Wow! I cannot believe we did it! Yesterday my good friend Connie and I ran 51.1 miles!
Here’s a shot of us at the finish line. It took us 13 hours and 29 minutes. What an Adventure!
Hinson Lake 24 Hour Ultra is a 24 hour race but the beauty of it is you can stop any time you want. There were 314 entrants and Connie and I finished in the 101 and 102 places. The winner ran the whole 24 hours and completed 117.234 miles.
Connie’s amazing husband went down on Friday and set up a tent for us to change in.
He was calling it our medical tent but I liked thinking of it as our phone booth of sorts that we could go in and emerge back out as Super Heros ! I changed socks 3 times and my shirt and sports bra once. I used plenty of Chamois Butter and didn’t have one bit of chaffing or blisters. And….did I mention it rained on and off the entire day!
Here’s some shots of the course and the mud. The part right around near all the tents was the worst. Most of the trail was actually pretty amazing given all the rain.
The race was so well run. The director and all the volunteers were amazing! I loved every minute of it.When you finished the loop you came right through what they were calling Jerry’s Food Castle. (Jerry is the race director) They had a sign at about a 1/4 mile before you got to this area that said “Jerry’s Food Castle” and I won’t mention how many loops it took me to figure out what they were talking about. LOL
Here they are getting the boiled potatoes ready. Notice the paper plate of salt you could dip your potato in.
Here’s Connie coming through the food castle.
And here I am. I’m holding a cup of water so it must have been on a odd numbered loop. My race stradegy was to drink water and eat on odd numbered loops and only have about 3 oz of Gatorade on even numbered loops. Since I have on a blue shirt and my Brooks running shoes, it must have been after loop 17. We had to complete 34 loops of the 1.5 mile course to get in our 50 miles so at 17, that was our halfway mark.
Here I am in the red shirt and Hokas that I ran in for the first 17 loops. I also have my fuel belt on. That did not last very long at all. I didn’t need to carry my water thanks to Jerry’s Food Castle. Also, I had my iPhone in one of my pouches and I tried to listen to a book on Audible for a while. That didn’t last either. I couldn’t concentrate on the book and I missed listening to all the other runners.
Some of the things that I ate were of course GUs but I also had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (Uncrustables), fig newtons, pretzels and York peppermint patty minis. I brought all my own food and I had them in little baggies with the number of the loop written in permanent marker on it. The only foods I got in the castle were a couple of small bites of potatoes and one small piece of cheese pizza. I did however grab a few small cups of soda. I think I got maybe 3 cups of Ginger Ale and maybe 3 cups of Coke. I did get Mellow Yellow one time by mistake when I thought I was grabbing Gatorade. That Food Castle was the bomb! There was so much good food and the volunteers were so cheerful. I wish I had been brave enough to try all the pumpkin breads and cupcakes and everything else. I’ve had stomach issues in other races and I didn’t want to spend any time in the porta johns.
Thinking back on yesterday I cannot believe what an Epic time we had. Running with Connie and some our other friends made it so much fun. I really want to send a huge thank you out to the guys, Scott and Ron, our husbands. Scott was in charge of the changing tent and that proved to be indispensable. Scott and Ron even put up a tarp in the Food Castle to keep the rain from blowing in on the volunteers. I think it was a cold dreary day for those that weren’t raising their body temps running. While Connie and I were finishing up our last loops, Ron helped Scott take everything down. Hinson Lake is about a 2 hour drive for us and Ron drove both ways for us. We had to get up at 3:30 am and we didn’t make it back home until after midnight.
Today I feel awesome. Sore yes but not that much different than a normal long run. I am amazed in the human body.
Here’s one more closing shot. This is of me and Connie and Connie’s good friend (and my new friend) Patricia. She ran 42 miles yesterday and stayed to the end to be with us.
I am so thankful to God for giving me this hobby of running.
Happy Ultra Racing!
PS. Must haves for trail and ultra racing. Gaiters! I got a pair from Dirty Girl gaiters but I only had time to put the velcro on one of my pairs of shoes. I saw some other brands of gaiters on other runners and some of them didn’t require velcro. I didn’t get any rocks in my shoes when I had my gaiters on but when I switched to my Brooks without gaiters, I had to stop at least 3 different times to dump the grit out of my shoes.
One other thing to mention, after the race, all I wanted to do was brush my teeth. I think all the Gus and soda was too much. I didn’t have a toothbrush with me and I wanted one so bad. Patricia told us to bring some mouthwash next time and that would help in a pinch. Next time, I don’t think so. Not ready for another ultra any time in my near future. LOL