By Andrew Kornylak, The Blind Monkey
The Upchuck 50K is one of the toughest trail races in the country, and in just a few years has become a cult classic, and a sought-after hardman notch in the belt. It tackles some of the most wild and technical terrain in the Cumberlands. Race entires are limited, with an admission process. And race day is bare bones—no sponsors, minimal aid stations, just “you, alone in the woods.”
As with most things, it's best to spend some time with a subject, which in this case was both the trail runners and the woods itself. Rather than shoot any race footage at all, I gathered some stories and shot some interviews with some of the racers and founders of the Upchuck, then spent a few days along the trail with friend and photography student Jake Wheeler shooting black and white photography and some video of the course. It’s a different kind of race that attracts a wild and quirky crowd. Let me know what you think.
- Nat Geo Expeditions