PEAK SNOWDEVIL SNOWSHOE / WINTER ULTRA March 3rd, 2018
PEAK BLOOD ROOT ULTRA May 5th, 2018
PEAK WOODSPLITTER 6 HR MOUNTAIN BIKE CHALLENGE (Leadville Qualifier) August 18, 2018
Green Mountain Trails in Vermont Pave the Way for Entry into the Coveted Colorado MTB Race; Peak Race Takes Place August 26, 2017
(August 17, 2017) – The road to the coveted “Leadville Trail 100 MTB” race in Colorado now begins with the “Peak Woodsplitter 6 Hour MTB” race in the Green Mountains of Pittsfield, VT August 26, 2017, which has been named as a qualifying race. The Peak race will provide 20 entries to the world-renowned Leadville race in 2018.
The Peak Woodsplitter 6 Hour MTB race unfolds over 10 miles of rugged terrain. Competitors ride for six hours, completing as many loops as they can, with each testing the mind, body and technique along terrain that incorporates classic GMT standbys and recently handbuilt gnar.
The Green Mountain Trails, where the Peak race takes place, are a fast-growing multi-use network of flowy singletrack over varied terrain in Pittsfield and Stockbridge, Vermont eight miles North of Killington. There is a thousand feet of climbing and descending. Though a majority of the trails are relatively smooth and flowy, there are several miles (and growing) of rooty, rocky, technical singletrack. Pittsfield’s rugged terrain is ideal for endurance athletes and is recognized as the birthplace of Spartan Race, the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand.
Leadville Trail 100 MTB is the race of all races. One hundred miles across the high-altitude, extreme terrain of the Colorado Rockies, this event was created for only the most determined athletes. Starting at 10,152 feet and climbing to 12,424 feet, you’ll be challenged to catch your breath — while the views try to take it away. With a limited number of entries, the only way to enter for the race is by qualifying in a participating Leadville series race or registering for a lottery.
The Peak Races® series was created by ultra-athletes who wanted to wanted to turn coal into diamonds. To do that they developed insane ultra-endurance events here in central Vermont. They believe that by completing one race (and for the insane every/all) in one year, the athletes will end the year in amazing shape…and live longer too!
We’re excited to partner with our friends at The Run Experience at this year’s Peak Ultra. They will be on site Friday night to offer a free clinic they’ve designed just for our race, and will offer a free mini-clinic for the 10-mile fun run participants on Saturday morning! Not only that, they are giving anyone who registers for the Peak Ultra a free 30-day subscription to their program.
At The Run Experience, we’re always coming up with new injury prevention exercises for YOU, our runners! In this post, we take a look at some of Coach Kirk’s favorite “go-to”s for the lower leg!
Just like the car that you depend on to operate properly day in and day out, your running body needs REGULAR maintenance.
When either of these breaks down, chances are that some preemptive investigation could’ve helped us avoid the setback altogether.
We believe in getting your injuries BEFORE they get you. Using 5-7 minutes of your day to help prevent months of injury/recovery/time on the couch is ALWAYS worth it.
The best part about all of our injury prevention exercises is that you can do them at home with easy to find objects!
So take a minute and go grab a broomstick.
Don’t worry, we’ll explain further.
We’re going to use it to get deep into our calf (and soleus specifically) because I think we can all agree how tight these guys get during and after a run.
Here’s how the broomstick bash works:
Why do we love this one so much?
As runners, we take the brute of our daily workouts in our legs. And more specifically, in our lower legs.
Our achilles’ tendons always seem to be the most tender, but the reality here is that the problem starts with the top of the chain, the calf.
Regularly taking care of these muscles will help to lengthen and calm the impact on the achilles’ tendons.
All you’ll need for this one is a pair of lacrosse balls, or 2 balls of similar size and density.
We’re going to use them to get after your peroneals and the posterior side of your tibia (shin).
These muscles control your footstrike, pronation, supination, basically how and why your foot hits the ground the way it does.
Like the calves, they get tight QUICK!
Here’s how the inversion/eversion sandwich works:
Have a seat on the ground, with one leg bent “indian style” in front of you.
No matter the distance, efficiency is key. In this video Nate Helming shares 4 do’s and don’ts of natural running form to help you begin to understand how to get your body to work for you on the trail.
We are all naturally inclined to run, it’s human. You did it without a second thought as a child. Remember – running is a natural thing.
When you notice an issue, don’t fix technique in a vacuum, ask why your body has adapted to move in a negative way. The Run Experience recommends a top-down approach. Posture and position are king (check out the quick posture drill in this video.)
By Racer Russel Fink
As a guy who snowshoed twice in his life before completing a snowshoe
half marathon, I am not sure how qualified I am to give any advice or
expertise but I can share some thoughts I have learned through my
experience. Admittedly, there is nothing below that is earth
shattering advice but I came in as a novice snowshoer and had a great
time and I will share any little bit I can. The below is a short list
of what I would tell someone with limited snowshoe experience.
1. Don’t be afraid — Snowshoes? Hills? Winter? Vermont? Yes, as a
suburbanite from Long Island, this all terrified me but don’t be
afraid. It is a new adventure and one worth doing. If you came across
this research, you have probably done some running races before so
just like anything, it is just jumping in and going for it.
2. Do your research. Many people have done the race before you and
have written race reports about it. Search the web — find those
reports and people — these first hand experiences can help you with
how to prepare and some race day tips. Don’t be afraid to reach out to
those people and ask questions (I emailed someone who I ended up
corresponding with for a while and she gave amazing advice)
3. Preparation is key. The race is hilly and the race is cold so dust
off that cold weather gear now and get out there and do some hills.
Yes, it’s dark, yes, it’s December, yes, it’s cold, but training is
what we love to do (right?!?!) so we get out there and do it
4. Bring a friend. With a very limited day and a half of snowshoeing
experience between us, my friend and I both came to to do the half
marathon (and this year we are going for the full), and having some
company is a great way to enable the experience. Nothing wrong with
going at it alone (everyone on the course is very supportive and
friendly) but a good friend and a shared experience bring another nice
element to your day — it can help you get through those tough
5. Don’t overthink it — This was my biggest issue – I had a backpack
filled with a week’s worth of food, supplies, backups, etc. It is
important to be prepared but even more important to be PROPERLY
6. Pace Yourself – This race is hilly but that first hill is just
brutal — it goes up and up and up — don’t get discouraged but make
sure to pace yourself, you’ll get to the crest if you work at it but
make sure to take you time and breathe…
5 Enjoy it. What a clichéd statement but this race is an adventure
and one that not many people get to do so have fun. We did it, loved
Feel free to come back to me with any specific questions and hope my information helps someone…
Written by Racer Patrick Deware
I’ve been able to do the Peak Snowshoe Marathon 5x (might be 6x) over the years and have had an absolute blast doing this race, everytime laughing at myself for running a snowshoe marathon.
Atlas snowshoes or Dion are both great brands that I use. I also use extension poles for longer runs (10Miles+) as it helps me with cadence of keeping upper body and lower body moving in rhythm.
I’m on my second pair of Salomon Goretex trail shoes with Climate Shield that you can look up on any of the outdoor sites for pricing (backcountry or moosejaw) and work very well on race day. They are a weather proof trail running shoe that enables you to move freely within the snowshoes and not have to wear a heavier shoe or small boot. I also use smart-wool socks as well as Outdoor Research goretex gaiters to keep snow out of ankles etc…I typically swap out my socks after the second loop as well as a few layers. There’s nothing better then dry feet and layers going into the last two loops.
