Walking Blindly Into the Jaws of the Ultra Beast

Weeks before I ran last year’s World’s Toughest Mudder, I had already completed multiple planning sheets detailing gear, nutrition and a lap-by-lap game plan.

Fast forward nearly six months: This morning I woke up having a panic attack as I realized that I’m running a Spartan Ultra Beast in less than 48 hours and I have done almost zero planning.

I haven’t thought about gear and clothes, a nutrition plan, what I’m going to put in my bin, nothing. I have a ride there, but I’m not even 100 percent sure how I’m getting home yet.

I haven’t checked the weather – although an email from Spartan says there’s a heat advisory. Good thing I saw that. Guess I should opt for shorts instead of my planned running tights.

Make no mistake: The thought of the Ultra Beast scares the hell out of me. Friends of mine tell me I should be fine, that I did 65 miles at WTM. But, deep down, I know that is comparing apples and oranges. WTM might be longer and presents its own unique challenges. But it won’t have the inclines I’ll find in New Jersey, or the Spartan heavy carries.

Stats from last year’s Jersey Ultra Beast show the course was over 30 miles with more than 11,000 feet of elevation gain. I’ve done long mountain courses, and I generally do well with lots of climbing. But I’ve never done a mountain course like an Ultra Beast. And, the fact is, I don’t know for sure how I’ll feel come Lap 2. And I HATE the unknown.

I know there is so much more I should have done to get ready for this. That’s the worst feeling of all.

Friends say they have no worries about my chances of finishing this. I only wish I shared their optimism.

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