Beat to a Snot: North America’s toughest 52 km trail race

Now here’s encouragement for you: a new trail race for 2013 is enticing you to come and run a PW.

What’s a PW? Why, a “personal worst.”

And just why would you do that? Because you like trail running, because you like ridiculous technical climbs and descents and, most of all, because you like pain.

Hell, you don’t just like pain. You crave it. You want to run until your quads fail and you’re stumbling over roots and rocks in a sugar-depleted haze. That’s your idea of a great day.

You love to suffer.

Well, have we got a race for you!

The Ultra Beat to Snot 52 km. trail/hill race is set for September 7, 2013 (start time 6 a.m.) at Wentworth in Nova Scotia. The run is billing itself as North America’s toughest 52 km trail race with roughly 15,000 feet of elevation gain and loss.

Sharp peaks excite you.

That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Organizer Jodi Isenor says competitors “have the option to run, walk and crawl” by themselves. If you’re not up to the challenge of four laps of some 1180 metres elevation gain per lap, then you can put together a relay team.

Just how hard will this race prove? Several runners went out last weekend and ran 13 km in three hours and 30 minutes. But you’ll kick their butts, right?

Why 52? Honestly, most races come in over the measured distance or you run off course and chalk up that extra couple of kilometres yourself. It’s all good. You’ll hurt more or less in the same proportion whether it’s 50 or 52 km.

I’m hoping to join a survey party December 2nd to test part of the course and  report back just how horrible and grueling – er, I mean fun – this particular course may be to run.

Embrace pain.

Isenor – arguably one of Atlantic Canada’s top trail runners, and certainly one of its best trail running race directors and advocates – estimates it will take the top solo runner only eight hours to finish.

Eight hours!

That’s for a top runner. Shivering in anticipation – or fear – yet?

The course will consist largely of double-track with some wooded sections of single-track and ski hill runs thrown into the mix. Wentworth is the site of numerous mountain bike races as well as the popular Sonofagunofa Trail Run, which Isenor also organizes, along with the fiendishly difficult Cuddly Coyote and Wascally Wabbit trail races.

Here are the details on the race:

Training? I suggest you should have started that some time ago.

And just in case you didn’t catch the gist of the race’s name, Isenor says: “Have you ever been out for a run and thought, ‘Dude, I’m beat to snot?'”

No? Well, this one will give you the chance.

About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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7 Responses to Beat to a Snot: North America’s toughest 52 km trail race

  1. Colin says:

    I ran this last weekend and I can most definitely confirm it’s going to suck—in a good way of course. I’m going to be training as if it’s a 50 miles race. Can’t wait for September!

  2. Chris says:

    Sounds like an interesting challenge! I might just try to make it out that way. :o)

  3. Jacko Kelly says:

    I enjoyed your reading your excellent article on “Beat to Snot”. It describes my same feeling about the course as I had the good fortune in mid Nov. of having my first run thru the “Snot” with Jodi, Karine and their beloved brown lab, Stella. My drive from Dartmouth to Wentworth that Sunday morning was filled with anticipation and as the beauty of the Wentworth Valley unfolded before my eyes, I could feel my old heart rate begin to climb. I remember thinking, what the heck have I got myself into here ? Maybe I should just keep my eyes wide open, find a church along the way, drop in, say a few prayers and get in touch with God before I tackle the “Snot”. I mean, knowing Jodi, Karine and Stella, this wasn’t going to be just an ordinary run thru, was it ? But, there wasn’t any time for prayers this morning. On this day there was no doubt about it, I was going to get to know God in the hills and they’re as close to heaven as one can get. Yes, those beautiful hills of Wentworth were awaiting and the fresh crisp mt. air along with a crystal clear blue sky made a perfect setting for a mid-morning trail run. After a few moments of greetings at Karine’s parent’s cottage, Jodi fired up his newly bought Forester’s engine and with gear, Stella and Karine on board off they drove, me following in my Escape ( maybe I should have made my escape then…) but no, I’m a sucker for punishment and I was just too darn eager to tackle the terrain. Bring it on U-2…….Well, it wasn’t too long when I was reduced to sometimes a near crawl up the Explosion, but why was I loving it, too? How can this be ? To go into any further detail would give this adventure into pain bliss no justice. So, I’ll stop now only to add that this event, if you dare attempt, will make you dig deeper then they ever thought you could. So go ahead, make your day. Oh, and bring the poles……..

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