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Archive for April, 2010

This is a follow-up to my last blog post about my recent ultra-marathon. You can read that post here.

One of the things I like about endurance sports is that they’re such a great metaphor for life itself. In fact, frequently the Bible uses that metaphor in both the New and Old Testaments in two key aspects – the race analogy itself (see Jeremiah 12:5, Acts 20:24, 1 Corinthians 9:24, Galatians 2:2, Galatians 5:7, and 2 Timothy 4:7), and the concept of perseverance or endurance (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4, and 2 Peter 1:5-9). In Hebrews 12:1 we see the great union of these concepts:

“Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”
– Hebrews 12:1-2, HCSB

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Race Report from the Hog’s Hunt 50K

This past Saturday I completed something most people would honestly find a little crazy, my first ultra-marathon. Now, for the uninitiated, the first question is obviously, what’s an ultra-marathon? Technically an ultra-marathon is anything beyond the marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards. Common distances include 50 kilometer, 50 mile, 100 kilometer, and 100 mile races, and even some longer than that. In this particular case I was racing a 50 kilometer (31 mile) trail race at Huntsville State Park in Texas called the Hog’s Hunt 50K. In part one (this post) I’ll give a bit of a race report, and in part two I’ll give you a bit of a philosophical/spiritual commentary related to it.

Race Report:
If you’ve run half-marathons or marathons, or even some bigger 5K’s and 10K’s you know that often they’re crazy affairs with thousands of runners, race expos with lots of exhibitors and retailers, quite a lot of spectators on race morning, and of course the volunteers manning aid stations and such. Trail ultras (and their associated races of other distances) are a whole different animal. Small field size, a handful of spectators at most, a goodie bag and a few volunteers. In a way, far simpler and enjoyable. The Hog’s Hunt is just that sort of race.

I woke up around 3am that morning to drive up to Huntsville for the 6am start. Got to the start around 5:15 or so and picked up the race packet. Plenty of time left to take care of business in the bathroom, change into trail shoes for the run, get the bib number on, etc. Went over to the start around 5:55 or so and waited with the other 50 or so arguably crazy people getting ready to run for 31 miles in the woods. Flipped on my headlamp and at 6am the race director started us and we began the jog down the road for the first mile before we headed into the trails in the woods.

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