Howl at the Moon 8 hr run/walk

By Ren Bleem

Anticipation for the run was high. My first 8 hour ultra. On a 3.3 mile loop. I had put in mile after mile and many cross training workouts to prepare for the day. 7 am was upon us and the horn sounded. 250 runners ready for a long day.

Andy, the guy who got me into this, and I walked for 5-10 minutes to let the field clear abit. We took off running dodging and weaving through walkers and joggers.

HATM number

The course consisted of mostly gravel, some grass and some asphalt. One killer hill about 80 meters long.

We hit our stride pretty quickly and we both felt pretty good after the first hour. I picked up my camera, we walked for a bit and I took video and pictures.

We dropped our shirts after 9 miles. Still feeling ok. We kept up a pretty good pace for the next hour. We drank and ate every 1.7 miles. At just under 20 miles we had slowed quite a bit walking more jogging less. We stopped for short breaks at the drink/eat stations at the start and mid-way.

HATM food drink

At 4 hours I hit a wall mentally and started to feel tired. I kept going best I could, Andy pulled away from me around the 23rd mile and I let him. I completed the loop and could tell I was dehydrated (fingers swollen) I stopped and drank a bunch of water sat a bit and then the swelling reduced so I put my shirt on and I went out again. I got over the mental barrier now the physical one was about to hit.

Shortly after that my left knee started hurting it would flare about every 100 meters. I kept running and walking off and on until 1 pm when all I could do was walk. The knee pain was pretty intense when I jogged so I dared not push it. Walking was all I could do. By now it was 100 heat index. I finished the lap and decided that was enough for me. 9 full laps. 29.7miles.

HATM Course

I had alittle over an hour left on time but felt it best to just stop. I took a ‘shower’ from a hose and felt better. Looking back I could have rested then done the 1 mile loop they had set up once or twice. 5 people were taken by ambulance to the hospital and many more had IV’s in, setting in the shade when I left for home.

What a deal. I will do it again next year. I will know more about what to expect and plan better. This is a great run for those that really want to see how far they can push themselves.

HATM Ren Andy resting

We will camp and stay longer next year.

– Ren Bleem



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