DO NOT OVERDRESS! A couple of years ago it was -6 at the start and I saw people at the starting line with down puffy jackets! And they had their water bottles on hip belts outside their jackets (exposed to cold temp) or Camelbacks packs. They were overheated within 20-30 minutes and at the stone hut up top they were sweating way too much, overheated and their water bottles were frozen solid!
I wear 3-4 layers depending on the temps on race morning and what’s forecasted. Everything is breathable with 3/4 zip so you can ventilate as needed and any softshell jackets I wear I ensure they have armpit zips for ventilation as well. I highly recommend a vest as opposed to fully shell for at least the first few loops as you’ll be looking to keep your core warm but your arms with 2-3 layers already on them will be fine as you heat up.
I bring a rubbermaid bin to the race with extra set up of all clothes, socks as well as a fix it kit with zip ties, duct tape etc and a couple of thin running beanies and very light running gloves. I find that as I am slower on the 3rd & 4th loop it’s more enjoyable with dry clothes so I always change my waist up and socks heading into the 3rd lap.
Feel free to come back to me with any specific questions and hope my information helps someone…
Here’s how some of you are training for the Peak Snowshoe Ultra, Marathon & Fun Run.
Stacey Eggers offers these suggestions for training without snow, and for the odd looks you may get while doing it: “The best training advice I have is to run hilly, muddy steep trails. (We do not have snow) so the best is to get thick heavy mud and run as many hills possible. To know the fit of your snowshoes, try to train and run in a thick grassy field with snowshoes on. It will take some adjustments to get the right feel. Be sure to wave at everyone you see, they will be very curious, if they stop to see if you need help just ask them to point in the direction of snow.”
We won’t say we endorse this training method, but we won’t say we don’t either… Ashley Waddell has the following suggestions:
Make sure you do some portion of your snowshoeing training naked (or as scantily clad as possible) so that your skin is well “cold conditioned” by the time you arrive in Vermont.
Core work is your friend. Whether you do pull-ups, push-ups, planks, burpees, leg raises, or something else entirely, know that you’ll use your core the whole time: climbing up the hill, stabilizing yourself on the steep descents, and laughing heartily with other racers at the finish line.
Gear-wise: breathable shoe covers (like these from Pearl Izumi) do a good job of keeping your toes from freezing (even if they get wet), so you can say “Bring it on!” and lose any excuse you might think you have not to go out for that 3rd or 4th or 13th loop.
If you’ve never run in snowshoes, don’t worry, Pat Gouker reminds us: “Running in snowshoes is just like running w/o minor technique changes wider stance, higher knees. watch for clipping your ankles on the side of the shoes.
Hard pack running will be easier and faster than soft pack running. Wear the snowshoes to get used to how they feel and how you feel with them on.”
We have More Tips Coming. Keep checking back!
READ: Michelle Roy’s advice on training, nutrition, warmth and gear for the 100 Mile snowshoe.
Peak Races is more than a race series, Peak is a community of athletes determined to test, transform and improve themselves every day. We reached out to you for training tips and have been overwhelmed by the response. This is the first in a series of posts that will help you prepare for the Peak Snowshoe, whatever distance you choose.
Our first training recommendations come from Michelle Roy, an rock star in the Peak Races lore!
First off I think I have some good ideas based on the fact I have 4 prior tries at the 100 under my belt with the most being 84 miles. The year I went 84 miles I was the only person out overnight while the rest of the racers hunkered down in the horse barn. The reason I was able to continue in the frigid cold was because I brought BIG PUFF. Big Puff is my husband Bob’s gigantic parka he used when climbing Denali. It is soooo big on me it goes beyond my knees..it looks like I am running (snowshoeing that is) in a sleeping bag. So make sure you have the biggest warmest coat on hand if you need it.
My second bit of advice is do not wear sneakers. The year I wore sneakers with my Dion snowshoes I had a blister after one loop the size of an apple on my heel. I went 72 miles that year and the pain was excruciating. Wear comfortable hiking boots lightweight ones that cover your heel (go high) do not wear leather hiking boots they get too heavy when wet. I have Asolos that are AWESOME.
My third bit of advice is to not eat yellow snow (just kidding). It is actually to be aware that your water pack or water bottle will probably freeze. It did for me one year in the middle of the first 6 mile loop!! There were coconut waters on hand in cardboard boxes so I dropped my pack and ran the rest of the race with a coconut water down the front of my tights. I am not exaggerating..it was the only way to keep any liquid warm enough…you could also put a water bottle in the top of your sports bra between your boobs or if you are a guy just in the waistband of your tights. It actually was not uncomfortable at all and I had enough to drink grabbing one bottle a loop.
Fourth NO COTTON ANYTHING. Seriously. Many people start off going fast and feeling great but we all know as you add on the miles you will get tired…your body no matter how hard you are working will get cold as you probably will slow down your pace. This is not so much for the 6 milers and maybe not for the fastest marathoners, but for those of you mid to back packers you want to be smart. Where a waterproof/windproof (light) outer layer that you can easily pull up to your neck like a scarf or over your head like a cool swami hat for those ups when you feel like you are sweating buckets….when you find yourself going down and or are on the side of the mountain with no sun you can easily pull that jacket down when you start to get chilly
Fifth I firmly believe in eating real food and not gels or goo or horrific bars filled with stuff you can’t pronounce. I like to buy 2 egg mcmuffins sandwiches…with bacon on them no cheese. They are so awesome even when cold. In between I have something a bit sweeter like pb&j or I personally do like cookie dough Balance bars as they are the only bars that do not cause me to fart up a storm. I try to eat for my size (5’4” 116) 150-250 calories a loop after I finish the marathon distance. For a marathon distance I eat far less…maybe one or two cookie dough bars and or pretzels (I am partial to them). For a 6 miler I would eat nothing while doing it unless I was walking the entire thing. I would bring something yummy for a stop and a picture on top of Joe’s Mountain.
And last but not least bring a stone with you. Write the name of someone you love and miss or someone who needs some extra love and prayers sent their way…place the stone at a spot that tickles your fancy and add a little magic to the mountain : )
Submitted by Michelle Roy
The first wave of intrepid racers lined up on the top of Tweed, Downpours in the wee hours of the morning were enough to make the course, hereby known as the “gnarled albatross” for the route’s peculiar resemblance to a seabird, not just techy and hilly but downright treacherous. Fourteen year old local, Jackson, ailing with an emergent case of strep throat, lead the pack up to Shrek’s Cabin, but was soon exhausted by his illness.
After the first lap, it was already apparent who was going to go the distance and who was just trying to survive to go another round. Sam Darling, Phillip Parrish, and Tucker Weaver held their positions almost the entire race, with two veteran racers, David Boyce and Robert Paton, making respectable showings not far behind. Four laps, fifty miles,6.5 k feet on terrain most riders would be pressed to handle with fresh legs in pristine conditions. Parrish, racer for Bicycle Express and a GMT regular, made his move on the last lap overtaking Darling by two minutes, which in a race of this length and intensity could just as well be two seconds. Weaver rode in a half hour later to take third.
