It all begins with a belief… You first have to believe it can be done… For most, running 135 miles seems impossible.. For a select few it not only seems possible, but it sounds like fun… Then throw in the fact that the 135 mile run is not only a run, but it’s a race that takes place in one of the coldest places in the lower 48 in the dead of winter… That is just plain crazy talk… Then we have to mention the fact that it’s mandatory that runners pull about 40 pounds of survival gear behind them on a sled… O.K. now I have your attention…
Yep. We are talking about the Arrowhead 135. Look it up. It’s real. I shit you not. The Arrowhead 135
Anyways, in a few short weeks I will be toeing the line at this amazing race for my 4th straight year. I have fallen in love with this race and everything about it. This race seems to get a more amazing field of runners each and every year. I still find it shocking that they let me run it. We have to apply to this race many months in advance and then be chosen. There is absolutely nothing special about my abilities when it comes to running. I am average at best. It’s kind of intimidating when you look up some of these folks on Ultra Sign Up. Many of them are multiple time winners of many races.
Being that this is going to be my 4th year I started up grading my gear. You can probably imagine that you get what you pay for when it comes to gear. That gear can not only have an effect on your proformance but it may be the only thing that keeps you alive when the temps drop to -50F. The biggest upgrades I’ve made this year is my jacket and my sleep system. I was using a military surplus sleep system, but it weighed in at just over 12 pounds. The one I upgraded to weighs less than five pounds and is insulated with down. Same goes for the jacket. My new one is 800 fill down as well and it weighs in at about a pound. All the best gear in the world still ain’t gonna get you to that finish line. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to that finish line once. In my opinion the biggest determining factor that is gonna get you there is the belief that you will get there. All the training will certainly help up your odds, but your mental game has got to be something special. 135 miles leave a lot of time for things to go wrong.
Below is a little video of what I do to try and get ready for this race. Everyone does it a little different and I’m sure we all tweak it a bit each year.
2016 this years training for 2017’s race
2015 training for 2016’s race
Now one would think signing up for one of these type of races would be enough to challenge you, but for some reason I can’t leave well enough alone. I kind of have a problem when it comes to peer pressure. A fellow racer made a post asking people to join him and sign up for not only the Arrowhead, but also the Tuscobia160. The Tuscobia 160
I don’t know what the hell possessed me, but if he could do it, so could I. Thanks Scottie!! Scott Kummer Tuscobia is the same type of race, but usually not as cold because it’s a little further south. The biggest challenge is the fact that it’s only two weeks before Arrowhead. Hopefully my feet hold up. Somehow I have convinced myself that that’s my biggest challenge.
Wish me luck! Stay tuned if your interested in this journey, and until next time, dream big my friends. There are no limits!