Jana (my daughter), Gary and Ernie (running buddies) and I left the house at 4:00am to get the start line by 6:00. Driving thru the desert, the temp was in the 20's and there was frost on the ground. There were 9 of us doing the early start. 7 men and 2 women. The other woman Joann dropped out at about 27 miles, so I was the only woman in the 50 mile distance to finish, so that made me the first place woman.
We all had on our headlamps and reflective wear on and headed off at 6:03. I felt strong and took a comfortable pace for the first 30 or so miles. My plan was to not sit down for the first half of the race. Jana was also crewing for Gary and Ernie, I got ahead of the boys around mile 1 or 2. Gary would normally be ahead of me, but Ernie was attempting his first marathon distance and so Gary stayed behind to be supportive. Jana was the ultimate crew. She pampered us royally and took a zillion pictures of the day. Jana would drive up to me and ask me what I wanted and then pull ahead and have it ready for me. She had a clip board and recorded my time at each stop, what I ate, and my bathroom stops and other notes that might be helpful if we decide to do this again.
It was fun to be able to keep up with the other runners, I got to know Marilyn,a 100 miler and the only other female on the course, Quentin, Gary, David, and Rand. They were friendly and fun. I love the feeling of comraderie in these races, afew times I would slip back and Dave would yell and wave, "Get up here Leslie" and I would kick it up a knotch to be with the group.
At mile 11 my new LaSportive shoes were giving me a hot spot so I changed into my trusty old broken in Brooks. This was when I realized how fabulous a driving crew is. Jana was right there, put on a blister bandage and I was ready to go, had it been a marathon, I would have had to tough it out and have major blister problems, my feet never gave me any trouble thru the rest of the race. Well, I guess I should say, I didn't notice anything until I went to bed and found little blisters on almost every toe, but nothing bad enough to give me trouble on the course.
I kept thinking around mile 15 I would see the 8:00 start group, but I was almost to mile 30 before they started passing me. ( I am not sure exactly, Jana has it in her notes she is going to type up for me, so I am guessing for now) Anyway, Scott was in the lead, and then Davy and then I lost track after that. I never saw Smooth. In her honor we did write Happy Birthday Smooth on the side of our car, so she was with us in spirit.
At 25 miles, the half way mark, I had been at it 5 hours and 54 minutes. I felt great and thought I am going to do better than my 14 hour goal. Jana kept track of my eating, "Mom, I think you need salt", or whatever. I took Vit. I every 5 hours. Looking forward to Jana's crew stops were like a slice of heaven.
At mile 35 I told Jana I felt great but wanted her to stretch out my legs and I thought I would take a 5 minute rest with my feet elevated. I never should have done that, my stomach started to ache and I then had some serious potty issues, which I will spare you, but managed to gross out Jana with. Jana said, "Mom TMI"! At that point, I lost my running mojo, my gut felt horrible and I basically speed walked for the next few miles, during this time we went over the one and only big pass, probably a mile of a very steep incline. I was getting alittle down, Chris said he would come and pace me around noon and it was after 3:00 and I really needed him.
At the top of the pass Jana took afew pictures and I headed down hill and met up with Don a 64 year old ultra runner from Canada, he was adorable, his wife also an ultra runner and was crewing him. He had the biggest grin on his face and was so happy to be out in the desert running that you couldn't help but feel better. At the bottom of the hill I stopped to get some more fuel and water from Jana and was ticked because my garmin just died, no sooner had I realized this, when I looked up and my kids had just pulled up Chris, Julie and Paul, I could have just bawled I was so happy, but instead I ran to them and hugged and kissed them!!! I ran ahead while Chris adjusted his garmin for me and they got the bikes out. Not too long after Paul comes up to me on the bike and rides along side me, it was so fun to have my kids out there. Julie and Paul would switch off to pace me on the bike and Chris ran with me. He told me to take it easy for a while and then the last 4 miles we were going to pick up the pace and finish strong. I can not tell you how much that helped me mentally. I was about the point to pick up my trekking poles and hobble in, but instead we picked up the pace and passed 3 runners! It was a strange mix of feeling strong, but I also felt alittle delirious, at mile 48 I tripped over my own feet and fell to the ground and bloodied up my hands and arms. Chris kept saying stay with it mom, it is all mental at this point, your body can go afew more miles, mind over matter, you can do this, he never stopped talking, he would hand me my water bottle and say we are going to push it 100 yards, now breath, long slow breaths and relax and then push it again. For those last 4 miles we had many sections where we had a 10 min. per mile pace. It felt so awesome. My kids all came to meet me just before the finish line and we went across together. Having my children there made my day absolutely perfect. This has been a dream of mine for probably 10 years now. It feels so GOOD!
Gary and Ernie came in 11 minutes after me. I was so proud of Ernie, his goal was to run his first marathon with Gary out in the desert and he ended up doing 40 miles!!!!! Gary was awesome to slow down the pace to encourage Ernie. What a great couple they are. It was fun to be with them on my 50 mile adventure.
I loved every minute of the race and wouldn't change a thing. Davy Crockett is so awesome to organize this. Thank you Davy.
The results are out, Marilyn the only 100 miler woman dropped out at mile 74, so they put her in the 50 catagory. She crossed the 50 mile mark 7 minutes before I did, so I came in 2nd place.