Since I was already wingin it with the whole race, I decided to wing it even more and not carry my CamelBak for the first time during an ultra. Instead I carried my Nathan Vest with a handheld bottled water and a smaller bottle in it. It worked out perfectly and was awesome not having an extra 7-8 pounds on me.
At the start line, I met Nick for the first time and then saw Dorn and Michele too. Bill and I ran last year's race together and decided to do it again. We literally started out at the very back of the pack and that pace even felt too fast. After mile 8 or so, I started having more fun with all of the nasty trail path and so the miles came more easily.
This year they let the ultras run through an awesome mud bog section early on instead of just the relay runners and it was a great change. It felt like you were sloshing through some nasty, thick swamp-gunk and you could feel a million little pieces of crap getting all over you.
Here's a random video from last year's race. It's hilarious. I know this guy had to have gotten hurt even though he said he didn't.
Around mile 22 my legs were feeling tired but the combination of salt, ibuprofen, and an interesting course improved it all. Around mile 31 I got an 8th wind and felt surprisingly good and we finished strong together in 11:57. I looked in the mirror afterwards and looked like someone from Lord of the Flies; dirt all over my nose, cheeks, hat, shirt, legs, bloddy heels from too low of socks...
I saw Greg on the trails (from DWD-Gnawbone) and he sped off to finish in 11hrs. I found out that he drove to MI by himself from C'ville, 30 minutes away from me. Dangit! Why didn't we carpool?
Speaking of driving...the ride home sucked. I was tired after the race but thought I could drive a little, stop to sleep for an hour if I needed to, and then head home that night. Nope.
- Drove for 1 hr, stopped at a Bob Evans to sleep for 1 hr
- 20 minutes later, slept at McDonalds parking lot for 1 hr
- 1 hr later, went to cluster of hotels at midnight: lowest was $60, didn't want to pay that price for 4 hours of sleep; Slept in hotel parking lot for 2 hours
- 1 hr later, slept in another hotel parking lot for 3 hrs
- Got home at 8:45am on Sunday...full of swampy, foul stankness and unable to walk. Trifling.
That drive home was a hot mess! Yes, I would have camped out another night or paid the hotel price upfront had I predicted I'd be so tired. Caca.
I don't think I would have made the whole run if it wasn't such a fun, diverse course. I'll have to break 11 hrs next year and try to gain on some of these girls who pass me.