Sunday, July 15, 2012

24 Hour Signup - Merrill's Mile - Course Evaluation

The other day I was browsing Facebook and my friend Willy "Natureboy" posted a picture of the Merrill's Mile belt buckle. I thought it was pretty and decided to sign up!

Ain't that sexy?
The truth is, I had heard about the race and was debating on whether to do the 24 or 12 hour race. Unsure of my abilities I was leaning toward the 12 hour. Then I saw the belt buckle. 100 miles. Could I hit 100 miles?

A quick calculation on Cool Running's pace calculator told me that I had to stay below a 14:24 min/mile. This means a slow trot or a fast walk. Could I do this? Hell, I dunno.

It is so easy to run out here that senior citizens can run!

Willy had mentioned that the loop was a 1 mile FLAT course. I have had race directors mess with me and tell me something is "easy" only to get out there and hit a mountain. Within 2 hours Willy had posted a picture for me of the loop. It was literally one of the flattest courses I have ever seen.

So I signed up.

Today I went there with Dave and ran it. We had no trouble getting into the Ranger Camp and started running. The terrain was very flat and soft. There were pea size rocks, which I didn't feel though my minimalist trail shoes(Link to my blog).

There were some spots where water had run a small divit on the course. No biggie, just step over.

The only thing I am hesitant about on this race is the flatness. This will use the same muscles the whole way. I am grateful that there are some inconsistencies on the trail to keep my mind in check and make me step differently occasionally.

I feel if there is a race that I can run 100 miles at currently this is the one. There will be a great aid station every mile, along with some very supportive people.

Check out that helicopter!

Oh, and as a bonus I was checking this out for my dad. Since he didn't join us and was worried about the terrain I sent him this picture.


More on my plans to complete this sucker later.


  1. I'm surprised you're wearing shoes. Did something happen?

    1. Nah, I put them on before I left and didn't bother taking them off even though the terrain was fine for it. I wanted to test what the ultra would feel like.

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    Course Evaluation Survey