What happened in Iceland is slowly sinking In and I am beginning to believe it actually happened! I wrote up about the race based on what I remember. I regret not taking more, strategic pictures.
Day 1 – Monday August 29, 2016
Bright and shiny outside, totally freaking out inside! Completed the day which included a humongous hill but mostly OK terrain. Lake, lots of volcanic ash and lava. My pack was too heavy, over 32 lbs and my left shoulder took the brunt of it. Get patched by the med team in the evening. The same camp as last night, by Askja the volcano.
Miles and miles of lava rock terrain. Was it a mistake, or did they mean it be the course! There were some beautiful mountains along the way. The highlight of the day being seeing Herðubreið, the “queen” of Icelandic mountains. A lil bit of rain towards the end of the day didn’t hurt much. But it was cold.
Hypothermia. DNF. 35 degree, rain all day, 2 glacier river crossings (about 50ft wide each, about knee deep water). That was the day. The camp was at the most expensive camp site in the world, inside a broken volcano! Saw some Northern lights. The whiskey flask I was carrying with me with some 15 yr old Glenfiddich made my tent mates happy!
Sunny and beautiful day. Severe shin issues as a result of walking through some super unfriendly terrains, limped my way to the camp for about 15 miles off the total of 30 miles. Walking on volcanic ash is like walking on a beach! There was this beautiful waterfall (it is the most powerful one in the northern hemisphere) with a rainbow framing it where I spent some time just admiring it. Saw more, brighter, bigger Northern Lights!
Toughest terrain, the first (almost)12 miles were through Heathland vegetation. My already injured left leg was completely mad at em for doign this! At the first checkpoint, I decided enough is enough, time to stop for the day. Not an easy decision but I had to. The truck drove me straight to the natural hot bath thigies, right next to the camp! Dipping in that spring was one of the best experience ever! After that, where I was sitting, the wind kept bringing steam out of the springs.
The race director would not allow me to race today, citing my injury. So I went on a limping run / walk for 10+ miles on my own, without the pack, just a bottle of water and a bag of roasted chick peas (I regretted not taking my phone with me when I walked past “boiling mud” pits!). It was fun, why couldn’t I do that the whole time! 🙂
Coming up, more Iceland shit, with pictures. Stay tuned…..
Fire & Ice Ultra, Iceland’s toughest foot race, is done! In the end, I ran / walked 130ish miles in 5 days. Came short of my goal but the amazing memories that I will cherish, forever… This race, and the preparation leading up to it, which started in January 2016, changed me as a man, forever. I don’t even know where to start, to talk about all of it. All the amazing people that came into my life because of this is a huge plus. In the next few days, I will try to breakdown the little details of the whole trip to Iceland. And more heartfelt thank you notes to follow. Can’t wait to get home and be with my boys, Tango and Foxtrot!
Coastal trail runs is a Bay Area based group that organizes running events throughout the year. I ran one of their races, Lake Chabot trail run.
After running Blue Ridge marathon earlier this year, I was confident that the toughest race EVER is behind me. Not at all. I am not even gonna attempt to describe how tough this course was. The hills that felt like there needs to be a rope line to go up and down, the lose soil, the jagged edge of rocks sticking out….. OK, the things that are out of my control, right?
(But the course was gorgeous!)
What about when I filled my brand new RaidLight Ultra Raid 30 pack with random shit the night before to make it heavier, or when I was too lazy to break in my new Altra Lone Peak 2.5 and had to run with it first time at the race, or when I didn’t spend time learn how to cinch(?) my pack to avoid doing the boogie-woogie bumble while flying down the hills. I have no one to blame but myself for not attempting run the second loop and shutting down the operation at a half marathon. Yes I was registered for a full.
Shout out to my friends Sona and Rajesh. Sona’s amazing home cooked vegan food is the reason, I think, I didn’t collapse half way through some of those fucking hills. And Rajesh, for putting up with my schedule, chauffeuring me around while having great conversations! And their kids are a hoot, love them. I’m gonna work on them to make them runners!
And I had one of the best carb loading ever at Malabar, an Asian fusion, vegetarian / vegan restaurant in Santa Cruz CA!
And I really earned this one .
And the free beers after the finish!