A quick Google search of the Holiday Lake 50K turns up reports from previous years, detailing everything from broken bones (due to ice on the trail), Camelbacks frozen solid, frigid stream crossings, and sloppy mud. Located in middle-of-nowhere Virginia, this 50K is a no-frills, winter weather wild card. Mid-February in Virginia can look like an early spring day, or hell frozen over, and there’s no good way to predict which way it’ll go.
Naturally, the minute I heard about the Holiday Lake 50K, I knew I needed to do it.
Why am I compelled to compete in this potentially frozen, messy, and hazardous 50K? I want to find my ultrarunning niche close to home. My first ultra was in Patagonian Chile, and though my goal is to continue ultra racing internationally, I know that training to perform and connecting with runners on a local level will help me develop as a runner, and grow as a person.
So, in just under 2 weeks, I’ll run the Holiday Lake 50K - my third ultra in about 6 months. And though I’ve been disciplined about training, the extreme cold followed by snowzilla kept me in treadmill mode during a few crucial weeks. All that inside time has me feeling less prepared for the elements than I’d like.
Now that the ice is clearing, I’m focused on running outside miles only, and getting my gear, nutrition, and mindset ready for whatever Holiday Lake dishes out on race day.