The Gnarly Adventure did not look like the start of the race, but the start of an expedition, and in a way it was. The racers had their maps spread out trying to make heads or tails out of the mish mash of arrows and x-es sketched onto them. When the RD was fielding questions, someone asked how long this would take. He gave a wild guess, four hours…now wait, maybe five. Nervous laughter ensued.
They were off with a good chance that we would not see them again for another six hours, and for about half the field, this proved true. Not only did they have to collect tokens from each and every trail, they had to navigate in such a way that it would not conflict with the loop course. Several racers had been riding the GMT for years, but no matter. They underestimated how tough it would be. Peter Woolson showed up, flushed, exhausted and exhilarated, at exactly the four hour mark with all twenty tokens going down as the Gnarly Adventure’s first victor. He, as well as Christina Mattsson and Casey Novotny who wandered in a half hour later, were all local riders.
Those three were impressive. But what blew our mind was Mark Whalen, whose first serious ride on the GMT was during the race and he managed to complete the challenge a half hour after the regulars. The rest of the field filtered in close to the cutoff, each missing only a few tokens, each exhausted and having had the time of their lives.
Have fun. Pack a picnic in your hydration pack and linger at the top of a mountain with a friend and have deep conversations. Pretend you’re announcing a grand prix race the whole way down. Sit by a waterfall with a good read. Read a page an hour; spend the rest of the time peering above the pages at the scenery. Don’t research the best swimming holes. Pack some old Chucks and trudge down the river and find one yourself. Make a few dozen stops along the ride to forage for berries. Revel in your new lip color. Learn not to take yourself so seriously and watch your racing and life improve dramatically.
You can cue Mr. Miyagi of Karate Kid fame if you must, but find the most mundane, time consuming task that you can muster (scrubbing the bathroom tile grout with a toothbrush, clearing a football field sized meadow with a scythe, whatever) lock away the phone, the tv, ALL distractions, and get to work. Whatever thoughts pop into your head, pay them as little mind as you would your crazy racist uncle. Don’t actively expel them, just let them pass and fade away naturally. Come back to focusing on your breath and the task at hand. Be in the moment. Forget about the goal. Forget about the rewards. Forget about your lengthy to do list. It will feel uncomfortable at first, but with enough practice, you’ll find contentment in the moment even doing the most seemingly drudging task. This will build your mental endurance substantially and get you to the finish line.
There’s no getting around it. To complete an endurance race you need to build up your mental and physical capacities to their optimal level without injuring yourself or burning yourself out. That means at least one or two days a week of serious, uninterrupted riding ramped up over weeks and months mixed in with a few lighter days. There are lots of good periodization plans available on the internet so I won’t waste space describing them here.
There is a lot of sound advice out there suggesting that if you want to get better, ride with people better than you. Absolutely. But there’s another perspective that says you can make significant improvements by riding with newbies. Here’s how: As you start to master mountain biking, much of what you do moves out of conscious awareness. Most of your skill becomes hardwired which is a great thing. It frees up space to learn new skills which propel you to ever higher levels of mastery.
Teaching newbies moves your mind in the complete opposite direction. You bring skills that you now take for granted back into conscious awareness. How is this helpful? Besides the satisfaction of introducing a great sport to initiates, teaching is like taking a refresher course. Through instruction you become hyper aware of whatever deficiencies may have snuck into your riding habits while you weren’t looking and you have a chance, even an obligation, to refine them. As a result, your fundamentals improve where otherwise they would’ve been neglected indefinitely.
If you know it’s going to be another long, cold New England winter and you heat your home with a stove, what do you use? Do you stockpile lots of paper, cardboard, pine sticks and gasoline? Or do you order a few cords of slow, but hot, burning hardwoods?
Expel most of the refined sugars and simple carbs from your life and I guarantee that you will feel and perform great (After a solid week of feeling awful. Straight sugar is like a drug and what you’re feeling is straight up withdrawal.) Check labels. If the so called energy bar has 20g or more of sugar, take a pass, or better yet, make your own. Dump the gels in your hummingbird feeders. Feed yourself right and you’ll bonk next to never given smart planning. As with all trail nutrition, experiment diligently prior to race day. The time to give up your sugar addiction or to figure out the right formula is emphatically not on or immediately prior to race day.
I get it. You have your favorite loop that you know like the back of your hand. You’re the Strava champion of the world. Here’s the harsh truth–no one cares about this except your mom and your doting nephew and chances are they’re even faking it.
If you want to get better, you have to stretch your mental and physical muscles in ways they’re not accustomed to. As long as it doesn’t detract from anyone else’s enjoyment and doesn’t violate the rules of the trails, ride your favorite loop..backwards. You’ll soon figure out that you aren’t as good as a rider as you thought you were, but stick with it and you will be.
Get a good light and some extra battery packs and ride at night as fast as you can without putting yourself in peril. Even the most familiar trails will be a challenge and your bike handling skills will improve automatically. Other ideas–pick a fairly technical trail and ride it as slow as possible without faltering. Pick an easy, lightly trafficked, trail and ride it as fast as possible.
There are so many amazing runners that show up for the Peak Ultra, Brian Nephew is definitely one of them! Thanks Brian for trying to explain the Peak Ultra:
5:30 a.m. race day and it appears I am either at the wrong place, have the wrong day, or am the only one signed up. After all what kind of race starts at 6am on a Friday morning?! I notice lights up the driveway coming from a dilapidated shed. Out of the light to the sound of techno music, wearing a headlamp walks a wild eyed, sleep deprived, ball of energy– ‘Welcome to Peak Ultra’. Our race director! Or as I learned through my time on the mountain, a tour guide through suffering. The only cowbells you will hear are from the cows in the fields below; it will take more than cowbells. There are no inspirational prerace speeches; words won’t be enough. There are no race time PR’s.
There is a magical system of trails that will lead you to places few will ever visit.
Flashback to the 2014 Peak Ultra 30
I had actually been here before, the year prior for the 30 mile (which by all reasonable calculations was 35 miles). On that day I had the most personally inspiring experience. I witnessed people attempting to run 500 miles. Something I wasn’t aware was even possible. Not only did I witness it, I had the opportunity to share miles with one of them. That short time made me start asking myself ‘What is possible, what am I capable of?’ I started thinking about how comfortable life had become and yet how discontent I was becoming. Maybe I needed a good dose of suffering to create an appreciation of my life, and maybe that suffering would quiet this inner drive for things that aren’t essential.
At mile 25 I had the moment, after a long uphill climb as I doubled over, someone on MILE 495 ASKED ME ‘Are you Ok?’
Back to the 2015 Peak Ultra 100
With a running resume consisting of 2 half marathons and the previous year Peak30 my thirst for more of that experience drove me to the 100. It’s brutal, relentless and unforgiving. It will break you, multiple times. And yet you will love it. I choose to keep what I found in me on that course to myself. There is a secret being held on that mountain that selfishly I don’t want to share. I connected with some incredible people I hope to always stay in touch with. Sometimes you finish by crossing the line; and other times that’s actually the start………….so I will see you in May….In the Pony barn, and on the Stairs, and at Shreks, and in the Labrynth……. No not there, you can’t see anything in there.
Brian Nephew’s Peak Ultra 100 by the numbers:
1 super awesome family
44hours (I was the ‘King of Pain’ winner – longest time on course)
3 pairs sneakers
unimaginable amounts of glide
3 full sit down meals
4 hours of Taylor Swift
A handful of memorable hallucinations. Maybe it never happened.
