I was going to fly out to San Francisco for the North Face 50 miler, but when I learned there was a race the same weekend in NYC, and I was traveling nearly every weekend prior, staying in town was a no brainer. Sign me up for the Staten Island Trail Festival! 50k please!
I headed out with some friends from my running club, all of whom were running the 25k. Beth and I planned on getting a ride home with someone running the 50k, unless he had to leave suddenly. Hmmm...we figured someone else from NYC would hopefully have room; if not, we could call Wayne and beg him or take a car service home. Oh, let's not worry about this during the race (okay, just a bit.), but just run.
The course consists of a 4 mile loop, then you do another big loop, and then repeat the second loop. Despite being Staten Island, there were some hills, lots and lots of mud, some pretty scenery. The aid stations were SUPER basic with bare bone minimum, but the volunteers were very friendly.
I started out feeling good, running with Matthew, who's a pretty tough runner, even when he's not even trying. We had fun chatting, catching up, laughing, telling stories. At one point, we began passing people who were behind us - seems like a bunch of people did a 3 mile loop instead of a 4 mile so...a little confusing but oh well.
After about 10 miles, we hit a hill and I decided to walk it and eat a gel. Matt kept running. He was in my sight for a long time and then he was not. I was bonking pretty bad; only gels don't sustain me and I wish I had packed mini bags of pretzels.
I got to the drop bag area and shoved a bunch of cookies in my mouth. I took off, walking it off, eating more animal crackers (I love bringing bags of animal crackers w me to races - they are carbs, a bit of sweetness, but plain enough to settle an upset stomach.). And then I began running. With strangers.
On a lollypop section, I saw Beth, Zandy, and Will were about a half mile behind me. "I want to run w you guys," I yelled. "Catch up w me."
I walked the hills, stretched, and ran. Eventually they caught up. We chatted, laughed, told stories.
And then I fell in a pile of mud. Completely. Gloves, pants, shirt, skirt. UGH.
I finished, clearly muddified. But who cares? I was done. I put on warm clothes, and ate some brownies. Apparently, I was 1st in my age group. I didn't realize that until my friend told me later. Wooohooo! Let's eat. I was so cold and tired and hungry that I got home, hopped in a hot tub w Epsom salts and a sandwich. I ate and read and chilled in the tub. YAY.