Burning Man Readies For Its First Ultramarathon

Several thoughts spring to mind when discussion turns to Burning Man: birthday suits, self-expression, and, of course, the sight of nearly 50,000 people gathered around a gigantic, wooden effigy set aflame in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

What you don’t often think of are athletic feats of any measure. That’s changed in recent years with the staging of the Black Rock City 5K. This time around, for the 25th annual Burning Man, some Burners are aiming higher. On Sept. 1, participants will gather at 5 a.m. for the first-ever Burning Man Ultramarathon, an event organizers hope will turn out to be “one of the most unique and insane 50ks out there,” according to the official site.

Runners will gather at the starting line in front of The Man and head northeast, straight away from Black Rock City until they hit the first aid station about a mile away. From there, racers will run a series of loops – partly along the city’s perimeter and some out in the open desert – until 50 kilometers has been completed. (At this point, organizers estimate that roughly six laps will be enough to fulfill the distance.) Since the race is being run in extremely arid conditions, runners are urged to carry a face mask and goggles, to combat dust particles that may swirl up at any time.

Volunteers, as well as pacers, are also welcome to help out in any way they can, and the event has a Facebook page for timely updates on how race plans are progressing.

Costumes are encouraged, though clothing is, well, not mandatory. As organizer Cherie Yanek wrote on the event’s official site: “It’s Burning Man, so whatever floats your boat, but I wouldn’t want to run 50k nude.”

Indeed.

Read More http://www.wired.com/playbook/2010/08/burning-man-ultramarathon/#ixzz0wXYsJWFP

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