What a weekend! Entering my first 100 mile race, my main goal was to complete it. I was absolutely thrilled to finish the race in 21 hours and 47 minutes as the 3rd place female. The athletes, race organizers and volunteers were absolutely stellar.
The course doesn’t have elevation but it does require going through tunnels, descending and ascending steep areas, climbing over guard rails, hop scotching over old railroad ties and maneuvering plenty of rocks and roots that are covered with leaves. I bashed my toe into a root early on and was convinced it was broken for a while. I might lose the nail but it seems to be ok today. I also took a nasty spill at about mile 43. Both knees were banged up but I kindly asked them to hold out for another 57 miles. One of them is pretty painful today but ice and rest should be all I need. I had so many dedicated family members and friends turn up that there wasn’t a single time I came into an aid station where someone wasn’t there to help me. My friend Scott Rowe came and helped to pace me for about 18 miles which was a real life saver. He has been awarded the fastest man in NH and New England runner of the year and he took his time to come and run 11 and 12 and 13 minute miles with me in the pitch dark. He assisted me to change out flashlight batteries and saved me when I almost forgot my camel back at the aid station. I didn’t do very well eating solid food. I mostly drank vegan protein mixes, fruit smoothies, v8 and chocolate soy milk.
I changed into a clown suit for the last 25 miles which was pretty hilarious. I was so tired and emotional by the time I put it on that I got mad at my red rubber nose for not being squeaky enough and was swearing about it. In the pitch dark in the middle of the woods most runners had no idea that they were running with a clown. A clown with potty mouth who swore at every rock and root that got in the way. I also had to change into a size 10 shoe to accommodate my swollen toe. (Clown shoes right?) One of my worst legs was mile 75-90. I was so fatigued and pushing through so much pain that running almost another marathon seemed impossible. Charlie Richard came in and ran mile 82.5 through mile 90 with me. He put up with the clown suit and gave me mental aptitude tests as we stumbled through the forest at around 2 or 3 a.m. I told him my middle name was rutabaga. The poor guy smashed into a root or a railroad tie and broke his toe but didn’t even tell me until later because he didn’t want me to worry.
I was really falling apart the last 10 miles. The injury in my knee was getting so tight that I had to alternate speed walking and running. When I fell my stop watch canceled itself out so I was trying to calculate my finish time by assuming that the race had started at 9 A.m. the previous day. So I forced myself to go as fast as I could. I was sobbing and crying. Gratitude for my friends and family, and the sheer excitement of realizing that I was going to actually make it completely overwhelmed me. What a picture. A crying sweaty clown crossed the finish line just before sun up and was handed a cup of tea.
So now I am resting and recovering and absorbing the whole experience. I learned so much about myself on this run. It was so much more than a race for me. Thanks again to all who supported me and cheered me on and sent me words of encouragement. You helped to make this possible for me