Race Report: Running a 50-mile ultramarathon on LSD

Race information:

What: Runner's High Trail (not the actual race name..)
How far: 50 miles
How much LSD: 200 micrograms
Why: Bucket list
When: Late 2017
Finish time: 10:21:42
Goal 1: Don't Die
Goal 2: Finish Race


1: Disclaimer and 2: what the hell am I talking about:

1: Don't do this shit. 2: I got the brilliant idea of running an ultramarathon on LSD after a bucket list discussion at work. Doing things like climbing everest and running ultras came up, as did taking some of the drugs you've never tried. I thought that combining these things would make for a fun year to remember.

For those who'd like to read the looong version of this near year-long adventure, I wrote a book about the experience free to download as an Ebook here:
https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-Ultramarathon-Tripping-Psychedelic/dp/1796941964/


Training

- Running back and forth to work on weekdays (about three miles one way) in order to prepare for running a 50 mile ultramarathon. Long runs on certain weekends. Taking LSD to see if I can handle it. I could, and I enjoyed it enough to keep going with my experiment.

- Running one 10K event on LSD: it was a success and the most fun I’ve ever had in a night!


Pre-race

The wife drove me to the starting line out in the woods as I was still sleeping. Thank you wifey.

I felt like an outsider once we got to where the race was starting off. Everyone was wearing stuff that looked like it was designed for running, while I was wearing woolen underwear and gray gym shorts and a green hoodie above them. Others were wearing skimpy hydration packs, I wore an old hiking backpack I had used while backpacking over in Europe. And everyone and their mother had these GPS watches that probably cost more than all of my stuff + race fee combined.

I was surprised to see that 3/10, maybe even 4/10 of the runners were women. A large number of the men were bearded. How many of them had plastic bags of LSD in their pockets I didn’t know, but they were quiet a hippie-looking-bunch of people none the less.


Race

It was dark when the race started at six in the morning, and it made for a cool atmosphere with all the headlamps when the gun went off. Some 150 people I would guess were there to prove themselves during the day that followed.

The hoodie went into the backpack fast as I got warm from running. We ran the first part of the race next to a lake that reflected all the stars, which was nice. While those aiming for glory and first place had sprinted off in the beginning, most people where still in one big pack. Hearing the all the shoes hit the gravel in unison had me feeling this was much more of a teams sport than it was. People were talking about what prior races they had run, what injuries they had fought over the year and what nutrition they had brought. While I didn’t find myself all that interested in the subjects other runners were bringing up, one of the biggest surprises was how connected I felt to the people I was out with. Running an entire night with a group of people like could probably be a spiritual experience on its own.

Ninety Minutes after ingestion - where is my high?
Ninety minutes had passed since I had put the tabs of LSD in the mouth, and I had run some 15 miles and taken nearly 30-thousand steps according the the wife’s Fitbit on my wrist. On 200 micrograms I would definitely have expected to be tripping by now, but I was kinda bummed out thinking this wouldn’t work out until really I found myself really sad thinking of all the people who died and lost friends and family in the 2004 tsunami. All feelings are amplified on psychedelics, but I would have very much liked another feeling than sadness to amplify on this day.

At least getting distracted was easy thanks to the girl in the ponytail I started following who held a good pace for me. Focusing on their hair swinging left and right like a pendulum made for a good thing to focus on. The packs had thinned out some time ago, and now people were sorted by speed into different groups - I had made my way from one of the slower ones to one that was a bit more ambitious.

I was admiring the woman ahead of me. She was quite obviously well trained by the looks of her legs and butt, but I felt strongly connected to her to the point of embarrassment when I thought about how we were both out here on this day going through the same hardships.

Was I in love? I don’t know, but I remember thinking about our potential life together. Full of running adventures all over the world, and our babies would be genetically engineered to be great endurance athletes. It got me feeling very warm, but also crying. Splitting with the wife who I had been with for more than 10 years would be hella tough, but I had to be true to myself. Of course I was just high, and not in love, but it was very much the reality I was facing at the time.

