I've run on the Greenbelt Trail before - it's easy to get to via train (I've done it from the north by taking the train to I think it was Smithtown, and I've also gone by taking it to Massapequa) or have your mom drop you off, and I also ran the 50k there last May. But still, I am SO FREAKING TALENTED that I managed to get lost.
And every single time, I was with other people.
That's a talent.
I initially thought I'd just do 15-20 miles but if I'm getting up before 5am and traveling out there, well, I may as well just run the whole 50k. It's only a few more miles. And in the company of other ultrarunners, why, it's a blast.
I started out, and Jackie and I began chatting and got lost.
And we got lost again shortly after.
The third time was at the weird field turn-around-ish area.
But the course was good - the Greenbelt Trail is mainly single track at this point. There are some rocks and roots, not too many places that qualify as hills (fairly flat), lots of dirt, fields. It's nice. You have a few road crossings, but nothing too crazy. No stream crossings. Some hikers (eating massive picnics and they are lucky I didn't stop and partake). Some birds. But quiet.
Vinny and Nichole had the race start and finish at a parking lot next to a Stop and Shop - which also was the only real bathroom (though as far as I'm concerned, any tree or bush suffices as a real bathroom!). Normally when I go trail running, this is where I stop to refill my hydration pack bladder. Everyone brought food and I'm pretty sure Vinny and Nichole supplied some of it - and Jessi Kennedy won our hearts once more by yes, winning (Duh, of course she did) and baking the most amazing banana bread and oatmeal cookies. We'd cram pieces of the banana bread into our mouths and shove the cookies in our pockets. Good times.
|Julia, Cortney, me wearing a ridiculous bear hat, Mat, Jackie|
I ran most of the race with Mat and Jackie and Julia. Cortney ended up getting lost so she ran some of the first loop and the entire second loop with us. I just met Julia for the first time so we spent the whole day you know, baring our entire lives to each other down to the most personal detail - it is ultrarunning, after all!
Some friends of mine opted for the 10 or 20 miler - Ken was flying through the 10 miler and I believe was the first one done. Karen looked great on the 20 miler and I'm pretty sure got lost less than me.
The weather was sunny and predicted to be 50 - it didn't get there, but was still nice.
And after, after we finished our final steps and ate more banana bread than we really had business eating, hopped on a train towards showers and food and naps and love...but really, ultrarunning is all about love so yes, it was a day of love.