I'm a "beast" now...
The 2012 Winter Beast of Burden
The Calf...an area usually reserved for a triathlete who has completed an official Ironman. The "M-Dot" is a badge of honor for any triathlete and completing an Ironman isn't an easy task but then again, neither is running 100 miles alongside of the Erie Canal in the middle of winter. Endurance athletes continue their quest to push their bodies to the limit. They seek the most extreme events such as the famous Badwater 135 mile Ultra Marathon which takes place in Death Valley- the Winter Beast of Burden 100 Mile Ultra Marathon is now bringing to debate, who actually has the hardest ultra marathon? Just ask accomplished Ultra Runner, Mark "Doc" Ott who has chosen to permanently brand his body with our logo after completing what he called, "The most challenging race of my life." Even the current record holder of the famous Badwater 135, Valmir Nunes has been quoted saying, "This race is by far the hardest race I've ever run."
Valmir and "Doc" Ott went head to head at The 2011 Winter BoB. Valmir went on to break the course record by 8 minutes which was previously set by former Lockport resident, Richard Cook. Rumor has it that pending a work related trip, David Ploskonka might be in attendance at the 2012 Winter B-o-B. Another very accomplished ultra-runner, Ploskonka, has multiple Badwater finishes and is the winner of the 2010 Summer 100 Mile Beast of Burden.
The 2012 Winter Beast of Burden is now just over a week away and boy is it going to be action packed! Valmir Nunes is flying in from Brazil (for the 3rd straight BoB event in a row). "Doc" Ott is also returning giving him another chance to go head to head with our Brazilian buddy, Nunes. Although "Doc" vowed never to run the Winter Beast again, he stated that the real reason for his return is to try and snatch up our "Double Beast Buckle" (A special buckle given to those who complete both 100 Mile BoB's in the same year). We also have former Lockport resident and previous course record holder, Richard Cook. Cook will be running his own race to hopefully regain the status of "course recorder holder" which he lost in battle last year to Nunes as he struggled to finish. Another accomplished ultra runner participating again this winter is Ryan O'Dell. Ryan's ultra race resume is just as long as my email. When you look at race results, Ryan's name can always be found at the top of the list. He's won a 24hr ultra and placed 2nd in two 100's. Could this be the 100 miler that Ryan has been waiting for? He's got the experience and strength needed to pull it off so, it'll be interesting. Now, throw in our wild card and Badwater veteran David Ploskonka. David has proven to be more than a worthy competitor as he's won The 2010 Summer BoB . So, as you can see you have more than just an ultra marathon folks, you have what I'm calling, "The Battle of the Beasts!" But, as we have witnessed in the past, you don't have to have one of the great names in ultrarunning to win, you just have to be a great ultra runner. Just ask Brian "The Beast" Hsia, winner of The 2011 Summer Beast of Burden 100. Brain ran his first 100 mile ultra at the Summer race. Running with a smile on his face all day Brian was about to finish comfortably in 3rd place and he only had 1 mile to go. Brian "The Beast" passed two people before he would cross the finish line, one of which was the leader from the start, Valmir Nunes of Brazil. That day, Brian shocked the ultra running community proving that an ultra is anybody's race and he did it with class.
As I sit here writing to you, the warm sun is shining through my window. Right now it's a beautiful 45 degrees outside but, I can't have this come race day. I used to think Mother Nature and I understood each other. I'd provide the warm bodies and she would blast them with her freezing winds while dropping a mixture of rain, hail and snow just as she's done in the past. So, what's The Winter Beast of Burden without snow? Honesty, I don't know and guess what...neither will any of the participants! It's coming!
531 Walnut Street
Lockport, New York