Like the last time I had run on LSD, the visual effects were greatly diminished. Things were fluid, wavy and non-solid, but it was very mild compared to what I would usually be seeing on this kind of dose. Could the tabs I had brought be under-dosed? Sure, you can’t really know how much you are getting, but the other effects were still going strong. The body was constantly tingling, and it felt like an electric current was going back and forth in my body powering me. Sometimes I felt light as a feather, and at other times I felt more like a brick.

The path went mostly on trails through the woods. The area was very beautiful, and I thought about how lucky the people who lived on the farm I passed during the sunrise where. I wanted to live on a farm!

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Comments

  • Super Mario:

    I was in a two man pack followed by a mustache-clad man in a red windbreaker jacket. I called him Mario, and he had followed me for some time now. If he knew how far out I was at the moment he wouldn’t be, but following the red stripes that showed the way made for easy navigation ever someone as high as I was. But when the red stripes disappeared, he acted as if it was my fault the we had gotten a bit lost. “Just brilliant!” he had exclaimed before he turned back. Luckily I could follow him on the way back to the trail, and we had only been a little bit off.

    He seemed to care about his time, unlike me. I only wanted to finish the race. But why? I wasn't sure. Why does anyone do anything?

    Doesn't taste like anything to me!

    The halfway point was coming up, and I had already done the longest run of my life. Almost a marathon on LSD - not bad at all, I must say! While there had been moments of sluggishness, I had mostly felt very energetic since the drug had started to work its magic on me. I was no longer in love with ponytail girl, but we kept running into each other every now and then, and mustache man I assumed was far ahead of me.

    After a grueling hill me and ponygirl reached the aid station on top of a cliff, overlooking a cute little lake. A volunteer asked me if I wanted something to drink, and I said please. Talking was difficult with my jaw clenching, and I had to resist a sudden urge to giggle. I noticed how weird her expression was: patches of skin on her face were twirling in spirals, and her large nose was growing and shrinking rapidly. Nothing in her face really made sense. I got a coffee from her and filled up on water, and sat down alone on a nice rock, from which I could see Mr. Mustache eat and talk with some other runners.

    There were snacks and food available here, but I went for the egg and avocado sandwhich I had brought with me. I hadn't eaten since last night, but I wasn't hungry at all. Which was for the best, because when I took a bite I couldn't feel taste. It was just texture of the food, which disgusted me. I spat out the mush, and the aid station coffee as well. Undrinkable. At least the day was nice, and as I sat down the hallucinations started to grow stronger. What looked like waves swept over the forest below, and the cliffs surrounding the lake moved up and down like whack-a-moles. Suddenly I felt as if I was in a bubble underwater, and the words b, fourteen, down came back to me. What did they mean?

    As I heard ponytail girl crack and joke and others laugh at it, the bubble popped, and I was back, ready to hit the road. And despite having run 24 miles, longer than I had ever run before, I wasn’t really that tired. Is LSD a performance enhancer? I don't know, but it definitely is a pain and fatigue remover.


    That time LSD made me gay

    I could not move my gaze from his butt. The cheeks were like two bowling balls of pure muscle, sculpted by Michelangelo himself. They were firm, yet at the same time bouncy. How the hell would I tell my darling wife that I now liked men? Is this what LSD does to you - or was it the running?

    Whatever it was, I was now gay. What man wouldn't be, when looking at that fine piece of man-butt in front of me?
  • Old men, green particles, and the end of it all:

    I'm not gonna lie - that later half was tough. Real tough. I was coming down, the peak was gone, and I had been running as if it was my day job. Often walking too, I must say - no first time ultrarunner runs the entire distance on his first race. At times I questioned myself wondering why the hell I was doing this. Was I having fun? I was in pain. Especially during the asphalt sections that popped up every now and then. The lungs worked fine, but it was the constant pounding on the legs that was wearing me out.

    As I stopped to pee I felt as if I was surrounded by green particles flying in the air. I could see them both with eyes open and closed, and it was very comforting. Many times during the few LSD trips I had undergone I had felt like there was someone watching over me, a force of some kind, and it was good. Even if it was my mind making up this feeling, it felt real enough.

