|Time to RAWK!!|
The race director gave us the official GO! and off we went. The first mile is on a paved road leading to the trails. This is a smart move by the course planner because it gives the field a chance to spread out before entering the trails. I have been in other trail races that bottle necked at the trail entry point and it caused runners to come to a complete stop right at the beginning, which is frustrating when the adrenaline is pumping and the legs are fresh! The trails for this race wind through the swampy forest of First Landing State Park. They were well maintained, wide, and soft..thanks to the help of pine needles and sand. The roots a.k.a. "trip hazards" were often hidden but I am no stranger to that. After taking a few nice spills on the trails here in Michigan I learned the value of treading carefully on any earthen trail. We were going with the flow of the main pack for the first few miles. I looked down at my watch and realized that we were moving at a pretty good clip. A fatal mistake that I have made in my first two ultras is going out really fast at the start and having nothing left for the last half of the race. I cannot believe that I did not learn a lesson from my past mistakes. It is easy to ignore the actual distance you have to go when your feeling great and really killing it. The mind is tricked into thinking that this is your day and you will be able to maintain this level of running for most of the race.
|Kicking some ass. All business!!|
|We are doing a great job hiding our pain here at mile 20!!|
|Luke at the marathon mark. Still almost 5 joyous miles to go!|
|We crossed the finish line!! Party time!!|
This race was very well organized and I was happy to be a part of it. This was a great way to top off the great year I had. I hope 2013 is another great year for my ultra running. I plan on taking things to a new level. Stay tuned!