After Friday’s night in and Saturdays epic 100+ mile brick action and resulting rest of the day nap, I was feeling a bit anti-social. You can’t really have a Memorial Day weekend and not actually see anyone (twitter doesn’t count, it should, but doesn’t).
Luckily I had a busy Sunday planned, of course all of it was packed into the same timeframe. First I was supposed to run with the Rail Trail Girls at 7AM for about 11 miles, but I was also due to be at Pineland Farms to cheer/support Danielle and Sara for their 25k trail run which started at 10AM. Not being able to be in two places at the same time sucks sometimes. So I cheated a little, I started my run about 40 min early doing a little out and back on the Rail Trail and met the girls (FYI calling these amazing runner women girls is bothering me, chicks doesn’t work either. Dating a philosophy professor who teaches feminism has it’s downsides I guess) right at 7 where I would run with them for the first 30 min of their run and then head back while they complete the rest on their own.
Because I travel so much it’s been a while since I ran with anyone so my short run with the girls was very pleasant as they chatted away about random stuff. I tried to chime in occasionally but I’m not used to talking while running so I just listened and drifted off occasionally. After my brief 30 minutes with them I turned around and headed back for a quick shower and to bolt down to Pinelands.
I got there with about 10 minutes until start time and was wandering around the herd of runners prepping for the 25k, the runners already in motion for the 50k and 50 miler, which had been in progress since 6 AM, and all the supporters looking for Sara and Danielle the
suckers runners I was “supporting” and taking pictures for. I found the starting line and figuring they would have to show up there sooner or later and kept an eye on the chute. I finally spotted them as they headed to their starting spot and snuck up to photo-bomb their pictures, wish them good luck, grab Danielle’s camera, and start cheering.
I grabbed a spot a little down the trail from the start and waited. I chatted with a nice woman who was supporting her husband and learned a lot of stuff a veteran supporter would have already known. Such as the course length, direction and what the hell is actually going on. I found I would be able to beat them to the first aid station if I hurried, then after a while they would come back through just under 14k into the race.
Boom, and their off, Sara being to fast I missed her right away, but caught a couple shots of Danielle before I
bolted moseyed for the first aid station. I got there just as Sara motored by and once again in time to get a phew pics of Danielle. Then I found a shady spot and played the waiting game until they came back through over 1/2 way through the race.
Finally after cheering for a bunch of 50k and 50 milers the 25k-ers started filtering back through. Knowing Sara was stupid fast, I started counting female 25k runners (white bibs) to see where she was sitting. When she finally came through she was in around 8th place. I cheered loudly and yelled as much to her. Apparently this was unacceptable as she angrily flipped me off and continued running. (Sorry Sara, /I’m/ not the one who let 8 girls get in front of her)
I continued waiting for Danielle, and waiting, and waiting… Then I started to get nervous. I knew Sara was the clumsy one, but I also knew Danielle had no trail running experience, so I pictured her bleeding with a skinned knee and a twisted ankle walking back because she is to stubborn to quit. I noticed more and more people who I knew she was faster then going by and this didn’t ease my mind. Finally I spotted her struggling up the hill towards me. She briefly stopped and expressed her disappointment with her performance so far in the race. Which led to one of my top 3 favorite tweets of all time.
She continued on, none to happy with the trail running thing, but determined to finish strong. I then headed back to the start/finish line to meet up with Eric and Victoria, and await Danielle’s pass through to the back half of the course. It wasn’t a long wait until she came through, still hating life but looking a bit better. Then it was on to more waiting. Eventually Sara came down the finishers chute, in a stupid fast 2:07 something at 8:11 miles… Yeah she was disappointed… She’s annoying like that sometimes. Also she had rolled her ankle (again) with like 3 miles to go, and still managed to hold onto 9th place (I think, maybe 10th).
I congratulated Sara at her finish and being a relative rookie at all this non-racing just kind of hung out and grilled her on how the race went and other random topics. She got some water and we headed over to the shade to await Danielle’s finish. Which of course we totally f-ed up. Just as I was about to suggest we go over to the finish, over walks Danielle having already finished (oops). Luckily for us she was so pissed off at the course and its unending undulating hills that she didn’t have the brain power to be pissed at us as well.
We then hung around in the shade as they recovered and told their war stories, before grabbing a beer and eating “lunch”. (3 cookies and 2 chips)
Then we just bummed around for a while until it was close enough that we would be able to see Maddy finish her 50 mile race. And when she did, amazingly she didn’t collapse and ask to be taken to the hospital like I would have, she even had time to pose for pictures and was legit smiling. (She /had/ to have been on some form of drug) After congratulating Maddy on her feat of crazyness we all headed our separate ways.
A good day overall, I got in a nice run, Sara had a top 10… Danielle on the other hand: