“Rock the Ridge” ran 50 miles complicated by bears

Running 50 miles of undulating hills, in sweltering heat and humidity, with blisters growing their pimples…that’s hard enough. Participants in the recently completed 50-mile Rock The Ridge Ultramarathon faced many challenges while traversing the impossibly beautiful terrain of Shawangunk Ridge in Ulster County.

After hours and hours of continually moving forward, however, with weather conditions and the sheer difficulty of covering that great distance so nerve-wracking… the last thing you have to face is an angry mother bear protecting her young. But alas, this is the forest and these are the Catskills, so an impromptu meeting with the bears will happen!

Such was the case for athlete Christina Haas, the ultra-endurance Poughkeepsie athlete. She finished the Rock The Ridge 50-miler race with pride and satisfaction of the achievement, supported by her friends, with the aforementioned sore feet…and by another unplanned–a stick to fend off bears!

Hers is one of several stories of local super racers who conquered Rock The Ridge that we’ll be sharing over the coming weeks. Long races beget long stories. As a result, we’ll allow these trail warriors time and space to let us know how their races went – even if it means some facts about bears!

the term: Fleet Feet’s “The Big Run” aims to restore camaraderie after the race

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