I had fun last year at the Staten Island Greenbelt 50k, even if the course was muddy. I thought it would be a nice last ultra of the year, and decided to run it on the easy side. A bunch of friends were signing up, so why not?
The day before, my grandmother fell and hit her head. She ended up getting stitches, though she’s ultimately okay. My mother and I cleaned up all the blood (You bleed a lot from head wounds.), I made my grandma lunch, and hung out with her. I was so shaken up that I couldn’t eat for a while, despite being hungry. I knew this was probably a bad sign for tomorrow’s race, but nothing I could do.
I cried when I got back to Brooklyn, and wondered how could possibly run the next day.
When we met JT at 645, it was lightly raining. Great. Karen, Cole, and I were running the 50k; JT was supposed to run the 25k but ended up DNSing because he felt sick. But he still drove us because he’s awesome like that. “I made a commitment,” he said.
I planned on running pretty easy, and spent much of the baby loop running with a Staten Island local, talking about the bakery business he used to own. It was somewhere in the 40s (maybe even 50s?) and raining lightly. Karen caught up to me and we began running together, chatting.
The course is easy but not so easy it’s boring. There are twists and turns and single track trail, but nothing technical. It was muddy and the mud got worse as the day went on. There were some hills.
There were four aid stations – the start/finish one, one I never seemed to stop at, one that only had water, and one with Cheez-Its. Obviously the last was my favourite.
As Karen and I neared the end of our second loop, it began raining hard. Luckily as we headed into the start/finish, it mostly abated, so we headed out like two idiots. It began pouring at many points, and was only a light rain at the best points. The trail grew slippery, we got tired and hungry, and thoughts of Cheez-its flooded our mind. I tried to not think about my grandma, which often resulted in Karen hearing random stories about various races. Wooohooo.
We finished, and grabbed our finishers’ hoodies and ran inside. I baby wiped bathed in the bathroom and put on warm clothes before I felt human again.
And then I went home and ate a bunch of food. Life is good.