Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
3
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
4
SCENERY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
3
The Booneville Backroads Ultra course runs through many of the Bridges of Madison County and the beautiful, rural Iowa countryside. With thousands of feet of elevation gain, seemingly endless hills, and if it rains, some of the gnarliest level B roads EVER, this ultra will challenge runners of all levels. … MORE
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L (°F) 58 68 45 65 62
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    bioprofsd FIRST-TIMER '17

    This ultramarathon is run on gravel and dirt (mud) roads in the "Bridges of Madison County" country. While scenic, the fog that was persistent on the day that we ran … MORE

    This ultramarathon is run on gravel and dirt (mud) roads in the “Bridges of Madison County” country. While scenic, the fog that was persistent on the day that we ran made it a little more difficult to appreciate. I was also a little disappointed that we didn’t go through any of the covered bridges that makes this county famous. The 50K course starts out with a short segment heading south, and then roughly approximates a square on mainly gravel roads. I say mainly, because there was one mile-long stretch on one of the infamous “B” roads. These are roads that are not maintained, and not graveled. Because it rained quite hard for much of the time after the first two and a half hours, the B road was a sloppy, muddy, mess. I had a hard time staying upright on the slippery mud even when standing still, much less when trying to move. Thus, my goal of finishing under 7 hours was dashed when I hit that segment. Fortunately, there was an aid station right after the B road, which was aptly named the “mud station.” I tried to scrape off the 5 pounds of mud or so off of my shoes, but it was pretty fruitless, so I ended up running through the rain-soaked weeds along the road which did a pretty good job of washing off the mud, even though it saturated the inside of my shoes with water. If that wasn’t challenging enough, there were two other twists to this ultra. Yes, it was hilly with almost continuous rolling hills, but that isn’t one of them. Unlike most ultramarathons, the route was not marked at all. Not a single sign anywhere. We were asked beforehand to print out a cue card with turn directions. This worked pretty well for the first 2/3 of the race, but near the end when my GPS watch was off on the mileage, it added a little bit of doubt as to whether or not I was still on course. Fortunately, I was able to follow the footprints on the wet roads which gave me a sense of assurance that I was still on course most of the time. The second twist was that there were only three aid stations. The first at 10 miles, the second after another 11 miles, and the last just another 4 miles later. As a result, I wore a hydration belt with 2 bottles of water and an extra 20 oz handheld. Because of the nearly ideal cool conditions, I probably didn’t need the hydration belt, and only dipped into those bottles a couple of times. If it had been warmer, I might have used every last drop. Even with all of these challenges, it was enjoyable and I was able to keep a positive attitude. I would have liked to have seen more aid stations, but I guess that added to the aura of the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
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