The race capped off at 175 runners, this made the run intimate. It did not take much for me to get comfortable with EVERYONE.
My "Extroverted" self was on sensory overload right out of the shoot. My A.D.D kicked in before the race making any communication with me difficult. SQUIRREL... I had unfinished sentences, thoughts, my head was spinning and I think I lost my voice again before the race even started from yelling at everyone.
I had so many friends running the race, I knew some of the volunteers, I was like a soda can that was shaken and opened. I was exploding with energy and obnoxiousness. Full tilt. Total ridiculousness.
All my gang showed up. Rachel, Kris, Matt, Claudia, Jama, and Erin. All smiles.
Race Location: Highland Rec.
Race Time: 8am. waves 1-3
Race Temps: Overcast. 50's. Perfect temps. Oh Happy day!
I was not running in the first wave. That wave was for the runners who were in it to win it.
My plan was to have fun, running faster than a training run, see how I felt, then pick it up at the end if I was still uninjured and upright.
With minutes before the first wave took off, I quickly asked the girls if they wanted to say a prayer with me. Gathering hands, bowing our heads, we thanked God, asked God to protect us and let us have a good race.
Matt was in the first corral, minutes after he left we "trailed" behind him. I tucked in with Kris and Rachel.
The trail is more of a single track. For the first few miles we ran toe to toe with other runners unable to pass them.
The first opportunity I got I whispered to Kris, "Kris, you gotta pass him, Go!"
We were cutting up with everyone. We had these 3 guys who joined in with us. We became a tribe making jokes and being very loud and proud. I taught them a game I do with the XC kids I run with. MARCO POLO. I yell "MARCO" and everyone else replies "POLO". This lets me know where everyone is at and how they are feeling.
We were full of games.
We made another game. This game derived from one of the guys tripping. We started giving points out for each time you tripped. One of the guys quickly earned the nickname "Tripp".
I wanted to pick up my pace, and I knew I should due to my rowdy behavior. I was having way too much fun to consider my pace a race pace. I could seriously wake the dead I was so rambunctious.
But it was soo fun. I was torn.
Entering the "D" loop I made a decision. I broke away from my tribe.
I felt great. Everything felt great. This was the last loop. I knew I had to pick it up. I had about 5 miles to go.
The course was well marked. The volunteers rocked. The aid stations were perfectly placed. Even though I wore my hydration pack I utilized the water at the aid stations. I only filled my pack up to about 16oz's. But I wanted my pack for my phone (which died right before the race)" they recommended that you run with it and my nutrition, I had my JUICE PLUS Chews fueling me.
I drank every mile, keeping myself hydrated preventing myself from bonking. The sun was peaking out of the clouds and the temps were warming up, I didn't want to get behind the gun.
The "D" is one of my favorites. I'm sure it's because you know you are done. But the last 2 miles are relatively fast. I began passing runners that had passed us. I ran through the aid stations. I was on a mission. I flew down the downhills. The last aid station I ran in and ran out without stopping. I yelled my bib number,"55" and moved out. I heard someone yell my name, I smiled a roared "WOOT WOOT" then laughed as I saw 2 runners quickly gulp down their food to catch me.
I caught up 2 a couple guys. One guy dropped off. I stayed behind the other one.
Jeremy. All I could see was him from behind. Over 6 feet tall, wearing a hydration pack and hardly sweating.
"I need you on my training runs, you are so motivating." His first full sentence. I could hear from his voice he was struggling.
I quickly learned he was from Adrian, Michigan and this was his first time on the trail. I decided to help him. I knew the trail. I knew that having someone there to share what was coming up would give him focal points.
"You have one more big incline."
"You got this, relax, walk the hill."
"Take the downhills, that's it, good job"
"You have a bunch of rocks to cross..."
"It's not 16 miles...You have about another mile, COME on, stay with me, bring me in Jeremy."
With a half a mile to go I passed him. "COME ON Jeremy...Stay with me, let's Finish this!"
All smiles, I came out of the woods looking for the finishers matt. But the first thing I saw was Matt and Chris. I was so excited I headed to them. Very loudly I heard someone yell "MARCO"!
Smiling I yell "POLO" and was quickly redirected towards the finish line.
BEST finishing squad. Everyone was hanging out in lawn chairs cheering every runner on.
Without much of a breath, my name was being recited on the mike.
I WON first place overall masters! Pretty good for having that much fun.
|Great Shirt, medal fun mug and My Winning age Group Basket.|
|OUR tribe!! FUN guys who liked to play games on the trails!|
Great food, cookies, wraps, bang bang chicken, fruit salad, watermelon, great atmosphere, and the music, "DJ" the RD used his playlist and it was AWESOME! He has great music keeping everyone hype and having fun.
|Erin,Jama,Claudia,Matt,me, Kris, Chris and Rachel.|
This is a race I will do every year. Well DONE!