Why Would Anyone Run 500 Miles Nonstop?
This article is written by a BioLite teammate who spent July of 2018 running the last 500 miles of the Oregon Trail with 18 friends. (Photos: Andy Cochrane).
How did I run so fast? Probably had to do with the multiple pairs of eyes staring back at me from the brush.
I was running down a desolate two-lane highway in the middle of Oregon at midnight. Hills to one side, fields to another, my HeadLamp 330 flashing as my lone companion (that is, until those reflective eyes proved otherwise). I clapped, hissed, and whooped my way down the road, hoping my presence was scarier to the owners of those eyes (probably cats or field mice) than the other way around, and picked up my pace until a fuzzy, glorious taillight came into view – the Love Bus was waiting for me, ready for the next handoff.
The Love Bus is an annual unofficial relay race organized by a group of friends who use running as a way to explore outdoor places on foot. In 2018 the crew settled on re-creating the last leg of the historic Oregon Trail: 500 miles, 3.5 days, completely nonstop. With half the runs taking place without daylight, it was a perfect chance to stress test the HeadLamp 330 ahead of our upcoming Kickstarter Campaign and find out if the 3D SlimFit design really came through in the high-impact reality of running.
As people got ready for their night shifts, “where’s one of the headlamps?!” reverberated through the bus, often because the previous runner still had it on their head, forgetting it was there. So yeah, the HeadLamp 330 got along with this crew pretty much instantaneously – strobe was clutch for dawn/dusk runs that required visibility from drivers while the full 330 lumens provided critical illumination on the unlit roads we traversed in total darkness. And because the headlamp fit so well, it allowed us all to focus on the run itself, and not on a nagging box slowly slipping down your forehead like so many runs before. This meant tracking with your breath, settling into your stride, and even taking a moment to look up and see just how milky the Milky Way can be when you get away from the city lights.
We ran up mountain passes historically traveled by oxen, crossed wind farms that blinked like giants in the pre-dawn, and pushed through the beautiful forests of Mt Hood despite our aching legs. It was hard, bewildering – and utterly amazing.
Never has pure exhaustion been so energizing.
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