HS 40M 2006 – Bob Haithcock

Highlands Sky 2006 Race Reports – A NJ Perspective

What a fine idea picking this race for your first ultra! I kinda thought that running on the beach on Raritan Bay and in our infamous single track courses in Hartshorne & Huber Woods in Middletown and walking 3 miles daily to work in NYC avoiding taxis and buses and bike messengers would sufficiently toughen me up for this jaunt through the WV hills. Wrong!!!

Thinking back, I had no right to be here as I hadn’t run a marathon in over 20 years and haven’t run move than a 9 & 12 mile trail (NJ style – no rocks) on the weekends. Thank God, Dan convinced me to run an 18 & 23 miler prior to the Highlands Sky and to carry water.

I felt great in the beginning running and conversing with last year’s grandmaster winner until he just rocketed off on one of the many rocky sections and all of a sudden I found myself alone in the woods thinking of lions and tigers and bears oh my…..and where the hell did everybody go… am I on course?…. is that bear droppings? … how far to the next aid station?….why are my damn legs burning like hell from the knees down?

I …

  • have never felt so humbled (with the exception of the Mountaineers football team beating up on our Rutgers Scarlet Knights in 2001 by a score of 80 – 6)
  • never knew that you could cramp up in both legs at the same time resulting in the wackiest Michael Jackson dance steps ever attempted
  • believe that the Grand Canyon was created by removing all of the rocks and depositing them in Dolly Sods
  • wish that microbrew guy at aid station 7 should have been supplying some IPA in lieu of Gatorade
  • made to many promises to the man above that I could ever recall or keep
    bullet believe that 40.7 miles in WV = 60 miles anywhere else in the U.S. Just what kind of metric system do they use in WV?
  • have never seen so many rocky trails with the exception of climbing Mt. Katadin at the end of the Appalachian Trail in Baxter Park in Maine
  • believe WV is a great place and has been kept a secret from us in NJ

I’m very bad with names but I would like to personally thank Dan and the wonderful volunteers and my new found trail buddies who supplied with ibuprofen, mineral replacement pills, great survival advice and trail companionship during those very and many tough times.

I’m glad that I chose this for my first ultra. How much tougher can any other race possibly be ???

Author: Bob