I initially read about the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Miler in Trail Runner magazine, and it sounded awesome -- good footing, good views, good foods, good people. I fantasized about running it, but didn't register until just a month before the race. I'm so glad I did - it was my favorite ultra ever, probably even my favorite race.
I went to bed early the night before (East Coast time helped me out!) and slept 8 hours, waking up periodically to make sure I hadn't overslept. I arrived at the start, chatted with some really friendly runners, stretched, shivered. The race was fairly chilly at the start -- I started the run with just a tank top and running skirt on, and throwaway gloves (which I wore until mile 20).
Western States 100 Miler lottery. I lost her when I stopped to pee, and I was happy to see that she finished quite strong (and made the qualifying time for Western States lottery).
I met so many amazing people -- super-friendly runners, aid station volunteers. I was wearing all pink - pink visor, pink tank, pink running skirt, pink gaiters -- so whenever I arrived in an aid station, I got the "Pink lady!" or "Pink!" shouts. It felt pretty good.
I was SO happy to finish. I was pushing as hard as I could, running the hills, and when I saw the finish line, I almost started crying. I ran with my hands high up in the air, pumping them with a massive smile!
Post-race, finishers got a wine glass, jacket, t-shirt, tote bag, and the most amazing post-race BBQ (veggie burgers, grilled meat (if you're into that), homemade soups, pasta salads, corn, amazing dessert, yum) -- I chatted with a newbie and his family, and had the biggest smile!
I had PR'd by an hour and twenty minutes -- I finished in 9:47! I had hoped to break 11 hours, and to break 10 was awesome. I came in the top 100, and this was pretty fantastic in my opinion (out of 234 starters).
Strangely enough, that night I went to a party, had swollen feet but was mostly fine; the next day, the aches were so minimal I barely noticed; I went to San Francisco Burning Man Decompression and danced and walked around for nearly twelve hours. Only my big toenail complained (and looks like we're getting rid of that toenail anyway!), but I felt remarkably recovered from having run a hilly 50 miler!