I was super excited when I realize the it didnt start until 9am and I could sleep in until a reasonable time. I have been battling a cold all week so any extra sleep would be a bonus. When we got there the field was already full of cars. Its amazing that it was colder by about 20degrees this year and yet there were many more people there.
It took longer then expected for everyone to sign in and we didnt get started until maybe 10 minutes late. No big deal. Here is everyone at the start...
|Check out all the aid station goodies laying there.|
And soon enough, like less then two miles later I stopped to take off my jacket. I was freaking hot already. I looked up to see Rik coming walking towards me. Oh no. This cant be good. Then I see him hobbling. He tells me that he is done. He rolled his ankle...twice already. What?! See, less then two months ago he rolled his ankle REALLY bad and it has been healing. He knew it wasnt 100% yet but he has been running well. And thats all it takes. His ankle was swollen and he was hobbling back to the start and I would carry on.
I was actually enjoying this opposite direction much better. We got to do the hilly single track first and that was the part that was so muddy last year. It looked like a completely different course and I wondered how it could have been so muddy last year. It was an awesome trail this year! We did come to one section going down hill when we saw people with their maps out and looking where to go. Evidently the course was to turn to the right part way down the hill and they went right past it and were headed back up the hill. Whew. Glad I was with a group and missed getting lost that time!
I came into the first aid station smiling because I was feeling great, running with other people and I saw Rik there waiting for me! I was in and out quick for the next 5 mile loop. This section was pretty nice too. A couple of creek crossings that I was able to keep my feet dry, a few field crossings, but mostly nice trails.
Here is our friend Zach at the aid station....
|Zach rocked the 50k!|
Eventually I hit 15 miles on my Garmin and knew I was almost done. Except I wasnt as almost done as I thought. I kept thinking I was almost at the finish. I kept looking at my watch. Where was the finish?! Then there was the stupid fields. The last mile was fields and a stone road. These are my worst metal running surfaces. Here I was past the 25k mark and having to travel the field and stone road. I started to walk. And I walked. And I got all grumpy because the course was longer this year and I was not going to make my goal.
As I was walking I realized that my pace was still faster this year. So actually I WAS doing okay. That and the fact that I FINALLY saw the finish got me running along again. Here I come into the FINISH.....
|Actually this is me coming into the aid station ;)|
Here is my friend Leon coming in to his finish...
|Fire at the finish to warm us. It was dang cold after you stopped running!|