We did our best to support our runners each time they came through, re-filling water bottles, retrieving gear bags, ensuring that they were eating, etc. As the hours ticked by, I simply could not believe that my friends were still running.
The trail was difficult and there were a few wipe-outs, but fortunately nobody was hurt.
The atmosphere was so different from what we are used to at road races. It felt very laid-back and casual. I can see why runners often say they don't have the usual pre-race nerves at ultra/trail events. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry and many stopped for several minutes between loops.
At the end of the day, we had one 30K finisher, one 6-hour finisher who completed 40K (24.8mi), three 12-hour finishers who completed 70K (43.5mi) and one 24-hour finisher who completed 120K (74.5mi)! Congratulations all around. I consider myself lucky to run with such determined and inspiring athletes.
I snapped this pic with Kevin (our current clinic instructor) and Patricia (a good friend) after their 6th loop before hubs and I had to head home.
The weekend continued with my long run on Sunday morning. It started off with muggy and overcast conditions, but the rain started within minutes and would continue through almost the entire run.
We got absolutely drenched as we splashed through puddles, laughing the entire way. Every so often someone would say "I think it's letting up" or "I'm glad I brought my sunglasses!" as the rain continued to come down. The squishing in my shoes was not a great feeling, but other than that I loved every minute. It felt so refreshing and I would take rain any day over thick, muggy air.
We stopped briefly at our support station (aka someone's house) to re-fill water and enjoy some oranges, cookies and candy (I stuck to a few orange wedges, my fave!) and I noticed just how soaked I was when I ducked inside for a pit stop. I might as well have jumped in a lake!
We were running a particularly hilly route (would you expect otherwise??) but we stuck to mostly quiet country roads, which is always more enjoyable. I felt good throughout with just a few kilometres of "Are we there yet??" toward the end.
31.0KM/19.3mi - 3:00:09 - 5:48/KM = 9:20/mi
And that wraps up my first 50-mile (80K) week of this training cycle. What's in store this week? You'll find out soon!