Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ultracurling vs. Ultrarunning - The verdict is in

I can now check ultracurling off of my bucket list.  This past weekend, I helped Mayfield Curling Club celebrate its 50th Anniversary by participating in “50 hours of continuous curling.”  While I didn’t curl the entire 50 hours, I was able to curl 15 games, which translates into 30 hours of curling over a 2-day period.

The event kicked off with the 6:00 PM draw on Friday night, February 1st.  I started curling at 10:30 PM on Friday night when the regular draws had concluded.  Everyone was full of energy  and the stereo was cranking.  During “breaks,” some brave souls surfed on the rocks for our entertainment.  It was a continuous party!

Aubrey rock surfing
El Presidente displaying his talents

With the bright lights of the curling club and lack of windows, it was similar to being in a casino… easy to lose track of time!  When 5:00 AM rolled around, I couldn’t believe it as the time had flown by.  At 10:00 AM Saturday, I still felt wide awake but the regular men’s draw was starting so I went home for a few hours sleep.  I returned for the 4:45 PM draw on Saturday and continued until 8:30AM on Sunday, went home for more sleep before returning at 6:30PM for my regular mixed doubles draw, which concluded the 50 hours at 8:00 PM on Sunday night.

Julia, Jason, Steve and me ending 50 hours of curling at MCC.
 So what are the advantages of ultracurling over ultrarunning? 

1.        Everyone is much more social.  When I run ultras I go into my own little world and don’t talk to anyone. Ultracurling was highly entertaining!

2.        It is definitely not as tiring as ultrarunning.  I think the bright lights are a big help in staying awake.  Maybe I need to find an indoor ultramarathon?

3.        I can drink beer and eat hamburgers while ultracurling.

4.        I did not get one blister.

5.        I did not lose any toenails (but this is probably not a fair comparison since I currently only have a combined total of 4 toenails on both of my feet).

6.        I did not have to deal with rain, mud or wind (although there was a snowstorm outside).

And the disadvantages?

1.        While not as tiring as ultrarunnng, ultracurling has more repetitive use of certain muscles and joints.  I am right-handed.  Due to pushing out of the hack with my right foot over and over, my right quad, knee and Achilles were starting to protest at the end of the event.

2.       While I listed the social aspect of ultracurling as an advantage, it is also a disadvantage.  One of the things I like about ultrarunning is getting in the zone and not talking to anyone!

3.        Ultracurling involves a lot of thinking; what shots to call, when to sweep, etc.  Ultrarunning is much more relaxing because you don’t have to think about anything and can clear your mind – almost like meditation.

So, would I try ultracurling again?  Definitely!  But at the end of the day, I will stick with ultrarunning.

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