I ran my first ultramarathon!

Photo: SEarl

Each Spring, a bunch of crazy people get together in Kalamazoo and take a trip to South Haven.

On foot.

Ever since the guy after Pheidippides ran 26.2 miles without dying, runners all over the world have been running marathons and beyond.

Any event longer than a marathon is called an ultramarathon.

Photo: SEarl

 

The Kal-Haven Trail Run is an annual event that traverses the 33.5 (or 34) miles of the Kal-Haven trail between Kalamazoo and South Haven.

Solo or in teams, runners travel from Kalamazoo to Alamo then dash from Alamo to Kendall. Contestants leg it from Kendall to Gobels then scamper to the halfway point of Bloomingdale. No rest for the entrants as the yearning to "go West" prevails. Grand Junction is the next frontier as the journey then continues to Lacota. Kibbie is the last of civilization until the final destination of South Haven.

Having never run more than 26.2 miles, I started my training regimen in December. As the miles piled up, I have to say I grew more and more confident that I could reach my goal.

I started the day well, in perfect weather for an event like this. I stayed on pace and was doing fine until about mile 27. As I entered uncharted territory, things got a little tough until about mile 30. At that point, three miles sure didn't seem like much and I was able to finish strong.

Photo: SEarl

I've said it many times before: persistence pays. All you have to do if you want something is commit to it and put in the work each day. I am fortunate that my time is my own and I can do with it what I like. I like to run.

Enjoy this gallery of photos from my day and a look at the Kal-Haven Trail.

 

 

Want to learn more about the Kal-Haven Trail? Watch this: