Get Busy Living - Page 3
Photo by Duane Raleigh
#3 Run the Classic Races
Some trail races drown you with scenery. Others are steeped in more history than Fenway Park. Still others attract elites like bees to Honey Stinger gel. But some events stand tall above all others as especially memorable, meaningful and soul stirring.
For Jasper Halekas of Oakland, California, it's the one and only Dipsea. The oldest trail race in the country (2009 was the 99th running), the 7.4-mile Dipsea (www.dipsea.org) is both quirky and legit—much like the eccentric vibe that permeates the surrounding communities of Marin County, north of San Francisco.
"Dipsea is in some ways the Boston Marathon of trail races," says Halekas. "It's also classic because of its unique features: the handicapped start, which regularly allows everyone from 60-year-old men to 13-year-old girls to finish top 10; the (mostly) open course that allows secret shortcuts; and the spectacle of 1500 people battling on a gnarly singletrack."
Also, your life won't be complete until you hit these:
- JFK 50-Miler in Washington County, Maryland. The country's oldest and biggest ultra, with 25 miles on the Appalachian Trail. (www.jfk50mile.org)
- Golden Leaf Half Marathon in Aspen, Colorado. Imagine running through a bronzed impressionist painting, and the crunch of leaves under your feet as an elk bugles off in the distance. Now stop imagining and just run it. (www.utemountaineer.com)
- Mt. Washington Road Race. OK, it's on pavement. But every elite trail runner has endured the 7.6-mile, 5000-vertical-foot climb up New England's behemoth. (www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com)
Photo by Justin Bastien