Thank you Pete Coleman, Ryan Jones, and most of all my wife Shontel for epically crushing 30 miles.
And Kale Poland for ‘Are you Ok’, …. I’m working on being awesome.
The snow’s here, now it’s time to make a commitment! Get your 2016 Peak Snowshoe Race tickets Thursday Januray 21st. This year we’re supporting the Vermont Foodbank, $5 from every ticket we sell will go to their efforts to feed hungry Vermonters, but if you buy your ticket today we’ll give them $20.
The Peak Snowshoe Race has 4 distances, from 10k to 100 miles, to choose from. The race takes place on Pittsfield, Vermont’s stunning Green Mountain Trails. The course will be a rugged 6.5 mile loop in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Each loop has 1200 vertical.
While you’re in Pittsfield, Vermont make a weekend of it: book a room at the Amee Farm Lodge or Trailside Inn, enjoy a hearty breakfast and fresh juices at the General Store, and if you get a reservation early enough book an exclusive dinner at The Backroom. Within a 15 minute drive you’ll find Alpine Skiing at Pico and Killington ski resorts.
Inspired by the determination and positive attitude of Death Racer Mark Webb, Joe Desena decided that the ticket sales for the 2015 Summer Death Race would ALL go to charity. The charities were to be decided by the top finishers. A year and an epic Summer Death Race later we’re getting ready to mail those checks and we could not be more excited. For a small race company like Peak the opportunity to put this much money toward getting good things done is a pretty big deal. Here are the finishers and the charities they’ve chosen:
Race Report from Travis Macy:
I’m thankful for races that have big fields, sponsor expos, online coverage, prize money, and my beloved Katy Perry (hey, even us counter-culture ultrarunners need to have at least one guilty, mainstream pleasure) blaring at the starting line and, if we’re lucky, again at aid stations.
I’m equally thankful, however, for races in our sport that are still off the grid. For races, that is, like the Peak Ultra, where the key take-away from the RD’s pre-race meeting is that the terrain you’ll be passing through is, “suuuuuper moosey.” For races where some deep mud and some steeper hills make for even slower mile splits–but no one cares because that’s the way it’s supposed to be in an ultra anyway. Where bushwhacking meets river crossing meets running down a trail/drainage that’s filled with thick, crackly leaves covering rocks/ankle-breakers. Where the best and hardest parts of the course have badass, backwoods names like Bloodroot and The Labarynth. Where, if you want to be a local, you have a wide range of vehicle choices: Subaru Outback or Ford F-250. Period. For races that take you back to nature because nature is literally all over you by the time you finish, and where you feel like a little kid exploring the outdoors in unexpected ways–because that’s what you’re doing all day long alongside like-minded people who are rooting for you while you root for them.
Before the race, Hoka One One Elite runner Larisa Dannis told me, “this race holds a special place in my heart.” Larissa has been around the block, having run 5:59:11 for 50 miles. After the race, I see what she means about this race and why she wants to come back every year.
I’m thankful I got to the do Peak Ultra 50-miler while it was off the grid; this course is an epic adventure, and it’s not going to be a secret much longer.
Thinking about taking on the Peak Ultra? This year ultra runner, coach and author of “The Ultra Mindset” Travis Macy will be joining us. We have some amazing athletes this year taking on distances from 30 to 200 miles, but if your new to the sport you can join the fun with our 15 mile run. This is an amazing opportunity to get a taste for the world of Ultra Running and Trail Running. Join us Friday evening for the free Q&A with Travis and win one of the copies of his book we’ll be giving away at the race!
The Peak Ultra takes place on the beautiful Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield, Vermont and in the Green Mountain National Forest. This race is all about testing yourself and your limits. No matter if you are a seasoned pro or new to ultra running, I think you’ll find Travis’ video helpful.
Author and coach Travis Macy will be running in the Peak Ultra 50 this year. He will be giving a free talk to help racers get their heads ready for the 2015 Ultra, whatever distance they run. His talk will include a quick overview of nutrition, hydration, gear, pacing, and mindset for Peak Ultra; he’ll then open up to questions about this event, competing around the world, his new book, and anything else that’s on your mind!
Travis Macy is a speaker, author, coach, and professional endurance athlete. He is the author of The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life, and he holds the record for Leadman, an epic endurance event consisting of a trail running marathon, 50-mile mountain bike race, Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race, 10k road run, and Leadville 100 Run, all above 10,200′ in the Rocky Mountains. Travis lives with his wife and two young children in the mountains around Evergreen, Colorado.
Only 4 racers have completed the 500 mile distance at the Peak Ultra. One of them is Kale “Cleetus” Poland who finished in 9 days. Here are his memories of the event.
After I take the turn from VT-107 to 100, I make a conscious effort to not put the pedal to the floor for the final 13 miles on the way to Pittsfield.
Don’t get me wrong- the small, charming mountains rising up from the river along that road are worthy of gawking at length… but the anticipation of what I am headed to far exceeds my willingness to rubberneck.
The mystique surrounding the trails at Peak is well-known amongst those who make the annual pilgrimage there.
There is an energy within that forest that cannot be denied. I’d been there to witness it multiple times within the past 5 years, but hadn’t truly felt the extent of it on my own until last year, at the Peak 500.
We began on a Thursday afternoon in late May.
Incessant rain dominated our first few days on the trail. We were muddy, constantly wet, and tired. The forest seemed dark and imposing- perhaps compounded by the daunting task that lay ahead.
I believe the sun finally made an appearance on day 3. New England forests in general are very dynamic during this time of year, as everything begins to come back to life after a long winter. This was especially so here on Joe’s Mountain. The flora changed from deep green to bright and vibrant…growing right before our eyes. The grass and ferns, not much taller than ankle-height at the beginning, grew to knee height. Over the final few days, I became almost attached to certain parts of the trail that I’d run or walked by over 40 times, having literally watched them grow over a week and half. A haunting forest suddenly became inviting, even during the final night when things were at their toughest.
A few days after finishing, I chatted with fellow finisher Nick Bautista. We both expressed feelings of difficulty in leaving the trail and assimilating back to the “real” world. After knowing the whereabouts and condition of seemingly every root, rock, and plant, it is very hard to not know how the trail is doing. I know how silly this probably sounds, but when the only thing you have with you are your thoughts, suffering, and nature around you, the attachment becomes very real.
Peak Races are polarizing, but in a good way. You will have some of your worst moments on these trails. There is a good chance you will end up at rock bottom, and you just may stay there for a long, long while….but never forever. The collective energy of this place and the people around it will raise you up.
You will learn, adapt, and then have some of your best moments here- and while those good and bad moments may not last forever, the memories will.
And those memories will change you.
Watch the video, then learn more about the PEAK Ultra Race.
by Ultra Runner Michelle Roy
I have 3 DNF’s at the PEAK 500
and they are my proudest accomplishments as an ultra runner.
It is quite possible that many of you will, like I did, fall in love with
this mountain and these trails and PEAK will become your bliss. I can
promise that each of you that decide to take on the challenge of PEAK,
regardless of the distance, will find a part of yourself that you never
knew existed. These are no ordinary trails….you will know what I
speak of when you pass through the labyrinth and the day becomes
evening. You are on a mountain that holds memories. A mountain that
has silently witnessed amazing feats from ordinary people. What will
you take away from your PEAK experience? I can assure you that you will
be challenged. You will suffer moments of doubt, maybe even fear, but
whether or not you cross that finish line in the time given or with the
number of loops expected you will have accomplished something great.
