A group of about 50 met this past Sunday morning for the Second Annual Horse-Shoe Trail FatAss 50k. Rik and I ran it last year but only ran 20 miles of it because it wasnt long after my first ever 50k and was just to much for my legs at the time. This year had just a slightly different start but was still an out and back with a 5ish mile loop at the far end in French Creek Park.
My plan was to run the race and dedicate a mile to each person that was killed on Friday in CT in an elementary school shooting. It was a total of 20 children and 6 adults. Those kids may never run again here on earth but may they run forever free. And I planned to run just one more mile here for each of them.
We hit the road bright and early for an 8:30 start. About half way there I realized that I had forgotten my shoes. Yes. I was headed to a race and I forgot my shoes! I frantically try to text my friend Carli to see if she has an extra pair but cant find her number in my phone so I instead text Gary who I was pretty sure was riding with them. Indeed he was and indeed they said that they had an extra pair of shoes for me. In my size! What are the chances of that! (I came to find out later that they actually turned around and went back to get the shoes for me-AWESOME people) Crisis adverted and I try to chill for the rest of the ride.
We all arrive and get ready for the race. Carli hands me a brand new pair of New Balance 101 minimal shoes. I am the opposite of minimus but figure they are better then the Birkenstocks that I wore there! But I am slightly worried about that knee that I have been so cautiously rehabbing.
|Everyone getting ready at the start.|
|Listening to Josh tell us whats what.|
|How cool is that.|
|Some kind of tee-pee on site.|
|Carli smiling even though her back was hurting.|
|Vanessa and some dude already headed the other direction.|
We finally hit a really nice slightly downhill section that would take us into the last AS. As I came into the AS the volunteer told me that she had bad news for us. What?! What kind of bad news?!
She said that one of us was the 10th place female (the awards went to the top 10 male and female finishers)! And I said oh no way...we will cross together for a four way tie. Ha!
I quickly refueled with some Mtn Dew and cookies and as I was standing there I could feel my knee was tight so I told the girls I was going to keep moving and they could catch up. They quickly caught up and I led us down the trail. The wrong trail! We were only off trail less then 5 minutes before I realized it so we turned around and head back to get on the right trail. They gave me a hard time for leading them astray until I reminded them that they didnt notice it either!
With less then 7 miles to go now we were ready to get this thing done. We knew there was some nice down hill towards the finish but dang you really do forget all the uphills that didnt seem so big on the way out that now we were hiking up on the return.
The closer we got to the finish the more the bottom of my feet hurt. And of course the last couple of miles were the rockiest! My feet were on fire and numb at the same time but I just kept running. Finally we could hear someone and it was Gary! He had hiked back out after he finished to see if he could find us. He said that we had less then a mile to go so he started running with us and we really picked up the pace.
Now we could hear more people and turn to see the finish line. We knew that we all had to finish together for 10th place so we grabbed hands and ran across!!! DONE!!!
|Very blurry pic of us crossing the finish!|
|Josh just so happen to have enough awards for us all.|
I cant believe how well my knee held up the entire time. It was stiff for about a minute but that was it. It wasnt the smartest thing to run this whole race after very little running for the past 2+ months. But I am glad that I did it and glad that I ran for those kids. It was atleast something that I felt I could do. Even better was that I inspired others to join in and run for the kids. To run because they could!
We changed clothes in our cars and walked over to the Inn for some post race food and drinks and to talk about our adventures of the day. It couldnt have been any better of a day either.