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These runners are Ultra nuts

September 20, 2010

Ulta organizer Andrew Kastor in a race earlier this year.


If you’re a distance runner in Mammoth, chances are you’re already working the outer fringes of sanity, but then there are some events that go beyond that, such as tomorrow’s Moeben Ultra 50K and 25K races in the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park.

Organized by Andrew Kastor and Elaine Smith of the High Sierra Striders, the race begins at the crack of morning, 6:30 a.m., and the runners hope to clear the first part of the race on top of Mammoth Mountain by 11 o’clock. It is shaping up to be quite a challenge for everyone.

“On a scale of one to 10, I’d say this is an eight,” said Kastor, who spent Thursday helping to prepare the course for an anticipated 50 runners, half of whom will do the 31-mile course.

“It’s going to be very difficult because the course climbs 2,100 feet to the top. And the altitude will come into play, too,” he said. The top of Mammoth Mountain is at 11,053 feet.

Basically, the first 25K of the race is a loop clockwise around the mountain.

The course begins at Main Lodge and heads east along bike trails toward Canyon Lodge, then up to the top of the mountain.

The second loop heads out and back along hiking trails, starting across the the mountain’s face to its western rim. Kastor said the bike park will be open on race day, but runners should clear the bike trails by 10:30 or 11 o’clock, and the runners will use hiking trails for the rest of it.

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