I have always said PEAK is about the extra loop. As in life it is about
challenging yourself to take that extra step when you body says “I am
done”. It is not for a medal or your name listed as a finisher it is
really about finding your inner reserve, tapping into it, and pushing
yourself farther than you ever thought possible.
Welcome to the PEAK family…
Are interested in our races? We’ve developed a test to determine if you have what it takes to succeed – not just in races but in life. Rate yourself from 1 to 10 on each these 6 questions. 1 means almost never, 10 means always. Then check our recommendations below.
1. Do you think like a winner, with the confidence that you can achieve your goal no matter the obstacles?
2. Do you learn from your mistakes? When something doesn’t go the way you expect can you adapt and keep moving forward?
3. Do you have the energy you need to get through your to do list every day? Do you get out of bed ready to face the day, no snooze button, and carry that energy all day?
4. Do you accept sole responsibility for every choice you make, never blaming others? When a problem arises do you focus on what you control?
5. Do you cultivate your creativity and trust it to help you solve problems? Do you look beyond tried and true solutions for new solutions?
6. Are you persistent?
How did you do? Calculate your total score then click the score below to see what we recommend for you.
This year’s Mexico Death Race was a surprise from start to finish. First thing, racers were picked up at the Angel of Independence statue in Mexico City. The 48 hopefuls were split into two buses and driven a few hours out of town.
Though most had prepared for hot and sunny, they were dropped off almost 12,000 feet up a major volcano. There they had to scramble through a field to find their bibs before being given a frozen fish to carry for the rest of the race (based on the legend that Aztec ruler Moctezuma had runners bring him fresh fish daily from the ocean hundreds of miles away) and, in a huge departure from tradition, their skull.
The organizers had been pondering how it is that a cheap plastic skull can drive people so far past their normal breaking point so, as an experiment, we decided to award the skulls ahead of time and see how this affected people’s performances and perceptions. With all this precious cargo safely stowed, they then set out on a fast paced ascent, climbing another 3,000 feet in only seven kilometers! A handful of racers dropped almost immediately as the extreme elevation made them terribly nauseous.
Those who made it to the top of this trip then turned and headed down the volcano in the darkness, covering another 25 km before the sun rose, including the last couple miles dragging massive logs through an Arroyo and a river. As they arrived at camp (not without a couple more racers dropping out after being injured by falling rocks) they found all that all but 10 had been eliminated for missing a time hack and the rest had to turn in their bibs. When it was pointed out that the surviving group had gained a huge advantage being the only ones not directed into the river on the descent, they were given a choice to be the only ones still racing or to also turn in their bibs and to join the others in a penalty to earn them all back together. The group of ten voted, almost unanimously, to remove their bibs to give the rest a chance to continue.
Joe then assigned them a collective half million jumping jacks and got them started before heading for a nap. With the sun rising over the volcano behind them, the group completed a couple hundred thousand burpees before being told it was time to retrieve their bibs. Many had figured out that we had sunk them in an abandoned pool that had become a stinking, slimy pond. That knowledge did not make it any easier to wade in, with someone finding a dead mouse floating almost immediately. As the racers found their bibs they were allowed to start the individual racing. Interestingly,
Taylor Cuevas was the very last one out of the pool, waiting to ensure that everyone else had found theirs, especially a few racers who were unable to swim. The next ten hours was a whirlwind of brutal work. Low crawls in a concrete ditch, running through rugged canyons, rock climbing a waterfall, carrrying massive logs a mile uphill and then firing rifles at small targets and swimming more laps of the horrible pond for anything less than 3 bullseyes, trudging up the river carrying ridiculously heavy bags of chopped wood (more than body weight for some of the smaller females) and scaling a climbing wall in an abandoned three story tower.
The most visceral carnage happened at Mark Jones’ “Sumner Camp” where racers had to spin around a swinging contraption 250 times (sets of 25, 50, 75 and 100) and complete just as many burpees, somersaults, log flips and the like. Over several hours, most racers were sick to their stomachs and all were pushed to their absolute breaking point. Several previous DR finishers were unable to complete the tasks before the 6pm hard cutoff, which was announced midafternoon. Impressively, however, very few stopped – even once official finisher status was out of reach – and ground it out right to the end.
The Dirty Dozen who did complete everything in time finished with a loop that started with a rappel down the waterfall, a run through the canyon, a scramble up the bank and a low crawl the opposite direction in the concrete ditch, before crossing a suspension bridge and heading back to camp. There they had to cook their fish over the fire and eat a bite before being declared an official finisher. Taylor Cuevas, who had stayed in the pool and started dead last, had worked his way to the front of the pack and was crowned champion. Ultimately, 8 men and 4 women earned the distinction of “official finisher” in this brutal 27 hour “sprint”.
submitted by Johnny Waite
This was a Winter Death Race for the ages. While over 100 had registered, a blast of savage weather kept all but the hardiest at home with only 30 actually showing up to toe the start line.
The race began Friday evening, immediately following the 9pm pre-race meeting. Most competitors had arrived prepared for this likelihood, but one rookie showed up in sweat pants and tennis shoes and had to endure the first several hours of -30℉ drastically underdressed before his parents could fetch the rest of his gear. The first order of business, after 50 fully loaded burpees, was to drag enormous logs up the mountain, breaking new trail in the deep snow the whole way. Working in three teams, they took a few hours to make the first trip and were rewarded with a second one – this time carrying buckets full of logs as well.
Upon arriving at the summit, racers were released to sprint to the bottom and begin racing in earnest. This continued full-tilt until Sunday morning, with the racers enduring multiple trips to the summit, carrying various loads, building a mountainside cabin, and standing, barefoot on a cold floor, blindfolded and earmuffed while required to count off one hour in their head with a penalty for time over or under. Sunday morning, as the state closed the highways due to severe freezing rain, racers were regrouped and brought upstairs in the barn for a surprise dance lesson from a 9 yr old neighbor. For hours they were tortured with “Uptown Funk” and accompanying choreography.
After repeatedly failing their group recital, with penalties including 50 times rolling down a snowy hill, they were finally allowed to advance. Next they worked together to stack a neighbor’s wood and clear ice from her driveway, then hiked over the mountain and waded through the river to chip out a frozen pile of stones at the General Store and fill the excavated foundation. Just before dark, all remaining racers (about half had dropped by now) used their ropes to make themselves Swiss Seats and then all clipped to a 100′ rope before striding together into the frigid river to walk the mile and a half upstream to Riverside. There they were made to sit armpits deep in the rushing water for a ten minute preview of what was to come. Chilled to the bone, the racers were then given only a few minutes to get changed and be upstairs for a closing meeting.
They battled for space in the basement but all managed to make it upstairs in time. They were congratulated on finishing the prescribed tasks, but told that they still had their penalties to complete. Based on a formula that included their score on a quiz, their proficiency carrying buckets of water, how many times they’d made it up the mountain Saturday night and how close they were to the hour of forced meditation, each racer was assigned up to one hour submersion in the river, up to 4,235 burpees and several trips up and down the mountain. Working well into Monday morning, now in a significant snowstorm, only 9 racers were able to complete their penalties before the 6am cut off. Drew Jett led the way, with the rest joining him one at a time in the cabin atop Joe’s mountain. Shortly after 7am, approximately 58 hours after the start, the nine skulls were presented as the sun rose.
submitted by Johnny Waite
Another buddy workout that will get your ready for the Peak team death race. Grab your partner and push yourself beyond the limits. See who can go longer.
