Northface Endurance Challenge – Bear Mountain Half Marathon

I survived the NorthFace Endurance Half, and lived to tell the tale. Hurray! Chris and I drove down to Fort Montgomery, NY where we were staying (right near West Point) on Saturday afternoon. The drive was about 2 hours and pretty uneventful, as was our hotel. But the hotel was only 10 minutes from Bear Mountain, where the race was.


We parked in a large parking lot and then got a shuttle to the starting line/finish festival area.


It was a bit chilly, but the sun was out and it was a very nice day! Both of us were nervous because we didn’t get as much hill and trail training in for this race as we had hoped.



The race began at 8am and they started it in waves (great idea) so the super fast runners could start first and the turtles like myself could start in the back. There were a fair amount of people in the fourth and last wave so I was really glad for that!


The first mile or so was pretty easy. There were a few inclines, and one big decline with wet, slippery rocks, and of course mud. I took my time through the difficult areas because I wanted to avoid any injury as long as I could!

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Yup, it was wet.


Around mile 5 or so, we hit a big boulder. There was an actual summit! Not sure which summit this was, but we climbed to the top and it was awesome. I was having blast.


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And then at about mile 8 the inevitable happened. I was running on a downhill and hit a branch, rolled an ankle and went down. Thankfully we were about .25  miles from the aid station where the super nice EMT wrapped it for me. There wasn’t much pain after the initial roll (none actually), and I could walk without limping, so I decided to keep going and walk the remaining five miles out to the finish line. It was really frustrating because I felt like we were doing really well.


At least I got to admire the scenery.

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There were a few other stragglers back with us, but I was convinced we were last! The last few miles the trail opened up to flat, wide grass and we jogged for the last mile or so.



I was determined to finish before they tore down the finish line..ha! The cutoff was 4 hours. We had 30 minutes to go the last mile. Totally doable. Before I knew it, I could hear the finish line festival. Made it.



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That was a tough one, folks. I knew it going into it, but I guess I thought I could run a trail race once without twisting an ankle. I guess not.


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Overall, the course was pretty challenging, especially for running. But it was a fairly easy hike, since I pretty much speed-hiked the last five miles. Chris was the best for sticking with me during the race. I don’t know what I would have done without him there! <3

We got some cool medals (I wasn’t sure if we were getting any because we finished so late), a pair of Smartwool socks, a Northface race shirt, and an Endurance Challenge water bottle. Pretty sweet swag! Our finish time was 3:56:17. Four minutes before cutoff! Makes me wonder how we would have done if I hadn’t fell. Stupid. But I am pretty proud of myself for completing it!

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  1. Wow, great swag at the end! Looks like it was a beautiful day to be out on the trail. We live and learn from each race, so I’m sure there is some nugget in there somewhere which will make you even stronger for your next race, trail or otherwise. I give you major props for running half marathons on back to back weekends. Great job in coming in before 4 hours, sounds like running out the last mile is what saved the day!

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