I've wanted to do the Hellgate 100km for a while. I don't know why this race has fascinated me, but it has. Maybe it's the 1 minute past midnight start, maybe it's the mid-December weather, perhaps it's that it's a Horton race measured in Horton miles, perhaps I had a morbid fascination with the stories about Hellgate eyes (frozen corneas) as the most common race injury, I don't know.
But, I've wanted to do Helgate for years. I've even signed up the last two years and then the universe prevented me from actually getting to the race. In 2013, it was a blizzard/ice storm that would be hitting the area (and my entire drive home) that put into perspective how reckless and irresponsible it would be to travel to Virginia and back through those driving conditions simply for a race. It didn't help that I was still recovering from an injury incurred during a road race the previous weekend. Then, in 2014, my Achilles flared up just prior to the race and I was again unable to attend. This year, nothing was going to stop me from getting to Hellgate and finishing this race!