Peak Death Race WOD #35
Michelle Roy + Robert Kenefick
A full body workout that works all aspects of the body. You can make this as hard as you want with doing multiple sets of this. After all, the peak races are not easy so should your workout be easy? Good Luck!
Peak Death Race WOD #34
This week WOD is all about pushing yourself to the limit. Do as many can before you fail. Don’t cheat yourself and push yourself beyond the limits. It’s only going to make you better.
Peak Death Race WOD #33
The simplest workouts of them all, pushups and situps. Do as many as you can without taking a break. If you can do all 200 without a break then your looking pretty fit.
Peak Death Race WOD #32
This weeks WOD is all about the lower body. Your legs will be burning after this workout just as the Peak snowshoe race would make them. Good Luck and Push yourself beyond the limits.
Peak Death Race WOD #31
Lets have a little fun with this week’s WOD. Joshua Grant shows us some dance moves to really work on core strength. As many of our winter death racers know dancing is an intense workout. Get dancing!
Peak Death Race WOD #30
Another week of endurance workouts. You can always modify this workout, substitute an exercise you like or maybe just to make it harder. Good luck and push yourself beyond your limits.
Peak Death Race WOD #29
Heather brings us this week’s WOD. We will mostly be focusing on our core and lower body. We want to push ourselves to the limits. Do as many as you can of one exercise before moving to the next.
Peak Death Race WOD #28
Spartan Warm Up
10-100 Step ups
10-100 Tricep dips
10-100 Leg LIfts (standing)
10-100 Modified Superman
10-100 Leg Lifts (laying down)
10-100 Scissor Kicks
Spartan Cool Down
Mike will take us through this weeks WOD. Pushing yourself to the full thirty reps is the best way to get the most out of this workout.
Peak Death Race WOD #27
Are you ready to push yourself beyond your limits? This weeks WOD will mentally drain you but will help get you ready for the next death race.
Peak Death Race WOD #26
Spartan Warm Up
35 sets of 10-50 reps of each of the following exercises:
Hanging Leg Raises
Sandbag clean and press.
Kettlebell Swings (w/sandbag)
Sandbag Squats, alternating shoulders
(skip last exercise)
Spartan Cool Down
Today we are working on our explosion in our arms and legs. This is a great workout for getting in shape for the Warman ride.
Peak Death Race WOD #25
Another week of testing your endurance. Jason puts you through three different exercises that work your entire body. If twenty minutes is to easy then maybe go for thirty or more.
Peak Death Race WOD #24
Ready to test your endurance? This week’s workout will do just that. Push yourself to do as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can.
Peak Death Race WOD #23
Yesel guides us through a tough leg workout. This will get you ready for those long peak snowshoe races. If you have the mental strength enough aim for a 100 reps of each. Good luck!
Peak Death Race WOD #22
For this week’s WOD your going to need a partner. This is going to take some teamwork and you will have to work together. Good Luck
Peak Death Race WOD #21
Darren Deheras + Edgar Landa
Training for the Ultra peak race? This week’s WOD is a perfect workout for training for that. Mostly lower body training for 30 straight minutes. Do you have the mentality and dedication to push yourself to the limits?
Peak Death Race WOD #20
This week’s workout is a pyramid. You start at 10 and work your way down to one. We had to add in burpees because we know everyone loves burpees. If you think starting at 10 is easy, then start at a higher number. Good luck.
Peak Death Race WOD #19
Since Death Racer Mark Webb woke us up to what true resolve is, we are more excited than ever about what forged all of you and how you all have forged us here at HQ. This may be the last Summer Death Race ever. This summer we’ve decided on the ultimate Death Race theme: PERSISTENCE.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. ”
Our friend Mark’s incredible attitude has inspired us with a taste of this rare quality. In 2015 we will find out whether talent, education, genius, or ultimately PERSISTENCE is what that gets us to those great places in life.
So where is the sadistic twist? Well more to come later on that, but in the meantime we thought it fitting to take 100% of 2015 Death Race entry fees and donate them to charity. Yes, we will give away 100% of 2015 Death Race entry fees. The finishers of what may be the final summer Death Race ever will get to choose what charities the money will go to. All the Death Race entry fees paid for 2015 will be split amongst the 2015 Summer Death Race finishers to donate to the charities of their choice.
Why do this now? Quite honestly planning and running the Death Race is hard work. There are a LOT of moving parts, and although it’s very rewarding, we all needed a way to make it more meaningful. Let’s not just help the participants, this year let’s help those in need.
Tyler is going to make you break a sweat today. This WOD gets you switching exercise to exercise. This will help you get your heart beat up. You can always work higher than 10 push ups, 25 sit ups and 5 pull ups. Just depends how far you push your own limits.
Peak Death Race WOD #18
Spartan Warm Up
Increase or decrease each exercise by one multiple each round:
4 Pushups 10 Situps
Then work backwards.
Spartan Cool Down
This week’s WOD is pull ups and squats. I dare you to do 20 reps for 20 rounds.
Peak Death Race WOD #17
This week’s WOD could be a tough one. Hanging plank variation use a lot of upper body and core strength. Good luck, push your self to the limits.
Peak Death Race WOD #16
For this week’s workout you will need a partner. This is a perfect workout to get you ready for the team death race. Try to choose someone that is a similar size to you unless your looking for a challenge. Push your partner to the limit to get the most out of this workout.
Peak Death Race WOD #15
Melody Haz i+ Mark Webb
Time to buckle down and do some push ups. This week, Marshall gives us a wide variation of push ups to help strengthen multiple muscles. These different push ups will help strengthen your shoulders, triceps, abdominal, and pectorals muscles. How many can you do?
Peak Death Race WOD #14
A lot of push and pulls this week to help strengthen your upper body. Great for those times you are either wrestling the bull in the traveling death race or helping your teammate get over a wall in the team death race.
Peak Death Race WOD #13
This is a great workout to test your limits just like the Warman Ride that Peak Races offer. This is a workout focusing on your core strength along with legs.
Peak Death Race WOD #12
A full body workout for this week’s WOD. These work outs are a great and intense way to get ready for the death races coming up. Go Beyond Your Limits in this workout and you will see it pay off in the race.
Peak Death Race WOD #11
This week’s WOD is a great workout to improve your explosion. It could be good prep for steep mountain pedaling in the Peak Mountain Bike Race. This workout will give you the explosion needed to conquer that mountain.
Peak Death Race WOD #10
This week’s WOD is all about working your abdominal muscles out. These 4 exercises will help strengthen your core for those long Peak Ultra Runs. No time to waste, start working out.
Peak Death Race WOD #9
This weeks WOD with David will not test just your strength but your cardio as well. This pyramid is a full body workout and you will indeed break a sweat.
Peak Death Race WOD #8
Are you ready for a full body exercise? This week includes a bit of everything to jump start your day. Start with your upper body, working to your lower body and ending with your abdominal muscles.
Peak Death Race WOD #7
This week’s workout is great for building your endurance for long mountain trail runs during the Peak Ultra. You will mainly be working out the legs focusing on the hamstrings, quads, and your glutes. You will be sweating after this intense workout.
