Here it is if you can stand to read these scattered thoughts and still trying to get pictures together for a pic video.
I have got to say it was everything I thought and expected from the race. The only exception was trying to find the start line the day before. Someone said it was at the marina in town and at the lake the employee’s said that’s what they heard, but were not sure. Driving around we saw nothing showing where to go for the start.
Though we did my dad and I looked at some of the course down in the bottoms in the tree line between the campgrounds and Clinton Lake. It was pure trail and one I thought was started by deer. There I knew it was going to be a challenging course plus wandering how I am I going to keep on the course and not get lost.
That night we went to Montana Mikes not really a carbo loading restaurant where I had a burger and fries thinking this is still not good. Filled up on that and went to the hotel for a 4:30 wake up. It was close to 10 pm and it was going to be an early morning we hit the sheets and it sounded like a rumble match above us. Still going as well as it ever had from stretching, knees, training, sleep and nutrition. It does not go right for me and the don’t try anything new on race day or the KISS rule apparently doesn’t apply here. Weather it is just stupid luck or plain determination I am not sure. I would go with the stupid luck.
The morning came I was ready in no time everything good to go. Drop bags set and he knowing which to have and were. There was no breakfast because there was not even at least no Mc D’s around. The trouble finding the race start was not a problem now as we followed the line of cars. Race check in found and done pictures taken from a couple websites and a couple of people I knew in the back of the crowd. Got our instructions at 5min before and as quick as that were off without that much of a grand and glorious start to the race. As they say to and this being only the 2nd ultra I’ve done that first step has been the longest stride. Once you get past that it gets easier the rest of the way, because I think the distance is all a mental thing being smart along the way and having fun. You’re usually out there with friends you didn’t know you had.
The first loop was a little rough and never having run here and it all being a hiking trail. I followed a pack that I though I could keep up with for awhile which I did then as time progress the pack started to break up. Then as I’ve seen you never really get ahead of one person or behind them because they’ll be running and you’ll be walkin or vise versa. I ran with a fast pack the first loop with a couple of guys that said they were going to go slow. I made it with them on the 1st loop in 3:55:00 a little faster than I wanted but I wasn’t feeling it. I did get some new clean socks, the others were wet and muddy from the previous 20 miles. The upper trails were great and dry but the lower were wet muddy and was not because of rain of late. I think in a few spots there were small springs making it really nice.
The second loop of 20 was just as fun as the first but I think some of the muddy parts were not so bad after 200 people tromped over it. Some though were worse going down one trail with a switchback left turn and going down a ravine you saw a little stream of water it was not raining. Also about 3 stream crossings which were pretty fun, really. Following a guy that said he was going to go slow the day before because of not enough training was going a pretty good clip, but I was keeping up. I even had a veggie / protein burger which was damned good. We were to only stop back at the start/finish line we said for 5 min and the 2nd loop ended in about 4:40:00.
The 3rd loop started with me changing blackened shoes and socks, legs cramping really bad I missed taking back off with them. I could hear thunder in the distance and got moving and kept it steady and slow and busted through about 7 miles with lighting and a light showers with a couple tornado sirens added in at the aide station they put a hold on race and pulling ones that wanted to be done I and another guy told them see ya and headed out before they got any bright ideas. We wanted to make 50 miles with a little help we got there at the next station avoiding a sheriff and ranger somehow Hmmmm. 3 behind us that passed us didn’t make it that far because they called the race and they were looking for everyone. We got to 52 mile aide station at 10:30:00 and had a burger coke and all the other goodies and were happy we got that far. I got back to the finish line to find I was about mid pack and predicted to be in at 13hr 30min to 14 hrs just before dark. For our efforts we did get a 40 mile finishers medal for 52 miles due to race being called for tornados and a second storm was coming. It was fun, muddy and a good time, will also do it again.