The email came on Friday…
Surprise, surprise but it is expected to be HOT in the middle of July in New Jersey.
They don’t call this “Running with the Devil” for nothing folks. It was like running on the sun, or down below, depending on your beliefs. Running up 1100′ of elevation and down 1100′ at Mountain Creek Ski Resort 5K loop repeats for 3,6,12 hours was the thrill. Pick your poison. I picked 3 as I treated it as an unconventional way of training for my Olympic distance triathlon in September, The Mighty Hamptons. My husband chose 6 and would have chosen 12 but he knew that would have been a very long day for me sitting on the sidelines.
Hubby is the ultra guy, but this course was challenging for the best of them. It was quad pain, calf pain, mental challenge and ultimately drive that kept the steps moving underneath the chair lifts. A big sign on the bottom of the summit flashed “Think Snow”. This was not for the faint at heart.
That said, the community of racers were ultra nice. The uber ultra runners who were going at a nice clip, passed on the left saying “Nice Job”. The chatter included next races and what they were training for, not with arrogance but certainly with pride. One gal that was on my pace was training for the JFK 50, a very well known and well respected ultra race. Now she was on pace with me with TWO BRICKS in her backpack. Oye.
This ultra scene is bad a@@. Rick Mc Nulty was the ringmaster (Race Director) and supported by a small team including his super wife Jennifer. The loop ended inside the ski resort with the best stocked aid station I have seen. Water, ice, different flavored Hammer Heed, salt tablets, PB&J, cut watermelon and other fruits, cucumbers, crackers and other salty snackie mentionables. Runners themselves were on the course volunteering like the super awesome gentleman that took my picture on top of the summit in between pouring water for all runners and helping his son win the 3 hour race finishing with 13.5 miles under his belt.
Want a challenge and something to rattle up the legs in a different way. Here is your course my friend. Oh and how can I forget.. you get to wear a bad a@@ Running with the Devil tech shirt as a badge of honor amongst your peers.