My First Ultra Marathon

I committed to doing a 50K back in August and at that time the race was going to be held in Derby Kansas on a flat 5 mile loop. I remember thinking great six times around and I am finished and flat is awesome since I run on the side of a highway up and down hills. About two weeks before the race, I got a notification it had been moved to Wichita which was actually about twenty minutes closer which was fine. It was only right before I left that I was told it was a small race with a 0.86 mile loop to run around. WOW!

Emily got help up in clinical’s so I put where we were going into the phone to discover we would make it right on time. At exactly one minute to seven we arrived at our destination which was not the park, but the hotel we were staying at. Of course I put the hotel address in and not the park. The park was eight minutes away so I said lets run over there just in case they are still there. Yes, the girl coordinating it was still there and informed me there were exactly nine runners participating and I looked at the course. Emily started laughing and I was thinking, only me.

The shirt was really super nice so I figured the belt buckle would be too. Apparently ultramarathon’s you get a belt buckle instead of a medal. I can work with that. So we went and checked into the hotel, went out to eat and then went to bed. We arrived the next day and met all eight other runners. There was a father and his eleven year old son doing the full-marathon, three of us doing the 50K, two doing the 50 mile and two doing the 100 mile. I was talking to the girl who was doing the 50K with me, she had just done an iron-man and ran the entire marathon portion. She was all nervous about the 50K and I was thinking girl you have this in the bag. The girl in charge asked me if I wanted to switch out my bib for an ankle one. I said heck yes and felt that would be less annoying. I then felt like I was on house arrest.

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Because of the short loop, everyone started at a different starting point and I was informed I would be doing 36 loops. Ultra’s are run totally different from regular races. First of all, it is not about speed and how fast you can go. It’s not about running through the drinking stops and getting mad about the people who stop and drink. They had an entire spread at the shelter with food and drinks. The race supporters said if we needed anything they didn’t have they would go and get it for us. So when it’s time to eat, people stopped in and spent a few minutes, it wasn’t shove the food in your mouth while running as fast as you can.

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At the beginning everyone was passing me and I had to remind myself this is not a competition and run/walk the way you have trained for the past three months. So off I went and I was faster than I thought i would be but then again I was running on flat and I hadn’t really run much the entire summer because I didn’t want to get injured and get knocked out of this event. It was super windy and after the race people were complaining about it. I wish you could have seen the look on everyone’s face when I told them I did my 26 mile run on the cruise ship in the middle of the storm. See everything works out for a reason.  I eat and drink every five miles so that was one reward to keep me going, I told myself at mile 10, 21 and 26 I would text people to tell them where I was at. I actually did not hit the 20 mile wall like I did in both training runs. I remember when my Nike guy said 13 miles left thinking oh that’s a half marathon, a piece of cake, you got this. Now the father and the son running the marathon passed me at least three or four times. However, they made the rookie mistake and started out way too fast and I ended up finishing 26 miles before them. The kid was cute as heck and when they were driving off he yelled at me out the window, good job, keep it up. It was when I had five miles left that i texted Emily and told her if she didn’t arrive soon with Gatorade I was going to die. They had a drink called Heed which in my delusional state I swore said Hemp. It was electrolyte based (I think) but no sugar. Emily and Allyson finally arrived with four laps left and I inhaled the Gatorade and it gave me just enough of a sugar rush to finish the race! It was glorious crossing the finish line, still standing and feeling good. Less than a minute behind me came the guy running the fifty mile race and he broke the Kansas record. That was super exciting!

I received the belt buckle and they gave me two extra for my crew. Allyson was really excited because she wanted mine to start with. I did make those two run and get me different head phones and bring me Gatorade before I died so they earned their medals. I did learn a few things for the fifty mile. I need to carry a bottle with water to fill up at the water stops, especially since that race is 25 out and back. I need someone with me that can bring me stuff I may need while I am running. So I am going to have to recruit the family as my crew. I am also going to have to find other things to eat besides GU. By mile 30, I was ready to puke from the sugar rush and if I never see that stuff again, it won’t be too soon. I also received a trophy for second place!

We went for ice-cream after the race. They have Brahms which is Emily’s favorite from Oklahoma. I had peppermint and it was really good. We then drove back home and I finally got to shower. I have never felt so gross in my entire life. Emily and I went out to eat but Allyson stayed in because she is a home body and said we had been out too much. Allyson and I drove home on Sunday which about killed me. My legs would tighten up to the point i had a really hard time walking. But we made it back in time for teenage church so it was all good. I have about an eight week “break” before training starts for the fifty mile. I’ve looked at it and it is super intense and will keep me busy.

Everyone finished their races except for the guy doing the 100 mile. It was his first attempt and he dropped out after 63 miles. The girl who finished her 100 mile, it was her fourth in less than a year so she qualified for the gram slam from Kansas I think. She told me she would crawl to the finish if she had too. She finished in 27 hours which is completely crazy if one thinks about it logically. But I was so happy to see she finished. The race was awesome, the runners were awesome, and the course support people were phenomenal. This was one of the best experiences of my life!

 

Mole Moral~Brian finally has a trophy wife!

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