It was still kind of early since we switched to Central time. The state park was right on the line between eastern and central time zones so our cell phones kept switching back and forth when we could get a signal and this was confusing but amusing at the same time. Chas was also running this race and using it as a training run for Mohican 100 which is in June. He was very fit from all the training he did and I was somewhat trained but nowhere near his level. The forecast was set to be in the mid 80s and very humid and we were definitely not use to that after the long Michigan / Ohio winter but we had all the necessary gear to combat the heat. Also, Ron and Jessica were going to crew us and they are both straight up rock stars when it comes to crewing so I was not too concerned about the pending heat.
After hanging out for a little while we ventured down the country road to the campground where our "full service cabin" was located. The area was extremely dark because there is hardly any light pollution in this area as no major cities are close. In fact, this area is one of the top 20 darkest places in the U.S. and known for its excellent star gazing. Thus the name of the race: The Dark Sky 50. We pulled into the campground and entered our cabin for the weekend. It had quite the old cabin type smell and was pretty outdated but those things were not a big deal. Then Jess flushed the toilet and we heard water bubbling in the shower and the kitchen sink, uh oh! It was going to be very hot and humid this weekend and there was a large window unit air conditioner in the cabin but unfortunately it was sitting on the bedroom floor and not in the window! We had a long drive and were tired so we decided to just go to bed and deal with all the cabin issues in the morning. Upon waking up the next day we made some coffee and were relaxing in the small kitchen when we noticed a few bees had made their way into the cabin. I walked up to the nice campground bathrooms and ran into Traci, the owner, and I told her about the issues. She agreed to knock some money off our amount due plus give us some free ice and said she would get her husband over to fix the plumbing later that evening.
We relaxed outside at the campground all morning hoping to not get stung by all the bees flying around us. Then we gathered some things up and drove around to find a store where we stocked up with some gallons of water etc.. Then we drove over to the state park and chilled out with Chas and Ron for a few hours before going down to pick up our race packets. I had parked in a empty campsite next to Chas's spot and the people who reserved that empty site pulled up to it. I apologized for parking there and moved my car. We ended up walking with them down to packet pickup etc.. Turns out those people were none other then elite ultra runners Liz Canty and her husband Luke Hough! Very cool they showed up to run a small non publicized second year race in the middle of nowhere. Jess and I went back to the cabin and cooked some potatoes along with preparing everything else for the race the following morning. We were able to get into bed pretty early but I didn't fall asleep until probably 11:00 or so. Then I was up off and on throughout the night, basically just antsy and ready to get the race started. The alarm went off at 4:15 central time and I quickly got ready for my 50 mile adventure. We grabbed some of our free ice and met Chas and Ron at the state park. We got down to the start line and off we went but little did I know my whole race plan was going to hell.
|Early miles, feeling good and morale is high!|
|Awesome views from high up on the ridge line|
|Dense forest, getting super hot and humid!|
|Crazy Ass ladder we had to navigate down|
|Random cool rock shit you see on the course|
|Chas popped the cork a little early!|
|Post race, let the party begin!|