This race has had a significant impact on me, so I've wanted to wait a day or two to let everything about the experience settle in. This is bound to be a long post, so for those of you who don't care to wade through the sea of reminescence, this is for you:
9:35:08- Finishing Time
4- Number of falls I took
Now, for the long version.
Leopold and I drove down the day before the race and arrived at the Brickhouse Campground around 1:30. We met Terri right away, along with Denise (volunteer massage therapist- score!) and Krissy Johnson (bad ass trekker of the Appalachian Trail and eventual 3rd place female finisher) and the adventure began.
Off we went to fill up the water coolers. Terri had canvassed (read: begged) the nearby residents and found a generous soul willing to let us come by and "water up" via their garden hose.
Back at the Campground, Krissy and her family invited us over to join them in a game of "Cornhole" . Yes, that's what it's called, and before you get all judgemental on me, you just try playing this game without instantly becoming addicited to it. Seriously.
After a while, Leopold was beating everyone and so we had to form teams to take him down.
Then we had a strange "run-in" with a Park Ranger with a serious authority complex. He had some problem with the way Krissy's second car was parked, and was compelled to keep repeating "Park in front of the van. In front of the van!" What's that you say? "In front of the van!". Where do you want us to park? "In front of the van!". Can we park NEXT to the..."In FRONT of the van!". Sheesh, Mister. Chill, already.
Status: 7:30 A.M., and 40 miles to go.
We headed out from the Brickhouse Camp Ground on a trail that looks like this (picture compliments of
A little later on I remember running on pavement for a little while and just cracking up with Jason and Sam about phantom pains before a race. I was really enjoying myself. Then we pulled in to the first aid station, got some food and water, and off we went.
Back into the forest we went. I was looking forward to seeing Leopold at the next Aid Station. It occurred to me that it was Mother's Day and I was running my first Ultra and my son was strategically placed at the 15 mile mark to prevent me from turning around early. In some universe that probably makes sense.
Mile 20 - The Turnaround