Peak Death Race WOD #6
This workout primarily focuses on your upper body. You will be mainly strengthening your shoulders, biceps and your lats. This workout could help you in the death race with climbing or pushing objects.
Peak Death Race WOD #5
Spring is here (most of the snow is melted anyway!) and we are already gearing up for our summer events. We are excited to announce our latest addition: The Pittsfield Farm Throwdown! Coming July 12-13, this event will be nothing short of incredible. We have teamed up with CrossFit Hail Fire of Orwigsburg, PA to bring you 2 Days of WODs held at Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, VT. Expect barbells, Atlas stones and a crazy time trial straight up Joe’s Mountain!
The event schedule is as follows:
WODs (Rx only)
1) Snatch Ladder
2) Atlas stones: ground to shoulder & shuttle
3) AMRAP Triplet
1) Mountain summit time trial (~3 miles with elevation)
Further workout details and videos of WODs will be posted in the coming weeks.
The event registration will be capped at 75 males & 75 female participants with amazing prizes for each winner. Cost of the event is $150 until May 31st ($160 until event). Get in on the Saturday night buffet dinner with our own founders Joe DeSena and Andy Weinberg! (Catering provided by The Pittsfield Original General Store)
Stay with our athlete lodging partner, Trailside Inn. Promo code “Throwdown” gets you 20% off a standard queen room.
We’ve added a NEW 15 mile distance!
Run or Hike with the Ultra Runners and get lots of FREE bonuses!
Peak Ultra runners – encourage your friends , family and support crews to join us!
This a great opportunity to get a taste for the sport of Ultra Running. Sign up for the new 15 mile distance at our Peak Ultra Trail Running weekend get:
• A special FREE pre-race training day! May 17th at 9am join Beth Roberts, owner of Killington Boot Camp, for a 2 hour training hike.
• FREE fresh juice with a recovery meal or salad that day at the General Store in Pittsfield .
• 5% off local CSA shares from Sweet Georgia P’s CSA .
Anyone who signs up for ANY distance by April 30th gets a FREE Bikram Yoga class at Bikram Yoga Mendon.
It will be a great weekend to celebrate trail running.
Race Start Times
500 Thursday, May 22nd at 4:00 p.m.
200 Thursday, May 29th at 6:00 a.m.
50/100 Saturday, May 31st at 6:00 a.m.
30 Saturday, May 31st at 9:00 a.m.
15 Saturday, May 31s at 11:30 a.m.
Eventually even the snow here in Vermont will melt, for those of you who are looking forward to hitting the roads or trails this Spring, you might want to check out Peak cycling gear. We’ll be placing an order in two weeks. We will order exactly what you request and gear will be ready in early May.
Below is a list of gear we’ll be ordering with prices. Email andy at peak.com for information and/or with your order. Orders must be placed with Andy ASAP, money will be due April 4th. We’ve set up online ordering for your convenience.
Short Sleeve Jersey – $56
MTB Trail Jersey – $56
Long Sleeve Jersey – $66
Fleece Jersey – $92
Wind Guard Jacket – $68
Thermo Winter Jacket – $150
Shorts – $60
Edge Shorts – $82
Bib Shorts – $70
Edge Bib Shorts – $86
Here’s what Peak Racer Jane Boudreau Coffey, also known as Scrubnut, wrote about her experience at the 2104 Snowshoe Race. Follow Jane’s blog Vermont Scrubnut for her tales of Trail Running, Hiking Mountains, Death Races, and Mommying.
Let’s do a snowshoe marathon!!
Sounds doable, right?
Start over: Let’s do a Peak Race Snowshoe Marathon! A month after participating in the Winter Death Race!
Seriously, Peak Races put on yet ANOTHER fun event! Last year, I did the Peak Half Marathon Snowshoe Race and used it as a training event for the Summer Death Race. I carried a car tire for half of it. This year, I thought, I want to do the full marathon with no death race torture devices! Let’s go!
My friends, Kevin, his wife Angela, and Laura were coming from Alabama and California just for this race. All three had never been on snowshoes before yet they signed up for the full marathon. Kevin and Laura are death racers as well, and they said, “WHY NOT!??!!?”
The day before the race, Aida and I drove to Pittsfield to meet up at the Pittsfield General Store to eat lunch with them. I had not seen Kevin since the Team Death Race (so much fun with him in September at that race!) and I had been wanting to meet Laura “officially.” She was standing in front of me at the barbed wire crawl at the Summer Death Race but we were all so miserable, therefore, it was not a good time for meet and greets at that time. 🙂 I was so glad I went down to have lunch with them! After, Aida and I drove over to Riverside Farm and saw Andy and Peter Borden….and the 100 mile snowshoe racers! Those 10 amazing racers had been going about 6 hours at that point and had 34 hours to complete the 100 miles. I saw Michelle, Jack and Robin. I love them! Fellow Death Race finishers pushing their limits on that course. At that point, I had no idea what would be ahead of me the next day. But, they were saying the course was way harder than last year. Matt, “the trailmaster”, produced another great race course! If you don’t hurt at a Peak Race, then it ain’t a Peak Race!
I preregistered, got my snowshoes that were included in the registration fee (nice!), let Aida play in the big snowbanks with Michelle’s fiance, Bob, and hung out a bit. I could have stayed all night. I wish I had planned to help the racers out because it was going to be obscenely cold during the night. I said my goodbyes to Andy, etc, and was so happy that I would be back to my favorite town in the morning to race. I was also psyched that Aida got to meet some of my friends and to experience a bit of “what Mumma does.”
I headed out the next morning at 5am to be in Pittsfield by 6am to help out at registration. I rolled into Pittsfield and it was -6 degrees!!!!! Oh my god, this is going to be a damn cold race! I parked and brought my gear bin to the barn and then quickly went back to my car and drove to get more coffee. So cold out! I learned all 100 miler racers slept during the night except Michelle..she raced all night in that weather all alone. What an inspiration!
People started pouring into the parking lot and I decided to go back to registration and help out. There were four of us, handing out bib numbers, snowshoes, Peak Race winter hats, stickers, and Peak Race tshirts. Peak always has the best race schwag! Cold racers were trying on their new snowshoes, eating snacks and trying to keep their Camelbacks from freezing! Andy announced that at 7:45am there would be a pre-race meeting. We met him out there and he told us a bit about the course, yummy snacks, drinks and sandwiches were provided, soup was coming, etc, and then we were on our way!!
I stood back as the crowd charged on! I think there were 400 there. What a crowd. Despite the cold, people were excited to get out there! I could not find Laura and Kevin and Angela so I started out with Dana and Darrin. Up we went! Straight up Joe’s Mountain! I loved the route up to the top. I had been up and down that mountain so many times during three death races seven months before so it was nice to do a different route up there (not the damn stairs that I helped make and then relentlessly climb for hours during the winter death race!) 🙂
I saw many familiar faces from other races. That is what I love about Peak Races. It is a HUGE community of awesome people. Racers keep coming back, trying their hand at a more difficult race that Andy has to offer. And, these races never disappoint. You want a challenge? Get out of your comfort zone? Do a Peak Race. I have done several and I am always so proud of what I accomplish. It is a very unique experience and people keep coming back. So many laughs, hugs, good food…I love it.
