Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ultra Spirit Gets one in the Bag!

I got up at 3:30 and made my Succeed drink. Packed up the stuff and was on the road at 4:50. I got to the trail head at 5:40. Luckily, there were some others there for the early start at 6 am. The race Director, a hilariously funny old guy, has on a reflective vest with flashing red LEDs and a glittery Uncle Sam top hat. He is a Kansas City running legend. Most of the people are somewhat serious 50 milers. I'm doing 50k, but starting early because this afternoon has rain in the forcast. After a few jokes and a backwards count down, we are off.
Within 60 seconds, everyone else is gone and I am alone with my Petzl for company. After about ten minutes, I catch a few of the sprint starters. The path is a flat pea gravel bike path billed as "nothing to trip over" and klutzes like me need these sort of races. How could you get lost on that? Well, as the first road crossing, we do lose the path for a few minutes because it does not cross the road but hangs a sharp left and goes down under the road. I didn't see the turn! Sheeesh! I'm glad it is not the middle of the night on a 100 miler.
I spend the next 3 hours playing tortise and hare with Tom. Tom is doing 50 miles and runs then walks. I go along at my steady 12 minute miles. Tom ran a trail 50k yesterday and a marathon last weekend. He is limping. He lost his wife to cancer a year ago and was devasted. She was his whole life. I finally get ahead of Tom for good after about 4 hours.
The race goes north, out and back, for 9 about miles; south, out and back, for 7 or so miles. Then north again, then a short south leg. I stop twice at the central aid station to refill the Nathan. Stop 3 times to potty. Fiddle with taking shirts off and stowing them in the nathan. 50 milers and 50k'ers who started an hour after me pass me!
But, all and all, I'm feeling good. I am not as insane as Tom, but still spending a good 6 hours running. Total time was 6:10. The finishers "medal" is a piece of wood cut in the shape of a turtle with a paper sticker stating what race I ran. I am very satisfied with the feeling of sore legs only possible if you run at least 4 hours. As I finish, an extremely ominous black sky is overhead and lightening bolts are striking out. I get some coffee and head home. Cool!

1 comment:

Meg Runs said...

Tired legs are always nice! Glad you had a nice, long run!