Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pacing at North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Race

Today's training run consisted of 23 miles of pacing friend and Badwater crew member Eric Gelber at the North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain 50 Mile Race.  I have run in this race before.  It is fairly brutal course for the average ultra runner.  "Runners can expect technical terrain and rocky footing that cuts to the chase, with some trails heading steeply uphill rather than zig-zagging at a gentler grade. Descents end in wooded hollows before the next rapid climb ending with a breathtaking view. Make no mistake: this will be a tough test of off-road endurance."  I remember running this one a few years ago (in its first year).  Crazy tough course.

Aside from the hour long downpour waiting for Eric at mile 27,  and the swollen ankle that is currently being iced as I type this post, it was a great opportunity to get in some very tough miles, and to see some of the best ultra runners in action.  Despite a low point at around mile 40, Eric hung tough and finished strong. I also got to chat a bit with one of my Badwater buddies, Dean Karnazes about what lies ahead in July.  Overall, a great time.  I'll just have to watch the ankle and see how it goes on tomorrow's 20-mile training run.  A slide-show of pictures I took and a nice video of Eric finishing the 50-miler is below.


  1. What a day...A giant THANK YOU goes out to you Tony for pulling me through when I was struggling. Great day and a great time. Peace

  2. Nice to meet you at Camp Lanowa (mile 27.7!). I was one of the volunteers you met that's going to be training for Pikes Peak.
    My photos are here: