Readers Roundtable: What’s the Hardest Race You’ve Ever Run

Appropriate lounge wear for post-epic-running adventure time. Click the image to go buy the shirt from Sun Frog Shirts (who we are in no way affiliated with. We just like the shirt)!
Appropriate lounge wear for post-epic-running adventure time. Click the image to go buy the shirt from Sun Frog Shirts (who we are in no way affiliated with. We just like the shirt)!

I’m writing with the last ounce of energy I have after an epic Burning River 100 weekend! (I may or may not be exaggerating.)ย I woke up at 3:20 a.m. Saturday to take Cilantro to the starting line for her first 100 mile race! Then I ran 11.6 miles as part of an 8-amazing-woman relayย before high-tailing it out to crew, I met Jasmine around the 50k mark and from there we went from aid station to aid station, picking up Saffron for a little while along the way as we made sure Cilantro had everything she needed to continue on and keep her spirits high. After a rest Jasmine and I came back out to work with Gingerย to do everything we could toย get Cilantro to the finish.

I’ll let Cilantro tell you the rest of her story (and you’ll hear more of mine later in the week when I get around to writing my training log), except to say that it was an amazing experience to witness her tackle all this newness and the surprises and ups and downs along her 100 mile journey. It was truly epic and I have the complete exhaustion to prove it!

Oh yes! This is a Readers Roundtable! All this does actually bring me to that. Witnessing Cilantro attack this incredible challenge and thinking about Clove getting ready for her biggest one yet got me thinking about my hardest race ever, which got me wondering about yours. So in the spirit of epic running adventures, tell us: what’s the hardest race you’ve ever run?

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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3 comments

  1. I saw that shirt yesterday on my newsfeed. They must have known of our Burning River shenanigans. I love it! It would be perfect to wear as you cross the finish line of an ultra or even a tough, gutted out 5k.

    After seeing what Cilantro did, I don’t know if I have any race tougher than that! Maybe there’s one in my future. Dun dun dun…

  2. I ran a 10K this past February that was pretty rough. It was -8 degrees at the start, without the windchill, and snowing. It was so cold, it was hard to breathe or get loose. The roads were icy and the course was not well marked. Only about 50 people ran the race, and everyone was pretty spread out, so the whole time I was terrified I would lose sight of the person in front of me and get lost. With about 1 mile to go, I slipped on some ice and banged up my knee. I picked myself up and finished – but way slower than I usually run 10K. Chalk that one up to developing mental toughness!

  3. It’s funny that my toughest courses aren’t my toughest races. My toughest races would either be the marathon done on a flat course, full sun, 90% humidity, at 85 degrees, or the marathon where I somehow managed to hurt my arm (I couldn’t lift it by mile 22). Actually, my races are a bit like giving birth- they really hurt while I’m in the middle of it and it is always the toughest at that time. Later I forget and pull out the credit card for another.