Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ultra Challenge Challenge

Well, it is too hot to run and I blew up my river shoes yesterday...  and tore my calf.  Not badly - it feels better already today, but why run on a 24 hour old injury?  They should age for at least 32 hours.

Here is what I do when the temperature climbs above 30:  Pick the oldest running shoes I own, run down the Ganaraska trail for 2.5K, then run into the Mad River and run upstream.  This sounds very very easy, but I assure you, it is a workout.  There is a lot of sideways travel, staggering, stumbling on rocks and the occasional face plant.  Marvelous!  Unfortunately, I only made it 1K up the river before my shoes (this is why they should be your old pair) blew up.  The bottom of the left shoe detached except for part of the heel.  I was able to run if I combined the Monty Python silly walk with a Terry Fox hop.  If you miscalculate, your nearly bare foot lands on sharp rocks.  I think most people would realize it was not working, but I was game for about 200 meters before succumbing to the inevitable.

This is where I made a mistake.  I know, perhaps this was not my first mistake of the day.  I have never tried barefoot running.  Current literature indicates it is best to try barefoot running in a controlled environment.  Definitely not on jagged rocks in a river, but also not on rough trail with cliffs along a river.  So I decided that running with a sock on my left foot and a running shoe on my right foot would be an excellent compromise.  I traded a John Cleese/Terry Fox gait for a hop-along jog.  Fortunately, I didn't meet anyone.

Problem:  The ungainly gate coupled with the odd stumble to avoid impaling my sock foot on a corn husk resulted in undue stress to my right calf.  Prognosis:  Lower calf tear, minor, significant concern that further abuse might trend the injury downward into the Achilles tendon district.  I am extremely cautious of damage to the Achilles tendon.  People my age and older try to avoid AT injuries like the plague.  Doug Barber can attest to the complications associated with injuries to the Achilles.

Ultra Challenge Challenge - Recap

Neil Jefferson organizes The Limberlost Challenge (TLC).  He obtains a large contingent of volunteers when a youth organization is onsite at Limberlost.  I organize the Creemore Vertical Challenge (CVC), which falls on the second Saturday of the Honda summer shutdown.  Problem:  The timing dictates that the races fall 1 week apart.  To address this issue for the ultra distance, we offer a "challenge" to the hardy souls that complete both the CVC and TLC.

2013 Results:

Note!  These are unofficial!  It is normal with manually derived results to make mistakes.  Expect some corrections!

GinoDicarloM04:58:386:38:4211:37:201Grand Champion!
StephenBridsonM05:21:396:36:5011:58:2922nd Place
StevenParkeM05:19:516:54:3612:14:2733rd Place
KiriamThompsonF05:43:407:08:0312:51:431Grand Champion!
EliseMaguireF06:16:437:19:1513:35:5822nd Place
KimberleyVan DelstF05:53:317:48:5213:42:2333rd Place

Congratulations to all who strived for the UCC medal and to those who persevered and completed the challenge.  It is not easy, which is indicated by the combined time for the 2 races (Total).  The top 3 men and women also show some interesting anomalies.  Aside from Kiriam, the podium finishers were not set after the Creemore race!

Issue:  The UCC is not the focus for either Neil or myself.  Perhaps we don't give it the attention it deserves.  It has also been argued that perhaps it is not a great idea, promoting 2 ultra races in 8 days.  I also retire next year.  I am considering moving the Creemore race to a different time slot, instead of being sandwiched in between the Niagara and Limberlost races.  3 races in 4 weeks is a bit tricky for those who race many on the Ontario series.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Continue the UCC, even if the CVC and TLC don't fall on consecutive weekends, get rid of it, or continue in the same format?

Tip of the day:  Carry duct tape on your river runs.



  1. Keep the UCC , better yet add an ultra between Niagara and Cremore and make it the UCCCC!

    1. Should the 4th ultra be on an indoor track in Owen Sound?