Once again, I'd like to say, I set out to run 50 kilometers - not more. But of course I got lost and of course I ran more.
I tend to get lost in those sorts of races, but flour trail markings made it even easier this time.
Last year, when I ran this race, it was ridiculously cold, the course was covered with snow, ice, and worst of all, freezing cold puddles of water. I ended up with frostbite. Although since it was the race I did the day before my boyfriend and I got together, I somehow think of it fondly.
I've also run it as the South Mountain 100k (my first 100k ever) and the Mayapple 50k (recovery race after surgery). I loved it those times, so this time, sans snow, I figured it would be a fantastic race.
I did have fun...but it wasn't as fun as other times! Instead of the two loops we previously did, we stuck to one loop that was different than it had been other years - so it really wasn't the same course, just a different race in the same place.
The course is full of some ups and downs, a few technical sections, but nothing too crazy. Mostly, you had to keep your eyes on the ground because the course was marked with flour - which made getting lost very easy. (Nearly everyone I spoke to even got lost - two of them on their third loop (They ran separately from each other.), probably because the flour was really hard to see, especially after so many feet had run over it, and the rain the night before. I'm really not a fan of flour used to mark courses. I know ribbons require more time and more effort before and after - but they make it MUCH easier to see and MUCH harder to get lost.
I started out the first loop running, and ended up seeing Megan, who I hadn't seen since I ran Boston in 2009 or 2010. We had shared a room with our mutual friend. We ended up catching up, chatting. We ran into Ray and everyone was very chatty.
At the aid station, Megan and Ray were taking a little longer, so I didn't bother waiting. They'd catch up. Jackie and I began running together, and were having such a grand old time that we didn't notice something was wrong until the lead guys passed us. "Are you guys lapping us?" I moaned. No, they weren't. Hey! How were we back into the main aid station. I know time flies when running, but we must've run 2-3 miles, I knew, and the course was supposed to be 5. We tried to figure out where we went wrong and couldn't.
So Jackie and I fueled up and went out to re-do that last loop - and made it right the next time. Whew!
We ran another 2 loops, with less confusion. We were a lot more careful, as we had previously been lost, and as the race went on, the flour wore off and it was difficult to find your way.
But we had a blast. I got a nice easy training run in, didn't feel anything negative (other than tired at the end), hung out with superawesome Jackie, ate my homemade Ghiradelli chocolate chip walnut cookies during and after running, rode with Ray and Erin, hung out with lots of my other rad ultra friends...overall, a very good day.