The name itself conjures up images of failure and dejection, runners dropping out, not able to measure themselves up against the tough and challenging Mt. Disappointment Endurance Runs. This demanding race, set in the mountains of the Angeles National Forest features two distances, the 50K and for the first time, the 50-Mile, and will test the mettle of over 230 runners.
On Saturday, I'm going to pit myself up against this course to see what I've got. My third ultra, it's going to test my training, strength and resolve on the 50K distance. And the 50-miler, well, I'm leaving that to the big boys and girls for now.
Two things worry me the most–the heat and the last climb. I've been keeping a close eye on this weekend's weather, and so far the high is at 81 degrees. It's not as hot as the HTT and Holy Jim run when temps hit in the nineties, but the eighties is no walk in the park either. The last climb in the race starts with 27 miles accumulated on the legs already. From the course profile, it looks like a gain of 25oo feet in just 3 miles. According to the race website, "the final climb to the summit of Mt Wilson up the Kenyon Devore Trail will test each runner with terrain and surroundings that are truly unique to these canyons." What a fine way of saying, it's gonna kick your arse!
I had an earlier optimistic goal of being done in under 7 hours, but after looking over last year's finishing times, I've adjusted that to 8 hours. Five days from now we'll see if that goal is met, or if this race will live up to its name.
Photos and course profile are property of Mt. Disappointment Endurance Runs.