My story is that of a 1st time “Ultra” competitor. On December 21st, my name was drawn from the 2010 lottery. It was only then, that I dedicated nights and Sundays to train. Were it not for a husband’s support, years of training for endurance events on horseback, a track and field background, and support from a host of volunteers, a completion would not have been possible.
The forecast was for a stormy Friday and a beautiful weekend. Rain replenished the low-flowing streams and revealed slick, muddy trails. Five miles out, the runner I followed stepped into a bog and lost her shoe. “Don’t step there”, she said! Somewhere along a single track Robie Trail, lead runners stormed by from the opposite direction, racing to the finish line. It was as if the barn door had opened and the horses were heading home. With each passing, the words “good job” was shouted out to those of us forced to step off the trail. Imagine that! A world class athlete telling me – good job!
Years of crewing and preparing for other events taught me to relax tension to limit muscle soreness, eat whatever I could consume, and drink sufficient quantities of water and electrolytes. If I could limit time at aid stations and keep moving, I might just finish. It was 8 hours 7 minutes from start to finish. The completion was not just the culmination of weeks of training, it was an adventure shared with world class athletes, a personal challenge for young and old, and a return to living for competitors recently overcoming serious illness. We were family, sharing a love of nature, physical challenges we could each understand, and mental toughness summoned for this special day.