Monday, June 21, 2010
Mohican race report
I can't believe it's over! My first 50 miler was an amazing experience, one I won't soon forget. I'm going to try and recall everything, so bear with me as this may be a long report!
Final Stats: 2nd place female overall, (Top ten male and female combined, I think maybe eighth?)
9 hours, 53 minutes
Worried about the weather conditions on race day, I called Ray. He wasn't there and I left a message - he called me back about 10 minutes before he was about to go speak in Vancouver. Even though he was so close to speaking he took the time to talk to me and tell me what to do to help with the heat and humidity we were expecting Saturday. Along with that info, he told me a little something about an amazing campaign he is involved with in Canada. He is assisting a man up there in his efforts to quit smoking. Due to certain life issues (if you ever have tried to quit smoking, you know how one bad event can just cause you to light up again) this man was in danger of lighting up again. Ray jumped on a plane, took this man on a tremendously long hike to show him what he is capable of when he is not smoking! AMAZING! To just hop on a plane like that to help someone - this is the kind of guy Ray is! Incredible!
We got to our hotel early. The people who ran the hotel were very nice, however the hotel itself wasn't the greatest. It was basically a place to sleep, that's it. You sure don't want to spend more time there than you need to. It smelled. Nasty. I'd rather camp! There was no land line phone. On top of that, the whole time we were in Loudonville we had ZERO cell service. No bars. Period. Anywhere. UGH!!! I had to call Ray in the evening, and that didn't happen. I felt so bad about that! Sure enough when I got home Saturday evening, he had sent me an email a couple hours after we were supposed to chat on Friday, asking how I was. Man, as soon as my contract is up we are SO switching to Verizon. Darn TMOBILE!!
All cell phone business aside, the rest of the day was pretty awesome! My husband, son, and I hung out at the Mohican Adventure Center, did some putt putt golf and go-carts. We picked up my race packet and then headed to the Library. Micah True (aka Caballo Blanco) spoke about the Tarahumara Indians(Raramuri), The Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon (on my to do list now!), and Born To Run. It was a truly inspiring speech, and I'm glad we went to hear everything! On that note, The organization Norawas De Raramuri (Friends of Running People) is one you should definitely check out. Go to norawas.org or caballoblanco.com for more info!
After the speech we headed down to the pasta dinner and pre race meeting. Everyone was there! It was so nice seeing so many familiar faces. Joe, Terri, Kim, Bill, Bob, Sandi, Rachel, Daniel, Tanya, Mike, Lisa, to name a few. I got great last minute advice that I very much appreciate. We filled our bellies and listened to the final race instructions. Afterwards we headed outside, took some pics and headed to the hotel for a few hours of sleep. Sleep came easy to me as I had an enormous headache. I was so worried it would not go away for Saturday!
Sandi and I after dinner - Sandi rocked the 100 miler and took 1st place/females! AMAZING!
Saturday - RACE DAY!
We left the hotel around 4 a.m. - along with many other runners who were there. Everyone looked horrified, nervous, scared, you name it! We got to the start and the first person we saw was Joe Jurzyck and Daniel Bellinger. We picked a table and sat until it was time to start. I was trying my best not to be nervous!
The time had come and we lined up. I took my place mid pack. It was 5 a.m. and we were off! Some runners running the 50 miler like me, and some runners were running the 100 mile. We had quite a way to go! I was wondering what passing cars were thinking when they saw us runners out there in the dark. (Probably think what most everyone else thinks-that we are crazy people!)
It took me quite a few miles to get to a point where passing people was possible. (That may have been a good thing-I didn't start out too fast) There were a couple guys who acted a little funny about me passing them though. Kind of p'd me off and made me run faster. HA. As I passed one male runner, he yelled out "There goes a 5k runner". 5k my ass. HA! As I passed another man I said "Good morning and good job" to him. His response: A HUGE fart. Not a "Hello, thanks" but one of the biggest farts I have ever heard in my entire life. Hey lets face it, everyone farts. But when it's your response to someone telling you good job that kind of sucks. I ran ahead and tried so hard to contain my laughter. It actually hurt not laughing! All the other runners were so so nice though. Ultra runners are amazing people! Except fart dude and 5k dude.
I'm not sure which mile I saw Daniel Bellinger at, (I think it was the second pass at the covered bridge) but when he told me I was the second female I was completely floored. It was dark when we started and I had no idea! I thought there would be tons of women ahead of me. But there was only one! I didn't have to ask who was ahead of me. I already knew.
At mile 18.9, the Rock Point Aid Station I saw her. My running bud Kim Boner! I felt my eyes get so big when I noticed her, I just yelled HI! She was changing her shoes and this was my chance! I was not planning on changing my shoes at all(while I did bring extras). Despite the stream crossings my feet usually can hold up when wet - for at least 30 miles that I knew of anyway! I grabbed my power bar, gu chomps, refilled on water and left. We wound up running together for awhile which was nice because we got to chat (Yes chat in a race!) Along the road portion I started to pull ahead, and it stayed like that until mile 39.67 - the Covered Bridge Aid Station. (More on that later)
*Running back from the turn around point I saw her! Sandi was in first place out of the 100 mile women! That was the most amazing thing I had seen so far, she was looking really well! I just thought about the message I sent her awhile back, jokingly, that she should win the 100 and I the 50. Seriously I was just joking, but there we both were and it gave me a little bit of a boost!I pushed on. Along the road, I saw Micah True, the speaker from the night before (he was also doing the 50). I yelled to him "Great job White Horse!" He gave me the biggest smile I have ever seen in my life, a friendly wave, and that gave me another boost that man has an incredible amount of positive energy! I was good to go until mile 39.
