Friday, May 30, 2014

Wapack 21.5mi Race Report. A photoessay of ouch

A couple of weeks ago, I had the "pleasure" of running the Wapack 21.5 Trail race.  Despite my sufferfest, it was a very well run race with great people and a beautiful trail.

Race Description from Ultrasignup.
The Wapack and Back Trail Races consist of a 50 mile ultramarathon and an end-to-end trail race run on the 21.5 mile Wapack Trail ( Leading from Mt Watatic in Massachusetts to North Pack Mt in Greenfield, NH, the rocky ledges of this technical trail (approx 4600 ft elevation gain) afford views of the Boston skyline to the east, Berkshire and Green Mountains to the west and White Mountains to the north. Ultrarunners who complete the 43 mile out and back section will be receive a finisher's medal and be listed in the results. Four aid stations (which ultrarunners pass twice) will provide water, electrolyte drink, sugary and salty snacks. Post-race refreshments will be provided.

Without further or do, I give you my race in pictures.

Finish area before boarding the buses.  Just starting to rain. All smiles.

At the start line in the rain.  This is my own custom instagram filter.  I call it Ziploc baggie.

Ziploc baggie filter Selfie.  Still smiles.

What the hell?  This isn't a trail.  It's just vertical slippery rocks.  Super fun in a not running lungs burning hands on knees sort of way.

Kyle climbing up North Pack.  I was not taking a pic of that woman's butt.

1st peak bagged.  Whew.  That was easy.

North Pack in the books.  1000 ft elevation gain in about 1.6mi.  Only to give half the elevation back on the other side.

Second peak bagged.  Pack Monadnock.  

Just about to start our descent to the first aid station at mile 5ish.  The descent basically amounted to white knuckle downclimbing on slick rock.  Super fun in a terrifying sort of way.

Mile 12.5 aid station.  It's getting hot and you can't quite tell from the pick but my wheels are getting loose and are about to fall off in a big way.  Good food and great volunteers.  Thanks Anthony!

Climbing New Ipswich, I think or whicher hellish hill is at the ski area.  Sun came out and it got HOT.  This is where the pain began.

Good news, I think I can see some scenery.

Bad news.  It's hot as hell and there is NO tree cover.

Yay!  Scenery.  Trying to get a smile on my face for the pic.

"Stop taking frigging pictures so we can get moving.  These black flies are driving me nuts."

Kyle is just humoring me at this point.

Best I could muster.  I think this is the second to last peak.  At this point, I was out of water, unable to run at all and just trying not to hurl.  Yup!  This was fun... in retrospect.

Victory shot after bagging Watatic.  Last peak of the day.  Now to climb down for an entire mile with no quads left.  This was the happiest face I could muster at the time.

DONE!  Got my syrup.  Now let the cramping begin.

Inov8 Trail Roc 245s (courtesy of Miles to Go Sports) were a great choice for this race.  

My only lasting visible casualty.  Not bad.  My GI tract, however, was messed up for days after the race.  TMI.
Summary of this pic is CLIMBING!  The three smaller peaks at mile 15 were particularly terrible.  :-)

Best post race torture device ever.  Thank you Roll Recovery R8 and Miles to Go Sports.

So that's it!  I finished Wapack 21.5 in 5:41.  The terrain and conditions made this, by far, the toughest race I've ever done.  If it was any longer, I probably would have dropped at mile 18.  I'd like to thank RD's Ryan and Kristina and all of the volunteers for putting on a helluva race.  I will definitely be back.


  1. Great accomplishment! I noticed Kyle checking out the Hoka's!

    1. Yes. He was clearly checking out the shoes. :-)

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