ran this race. Really been a while since I did any road racing at all. As such I knew I'd be a shadow of what I was only a few years ago. I went into this race intent on just having a good time. With no training to speak of I raced based on feel and was happy to find myself running seven minute miles. Finished in just under 70 minutes which is certainly no PR but faster than I thought I was capable of.
4. Wildcat-Carter-Moriah Ridge Traverse
A fun traverse I had never done before. Finished in around 7.5 hours and was happy with how my body held up. A fine day in the fall season up in the mountains. Also I stayed for the first time at the Rattle River Hostel which was a cool place. They were able to shuttle me down to Pinkham Notch to make this a point-to-point journey.
3. Two Nights at Zealand Falls Hut in March
A great three night trip with my hiking buddies to tag a bunch of winter peaks. Always a good time to hang with them at the off-season huts. Went over Hale on Day 1 and Zealand on Day 2. Attempted to make it to the Bonds but the conditions were too much and we turned around at Guyot. On Day 3 I went it alone over Mt. Tom and then down to my car at the Highland Center. A beautiful time to be up in the Whites towards the end of the official winter season.
2. Bubba's Backyard Ultra
The third race I ran this year was an ultra of the Last Man Standing variety. A fun event that forces participants to run a 3.5 mile lap every hour on the hour, it's not about going fast as much as it is about enduring beyond everyone else. After 14 hours and 48 miles I was toast and quit in fifth place. A really fun event that let's you connect with other runners in a way that you couldn't do with distance or timed events. I hope to do another one at some point!
1. Pemi Loop
In late June I drove up to Lincoln Woods, woke up bright and early and ran a clockwise Pemi loop. I added all the extra peaks (Galehead, N. Twin, Guyot and W. Bond) which made for a long, arduous day of 35 miles, 10,000' gain and 16+ hours. Very trashed legs after this one but I managed to reach 12 of the 4000 footers in one go. Definitely a wake-up call in terms of the work I needed to do to make these adventures sustainable but a great time as always.
Well that's about it for 2019. As another year ends and this blog continues to fade into obscurity, who knows if this will be the last blog post ever. Probably not but one never knows. I'll try to get some more posts up in 2020. And I hope everyone has a wonderful new year in 2020!