All along the run I had been downing power bars and gu chomps. I wasn't physically sick, nauseauted or anything like that, but I was disgusted with them at this point and didn't want to eat anymore. I strayed from my planned routine and did not eat everything I had set out to. Mistake. Kim wound up catching me and we ran into the covered bridge aid station together at mile 39.67. That being said, it was an awesome moment. We were both smiling, cheering, and clasped hands. We both want a pic - so if there's anyone out there, PLEASE!! THANK YOU!! It was discussed that if there were anyone that would be in the top two - it was going to be us! And who cares which one it is, because we both would be so happy for the other! It was so funny that there we both were reliving YUTC!!! Only this time we KNEW each other!
I stopped at the aid station, my family and friends were there - it was the NERC aid station WOOT WOOT! I'm not sure if Kim stopped, but this is where I lost her. My NERC bud Mark was there and I remembering looking at him and telling him "I just want to be done." Mentally I was done. I was starting to give up. I had already gone farther than I ever had in my life I was not prepared to battle it out for top spot with a friend! It was pretty emotional for me! I can't even explain it but it was overwhelming. And then came the hardest part. I said my goodbyes to my friends, hubby and son and was off again. Tanya (NERC) was yelling - "Be smart - this part is hilly! And hilly it was. GOOD GOD.
My new friend George was trying to keep me going. We had been running together for awhile, and he could tell I was falling apart. He asked me if I wanted him to pace me, but I didn't want to hold him back, and said no thanks. My mood was LOUSY. I was tired. I kept thinking "My god - Sandi has to do this ALL OVER AGAIN." I was worried for her, worried about catching Kim, worried on how close another female was behind me, etc, etc,. I don't worry on races usually, I just have fun! I had to shake this. Problem is I didn't know how. I wanted to grab my music but didn't want to take the time to get my player out of my Camelbak. So on I went. George and I arrived at the last aid station, and I had problems with my Camelbak. The bladder came out of my pack, I was tired, I couldn't get it back in. All I needed was water. Upset I put it down and went to the bathroom, came back and tried again. After what seemed like forever I finally got it. That was SO FRUSTRATING. I filled my pack with water and looked at the coke sitting there. I hate pop and have never tried it during a race before, but I thought - what the heck. There's not that many miles left and I grabbed some. I wasted far too much time at that aid station. Off I ran. Soon I felt this surge of energy - AMAZING is all I could think of. I told George about it and he was so surprised. "You mean you haven't had any all this time?" he said. NO! But now I feel like I really can do this thing! Amazing how my mood just perked up. So incredible. Now George seemed a little tired, and I tried to be more upbeat. Each new mile marker brought less mileage. "Only 4 more" I'd say, "3", "2" It was great seeing those mile markers, realizing the end was almost near. I saw two male 50 milers running. They kept looking back at me - turns out they were trying to stay ahead of me! (They did a very good job at staying ahead by the way!) They didn't want to lose their spot. Soon I saw George's wife waiting for him, and she ran alongside him and I ran ahead. I was almost there! I saw Kim waiting for me, she had finished and came to the trail entrance by the parking lot after she finished!
Kim's first place finish!
YAY!! We screamed, and I ran on. In the parking lot I turned around just to make sure there were no other females behind me so I could take my time. I saw a flash of white running towards me and nearly died. Thinking I have NOT come this far and worked so hard to now be third!!! I pushed myself as hard as I possibly could. Cars were honking at me in the parking lot and the people inside were screaming my name (one of which was awesome running bud Mike Keller! THANKS!) I could barely lift my arm to wave as I was now trying to stop myself from vomiting. Seriously. I still kept running, trying to get away from this girlish white figure running towards the finish line. Finally, I turned the corner smiling as I saw the finish and it was all over!
Instead of celebrating I nearly puked on my husband's shoes. Thank god I didn't, It would've been a long car ride home! Relieved it was over, I came to my senses. HA - that white figure I saw was George's wife. DOH!!! My god.
Afterwards we all piled into the conference center (the thankfully air conditioned conference center) and chatted (the best I could still feeling nasty!)
I had to explain to the RD why I wouldn't be standing on the podium Sunday morning, I had to drop my son off for a week at Musicial Theatre camp - the camp was in Berea and we had to be there by 11, the awards were held at 10:30. Seeing my son off was definitely way more important! So I would have to wait for my awards, but that was fine by me. I came expecting not to leave with anything anyway! I would have definitely liked to see Sandi come across that finish line though - that would've been an amazing sight!
In closing, I have to say what an amazing experience this was. That being said I couldn't do any of this stuff without my husband and son by my side. I'm so grateful for all their support, and for seeing them cheer me on race after race. I'm grateful to my friends, friends who were there for support, friends who were there volunteering and cheering everyone one. I'm also grateful for my training - Ray Zahab is the greatest! Please remember, Impossible2Possible has a new expedition that they are planning, and really could use your donations! It's not easy providing a free learning program to hundreds, thousands of students worldwide!
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