Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Race Review: The Damn Wakely Dam Ultra


Name: Damn Wakely Dam Ultra
Distance(s): 32.6 Miles
Course Type: Point to Point on Single Track Trails
# of Aid Stations: 1 (The Finish)
Course Record: Ian Schouten - 4:54:09 / Courtney Smith - 5:59:24
Years In Operation: 8
SJ Years Run: 2005, 2006
SJ Best Place/Time: 18th / 7:02:42
Website Address: http://www.wakelydam.com

Description: The Damn Wakely Dam Ultra is a trail run through the Adirondack Park Wilderness of New York State along a remote and uninterrupted section of the Northville Placid Trial between Piseco Lake and Wakely Dam. There are no cross roads. There are no aid stations. Runners must be prepared to complete the entire 32.6 miles (52.5K) of rugged technical trail unassisted. It's just you, the trail and the company of like-minded runners.

Thoughts: I've run the Wakely Dam ultra twice (2006, 2007). Race director Jim Houghtaling (RD Jim) takes special care to make this event a fun filled adventure through the wilderness of NY State. But his dedication doesn't end there. Along with his crack-up crew of helpers, Jim turns this event into an uproarious good time with clever website themes, short films, and humorous tones towards those who would rather see the run not take place at all.

The course is a gem run on 99% single track trails through remote sections of Upstate NY. The course is marked only by original trail markers indicating the following of the Northville Placid Trail. The Website is a tribute to the RD's dedication to the race and participants enjoyment. Entry into the race is first come first served to race veterans first, then open to the public after a pre-determined deadline. The field size is usually no more than 50. There is no pre-race breakfast and post race meal has recently been upgraded to include the following: fruits, chips, salsa, cookies, junk and hot chicken quesadillas. Shwag typically consists of a technical shirt and freebies courtesy of sponsors. Awards are unique picture frames with race finishers art inserted inside. The race has no aid stations and participants are expected to run unsupported through its entire length.

The Grade:
Website: *****
Affordability: *****
Pre/Post Race Food: ***
Shwag: ***
Awards: ****
Course: *****
Marking: *****
Aid: (N/A)

Total Score: 30 out of 35 - 86% = B+