So My Ultra Was Cancelled... Now What?

I was super pumped for my North Face Endurance Challenge 50k in San Francisco. But life sometimes throws us a curve ball. And sometimes for good reason!

About two days before I was supposed to leave for the race, I got extremely sick. Flu hit me hard and wiped me out for a bit. I was left weak, but still willing to stumble my way to the start line! However, it was probably for the best for my body that before we left for San Francisco, we found out that North Face was cancelling the event.

The horrible fires recently in California really took a toll on many events in the area. Not just because of emergency staff, but also just the air quality in the area. The air was the worse in the entire world!

The trip was paid for, and we were going with tons of November Project Phoenix friends, so we decided to still go. Even though bummed about not running, we were determined to still have a good time.

Everywhere people were wearing masks. Locals, visitors... including us! The air was thick with smoke and looked extremely unhealthy. North Face made the right call for sure.

One thing I do want to say is this: while disappointed I wasn't able to run or get a refund, the North Face made outstanding strides to put their staff and the funds to good use. They donated all the prize money--$30k!--to the Camp Fire Evacuation Relief Fund. They also donated the food and snacks for the event to the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, which provided meals to firefighters and victims displaced from the wildfires. (read more about their efforts here).


The North Face crew also turned all their packet pickup locations into donation sites, and spent long hours packing up food, clothes, and more to send to the relief efforts. So all in all, I commend the North Face for all of their work and am really amazed at what they did despite everything that happened. Kudos North Face!



My friend Jonathan was also planning to run the 50k. He took a different route and decided to run his own 50k out at Tahoe and raise money at the same time. North Face ended up MATCHING his donation and they raised more than $50k! Check out the ESPN article on their run and the Outside Magazine write up!

On Friday, we still met up with dozens of other November Project tribes and took our workout indoors! It was a lot of sweaty fun. Afterwards, we kept on our masks and toured the city's coffee shops, restaurants, and all the typical tourist spots.

Saturday things were looking up! The winds had cleared things up a bit. It still wasn't the healthiest of conditions, but we felt comfortable enough to make off our masks to walk around Golden Gate Park and Crissy Field. You could see the bridge this day and the skies were even a little blue!

All in all the trip wasn't what we set out for, but wasn't a total wash. As for all the training and work I put into my next 50k, I'm carrying it over to the San Tan Scramble 50k in January! It'll be a packed race schedule for me over the next few months, but I'm ready for it. :)

Stay tuned for more adventures ahead. Let me know what's on YOUR upcoming schedule. I'd love to help cheer you on from afar or even meet up if we're at the same event. Happy Running! 


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  2. Nice to see you helped the locals and at least you had some decent vacation time.

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