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Speedgoat 50K

Anson
Anson
Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Utah, United States
Posted: Tue 30 Oct 2012 02:05 pm GMT   topTop
Hi everyone! My first topic/post is this: has anyone tried the Speedgoat 50K in Utah? I've thought about running an ultra for awhile and I'm wondering if this might be a good place to start. I know the elevation profile is super steep but in my observations, that seems like the norm for a lot of trail races.

I've never attempted an ultra before - I only ever ran one road marathon before my running was interrupted by a 2-year LDS mission. But, I'm back now, I plan on running a trail half marathon and a road marathon this spring, and I'm hoping I can be ready when Speedgoat comes around in July. What do you think, should I go for it? Or is there a better 50k race somewhere else in Utah?
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 188
Utah, United States
Posted: Wed 31 Oct 2012 03:10 am GMT   topTop
Anson, I ran the Speedgoat 50K this year, and I can definitely say it lives up to Karl Meltzer's descriptions: "...there is nothing easy about it" and "nasty terrain". His tagline on the t-shirt is "A Meltzer Designed Nightmare". Okay, so for a true trail runner, it's not really a "nightmare" because we all love the trails ... but Meltzer deliberately makes it as hard as possible. The terrain really is for the most part, nasty: it is technical and extremely steep. Along the way you climb a summit from top to bottom almost 3 times. So yeah, it is also very scenic - at least, if you can take your mind of the pain and effort.

I say all that to put it into perspective: I've done the Squaw Peak 50 twice, both the alternate "snow route" and the regular route, and I can say that the Speedgoat 50K feels just as hard in terms of overall fatigue. In fact the total elevation gain for Speedgoat is the same as the Squaw Peak 50, only packed into 31 miles. I would not necessarily recommend the Speedgoat as a first ultra. But regardless, you'll have to do some serious hill climbing training since the steepness factor is in fact MUCH greater than your average ultra.

That said, the feeling of accomplishment in finishing the Speedgoat is amazing, precisely because of the difficulty. Isn't that a big reason we do them? :-)

There's the Red Mountain 50K in April ... or the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 50K in March (http://www.backcountryrunner.com/trail-races/antelope-island-buffalo-run/)

I did the Antelope Island 25K this year as well, and I can recommend the course. It sounds a little boring, not being in the high mountains and having some repetitive loops in the longer distances, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Island is a nice place, with well-kept trails and scenic. It's a fast course, very runnable, and it's a great change of scenery if you've been running mostly on the roads or foothills during the winter. (Also if you find yourself not being able to train on hills as much, Antelope Island is a good fit because of the lower elevation gain for the race course.)

But for both of those you have to sign up early. The races fill up quickly.
Anson
Anson
Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 2
Utah, United States
Posted: Wed 31 Oct 2012 04:50 am GMT   topTop
Hey, thanks so much. I'm really glad I asked about this! I thought about doing the Buffalo Run, but I'm thinking I won't be able to do those really high-mileage training weeks until school gets out in April. Are there any other 50Ks in the mid to late summer that you'd recommend? Maybe staying in Utah isn't a necessity. I guess I'd be willing to travel the mountain west or to California for the right race.
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 188
Utah, United States
Posted: Wed 31 Oct 2012 04:56 am GMT   topTop
I don't know offhand of other late-summer 50K races in Utah, but I don't know all the races out there - and new ones come up all the time. You can check the trail race database on this site to look at other states: http://www.backcountryrunner.com/trail-races/