    The green particles stayed with me for the much of the remainder of the race, and it did ease my pain somewhat. How the mind does that is strange, but that's what it did. I had a feeling that I would be experiencing this even if I hadn't taken any LSD earlier, but that was impossible to know. Maybe this was the real runner's high that some athletes talk about?

    Someone who seemed to be in a lot of pain was the old man me and a group of four runners passed with only a few miles to go. He must've been sixty years old, and he was limping, and took a break to hold on to his knee when we reached him. We had been out for shy of ten hours, and just now were we catching up to this dude who looked like he could have grown up grand-children. That was impressive. Who knew how long he had been limping out here? He told us it was ok to keep going, and that's what we did. As did he, slowly limping his way to the finish line.

    Ultramarathons are for most people not very comppetetive. It's about finishing, and for some people, it's about finishing while tripping on LSD. But as I and two other runners reached the road that would in only a few hundred yards lead to the finish line I noticed one of them picking up the speed behind me. Game on! his friend shouted "I'm not doing this!" but as long as there are two, ther there are enough people to tango.

    Soon we were on a racetrack, torches on both sides of it, and at the end was the finish line. It looked like the kind of place where tribes would sacrifice virgins to appease the ancient gods, and I could hear my wife shouting at me as I reached the bend that took me to the final stretch of the race. My lungs were screaming for air - we had been keeping a hard pace for at least half a mile, and now we were side by side with only one hundred meters to go. Not even Usain Bolt would have been able to run past any of us then and there! The man next to me gave it all, but so did I - and a little more. I was faster than him, but we were both winners, both smiling just as much. I couldn't imagine a better way to finish my first ultramarathon.

    Post race thoughts:

    I was proud of myself when I finished. I hadn't just finished a 50 mile ultramarathon in 10 hours and 23 minutes - I had finished an almost year long project. Sure, I hadn't made the world a better place nor had I invented something cool, but I had stuck with something tough for the first time in my life. The LSD part had been really fun, and psychedelics had shown me another piece of the world I didn't know existed, but I think what I had learned was how rewarding it felt to.. do stuff. A friend who had hiked the Appalachian trail had talked about the sense of purpose he had felt during that ordeal, and that was how I felt during this whole thing. And now what?

    As me and the wife headed home in the car, I spotted the old man limping on the road leading up to the finish line. I was impressed with what I had accomplished, but this dude was built with stronger bricks than most. Why the hell would he keep going like that? Then I remembered one thought I had been having a few times over the race - sometimes it is at your worst, you feel the best.

    What followed the next few days was pain. So much pain, especially during toilet visits. How anyone runs even longer events was hard to fathom. But despite this, it didn't take long for me to sign up for another ultramarathon, which I would do sober. And guess what? I twisted my knee and had to drop out. Perhaps a sign I shouldn’t be racing with a clear mind.

    More LSD adventures? A few, but no more more reckless run/trip combos. . Some slight interest to redo this one day, but nothing serious.

    Post-post disclaimer:
    Don't do stupid shit, and be kind and all that.

    End of post self-promo:
    Liked this shit? There's a free ebook about the whole experience in this link: https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-Ultramarathon-Tripping-Psychedelic/dp/1796941964/

    AMA about running, running on psychedelics, or what have you!
  • This is pretty entertaining, but also quite reminiscent of the time I did LSD at uni, way back in the 80s. I (a hardcore introvert) also felt very bonded to the people I dropped acid with. I didn't hallucinate much - things were just magnified. Colours felt more vivid; if someone blew their nose it was utterly horrific...and the food thing...I wasn't hungry either, but I ordered a jacket potato from the bar (which I got wrong...I wanted one topping but asked for another...it's hard to talk on acid) and it took me almost an hour to eat it because I was aware of every grain of starch in it.
    I am impressed you ran an ultra. I could barely do anything physical. We all tried playing pool but it proved impossible to get the balls to hit each other. Definitely a strange experience but interesting. I didn't do it again - curiosity had been sated.
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