Unfortunately, 3 days before the race, I came down with a really bad intestinal bug. I thought I might still be able to run if I could get rid of whatever was in my system quickly, but things didn't pan out that way. I spent the next two days resting and keeping my fluid intake high. I was starting to feel more like myself on the eve of the 50 miler, but I knew there was no way I could race the next day.
Luckily, I was able meet up with a couple friends at The North Face store in Georgetown to pick-up my half marathon bib (I signed up for the half in addition to the 50 miler in what was to be an attempt of my own version of the Goofy Challenge) and listen to Michael Wardian and Dean Karnazes speak at the pre-race panel. I chatted with Michael for a bit before it started and asked him how he felt about his chances the next day. He told me this was gonna be his first 50 miler since coming off his injuries over the winter, so he wasn't exactly too sure how it was going to go. (He won.)
|Michael and Dean|
The course was a point-to-point, which was a change from their traditional out-and-back half course. I thought the change was good and helped ease the congestion on the trails. The trail conditions were perfect and after a few miles, I was able to settle into a nice rhythm. After being cooped up in my house for 3 days, it felt awesome to be outside, doing what I love. The trail was about 50% single track, which made passing a little tricky, but with over 700 runners participating, I expected that.
The last few miles of the race were awesome. I was feeling really good and was able to put in some quicker miles. I crossed the line and met up with my friends. They all ran awesome times and most placed in the top 5 or 10 in their age groups! TNF did an awesome job organizing this race, just like they always do. While I was bummed that I didn't get to run in the 50 miler, I was glad that I was able to do the half. I love this event and I highly recommend anyone that lives near a North Face Endurance Challenge race to sign up! You'll have a blast!
|Post race on the podium|