During dinner at the Mammut sales meeting, Dave, the company’s hard goods manager, turned towards me and shouted, “That’s insane! The Grand Teton in under three hours?”
Last week, I traveled to north-central Sweden to compete in the second annual UltraVasan 90K on Saturday morning, August 22. What follows is an account of my race but also the race history, the course, and the three kings on everyone’s mind as the weekend unfolded.
We were an hour outside of Putaendo, when the yerba maté started to take effect. It was June and deep mid winter. All that afternoon we had driven north towards the sun, which now was on its low drawling descent into the Pacific Ocean.
Why is my first ultra story any different from the next newbie’s story? It was a double newbie scenario; I sweated through the inaugural race, which skirted through jungle hill tribes of northern Thailand, a region never before touched by any organized, international venue.
Last year, my friend Todd Jennings and I organized a race to celebrate the Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT), a magical footpath that traverses the entire 74-mile length of the Shawangunk Mountains in New York’s Hudson Valley.
The Incan Empire consisted of hundreds of thousands of square miles of land; its population blossomed, on some estimates, to as many as 37 million people; its system of trails and roads are believed to be as extensive as 40,000 kilometers in length; and its agricultural, architectural, and engineering techniques and methods would be considered