Laura caught up quickly to me and we continued the rest of the race together. Half way through our first loop we both realized, holy smokes, we are doing a A MARATHON?!!?!?! We knew we weren’t going to make that time cutoff of being finished by 6pm. Ten hours to do 26 miles on that course?! Oh my god, so we shifted gears and enjoyed ourselves and knew we could do three laps/19 miles. So, after many hilarious falls on our way down to the river from the top of the mountain, we looked up and saw the pink flags that were switchbacking UP the mountain again. WHOA. This is a totally different course from last year! Great job, Matt! We got back to the starting line and I changed my shirt and jacket and hat and headed back out with Laura with more water and snacks. I felt much stronger on this lap. At the top, Luke joined us for the decent and we all laughed and reminisced about death races. Luke had just come back from the Mexico Death Race a week earlier so we heard about his amazing trip. The temperature had warmed up a bit and was not as frigid any more and we were having fun. We had not seen Kevin at all and figured he was on his own mission!
We got back down and Peter Borden saw me and took my arm and escorted me to the finish line. I had not said I was finished yet but it had just taken Laura and I six hours to do 13 miles and we knew a marathon was out of reach…but, my Death Race brain kept saying, “go do one more. You have it in you.” But, the soup was warm, Peter and Andy and everyone was having a good time and I thought, “Do I really need to death race the hell out of every event now? Will I be happy to just stop now, even though I felt fine, and just enjoy myself?” My mind kept nagging me, “you know you will be pissed later if you do not do one more lap, and leave every ounce of energy out there.” But, I decided to test myself and see how I would feel stopping then. Even though my competitive brain was saying GO GO GO, I loved just having fun with the people that regularly thrash me at Peak Races (Death Races). Peter and Andy were so funny. I saw the “Norwich Boys” I helped warm up at the 2013 Winter Death Race and Andy and I joked about that. We were all giving each other a hard time, hugging and eventually said goodbye for yet ANOTHER amazing experience in Pittsfield.
Laura and I got our medals and decided to go back and change, etc, and meet everyone later at The Clear in town for food and drinks. Kevin was still on the course and finished with 20 miles and Angela did great and finished the 10K, first time for snowshoes for her, too!
My favorite part of the day was when Andy and a few of us were standing there after the race and he said, “Jane, remember when you were afraid you weren’t going to finish your first Peak Race? You have come a long way.” I stopped and thought about it, that was the Peak Race 10 mile fun run three years early. OH MAN, have I come a long way. Since then, I had participated in Peaks 50K Ultramarathon, Summer Death Race, Team Death Race, Winter Death Race, the Spartan Trifecta, Spartan Ultrabeast, Peak Race Half Marathon and Full Marathon Snowshoe Races.
Peak Races has changed my life. I have pushed my limits further than I ever thought I could. Theses races have helped me heal from the loss of of my daughter and have shown me, as I a getting older, I can still show up and give it my all. And, that I WANT to give it my all. I learned from this race that at this point in my racing, I do need to leave it all out there and that even though it was super fun to just hang out and chill at a race, the first time I had ever done that, I do need to push myself and see what I am all about. Next year, I will give the marathon another go and if I don’t finish, that is fine, but I am going to go until I can’t any longer. Maybe the 100 miler and see what it is like to go for 36 hours on snowshoes?
Because, why the hell not?
I love you, Peak Races!! Thank you for providing opportunities for personal growth, providing a loving community and showing people that they can really do more than they think they can.
Great interview with our co-founder Joe Desena. Peak Racers and Spartan Racers will recognize the themes in this “Bite off more than you can chew…then keep chewing” interview. Listen here.
Just over 50 registered, 23 finished. We’ll be posting tons of photos in the next few days.
One of the required tasks in the 2013 Winter Death Race was to demonstrate a sample Death Racer’s WOD (Workout Of the Day.)
Peak Death Race WOD #4
Spartan Warm Up
1 Mile Run
Forearm plank for 2:00 repeat 3x
During each plank interval incorporate push ups and knee drives
Spartan Cool Down.
Peak Winter Death Racers were asked to demonstrate a typical endurance ultra athlete workout of the day during the 2012 Spartan / Peak Winter Death Race in Vermont.
Peak Winter Death Racers were asked to demonstrate a typical endurance ultra athlete workout of the day during the 2012 Spartan / Peak Winter Death Race in Vermont. Here’s Mark Harvey’s WOD:
You may remember we required EVERY racer in last year’s Winter Death Race to demonstrate a Death Racer’s W.O.D. (Workout of the Day.) We’ll be sharing them here.
Amelia Boone’s workout
The Spartan Warm Up
Run 3 to 5 Miles
5 to 20 Burpee / Pull-ups
5 to 20 Sandbag Cleans
Spartan Cool Down and Stretching
Everyone knows the Death Race is the toughest race on earth and has broken the most hardened spirits.
Why do all Peak’s Death races this year? (Team, Winter, Traveling, Summer)?
1. If you finish you will get a global Spartan season pass. (130 races planned in 2014)
2. If you finish you will get a global Peak season pass (except summer DR)
3. The male or female with the best cumulative time will get a 5,000.00 check.
4. The male and female with the best cumulative time you will be featured in our next TV show.
5. The top male and female will be featured in an international publication as the most badass on earth.
First Death Race is the winter Death Race. Let us know if you are taking on this challenge. We will put you up with a place to stay…all you need to do is get yourself to Pittsfield.
You must complete 3 of the Death Races.
You must be an “official” finisher of these 3 events.
Your cumulative time will be recorded and divided by the 3 events you choose to count and a top male and top female will be picked.
Do not waste our time unless you are serious.
Once a year Mountain Bikers and mountain loving athletes gather for the PEAK mountain bike race in Pittsfield Vermont. Now we have a video!
Our own Green Mountain Trails (beloved by Death Racers, Ultra Runners, hikers, and hikers alike) were once dubbed the best kept secret in Vermont. Sorry, we can’t keep them secret any longer. At last count twenty miles balancing flowy, buffed and bermed track with hand built uber techy gnar leading to sublime vistas. There is 1000′ feet of vertical. It’s open 24/7, all year (except in the sensitive mud season) for mountain biking, trail running, snowshoeing and hiking. The system is scrupulously maintained by volunteers in the community.
The Peak races were the precursor to the Spartan Races, no surprise Andy and Joe were among the founders of both. Watch the 1 hour NBC special TODAY featuring the Killington, Vermont Spartan Beast race! You’ll see Joe, Andy and many of our Peak racers featured in the show.
Watch the excitement, drama and victories of the Reebok Spartan Race World Championships on Dec. 7th on NBC Sports. This all-new special follows elite racers as well as everyday Spartans as they tackle the 13+ mile, 20+ obstacle Spartan Beast in Killington, Vermont.
What is it that keeps Spartan Race founders Andy Weinberg and Joe Desena reinventing the Peak Death Race? People like this, that just won’t give up.
Find out more about the Winter Death Race.
Visit our Winter Death Race photo Gallery.
See more videos on the PEAK Races YouTube Channel.
It’s been a long time coming, but we are finally getting our web site under control. We plan to use this space to share race updates, results, photos and some of the crazy things our racers, alums and founders do in their spare time. Like Congratulations to our Peak Races co-founder Andy Weinberg when he recently completed a quintuple Iron Man and to #PEAKDR alums Olof and Josh! It took Andy 101 hours 51 minutes and 34 seconds to complete a 12 mile swim, 560 bike ride, and a 131 mile run. Will this stop the Death Racer’s call for Andy to run the try a Death Race? Probably not.