After I finished the Vermont 50 in September, I was looking for a 50 miler in the vicinity of Virginia to do over winter break, with the hopes of going after a PR for the distance.
However, there weren’t really any 50 milers to choose from, and rather than step down a notch to the 50k I decided to step up one to the 100k distance (approx. 62 miles). As a result, this Saturday, I’m heading to the Weymouth Woods 100k in Southern Pines, North Carolina. It starts at 8 am, with a 20 hour time limit.
In stark contrast to the Vermont 50, which was one ginormous 50-mile loop, the Weymouth Woods 100k all takes place in one relatively-small nature preserve. You run a 4.47 mile loop. Then you do it 13 more times.
No word yet on how many people die of boredom.
No seriously, there are lots of different types of ultras out there and I’m excited to try a new one. Plus, there are definite advantages from repeating a single loop. Particularly, having the aid stations at the same spots on each loop should help in planning nutrition for the race, which could definitely be an advantage for the longer distance.
This is just the second year of the 100k, so the blogosphere is somewhat sparse on Weymouth (I really want to refer to it as WW100k, but apparently the “Where’s Waldo 100k” has already called that…). Nevertheless, here is what I’ve learned:
“At 7:58 AM all the runners are told to lineup at the start and the race director, Marie Lewis gives us some final instructions. As usual I only heard a few words. They sounded something like, ‘I’m not coming to look for you in the swamp…'” [Running the Carolinas]
“Weymouth Woods 100K provided an interesting opportunity to analyze split times in an ultra. This is an exercise in intellectual curiosity, which I found fascinating even if it did not provide any revelations.” [Fellrnr Blog]
“The main aid station, also known as Mrs. Doom’s all you can eat buffet, was located at the park headquarters at the end of each lap…Food included salty chips, sweet candies, fruits, burgers, excellent grilled cheese sandwiches, birthday cake, pizza and other goodies. Runners had plenty of fueling choices. After it began to cool at night, three kinds of delicious homemade soup both hydrated and warmed tired runners.” [Paul Heckert on Suite101]
“The course is 14 loops 4.47 miles long and is tough because the trail is infinitely covered in roots, with some sections fairly sandy…My Sunnto Altimeter read a total of 3,691 feet of net gain and loss on all 14 loops or approximately 263 feet of gain per loop.” [Sultonic]