When I made the decision to run the Bear, I knew I would need to be in very good shape just to be able to finish. Starting the Bear, I gave myself about a 50% chance of finishing considering the condition my knees were in and being about 15lbs over my "race weight". Call me selfish, but the entry fee was paid, the hotel reservations and plane tickets were bought so I though what the heck. We were going to be here anyway and though Kristy and I could have volunteered, I would have had regret that I did not even try to tackle the Bear.
What got me was the downhills. I absolutely could not run them. They were so steep that the pain it caused through my knees just wouldn't allow it. I could run where it was relatively flat but that was about it. There is not much flat on this course. I don't mind running uphill though these uphills were so steep that most were un-runnable.
The Bear starts and goes steep uphill for 12 miles and then a steep downhill for 8. Once we started downhill, people were flying by me like I was standing still. I was tip toeing down the runnable downhills. Several people even stopped and asked me if I was alright. 12 miles in and I'm already limping for 8 miles going downhill. With 80 more miles to go and knowing that the terrain wouldn't get much better, I knew I would have to take it one mile or even one step at a time. For the next 50 miles I tried to run the downhills but it just wasn't going to happen. The last 10 miles I did, 52-62, I made the decision to stop as my downhill pace was down to nearly 1 mile per hour making an official finish unlikely.
Kristy and I both had a very good time and are looking forward to coming back again. If not just for the beauty of it, so I can run the Bear in sub 30.
Headed back to Fargo now. More to come on the Bear.......