|1st Place Age Group Award Winner!|
The Rocky Raccoon 50K Trail Race took place on February 11 at Huntsville State Park in Texas. After crossing the finish line with a time of 7:41, I was told that I had won my age group. I couldn't believe it.
If there had been an aid station nearby, I probably would have just quit there. Instead, after a few minutes I had to get up and walk again because so many runners paused to ask me if I was okay. I felt guilty for slowing them down so I started walking. Within a mile, I was running again! That was my longest time in the pain cave, but I felt badly and needed to walk a few more times after that.
And that's why I couldn't believe I won anything. They didn't have a presentation, but a volunteer handed me the butterfly after I finished. I was slower than I had wanted to be, but it felt great not only to finish, but to get an award, too.
My biggest fears before the race and what really happened:
- Not the alligators who live at the park! (Didn't see any, but I saw a snake.)
- Getting lost like I did in a 50K at the same park in a different race. (Didn't happen!)
- The predicted warm weather. (The temperature during this race was 70-84.)
- Tripping on tree roots and getting my only DNF. (I stubbed my toes, but never fell. Plus, no leaning to the left like I do in long races sometimes!)
Getting There: The park is an hour's drive from my home near Houston. I left home at 4AM because the race started at 5:45.
Course: The park has root-filled trails, hills, and is mostly shaded, plenty of race markings.
Fuel Pre-race: oatmeal with raisins and molasses, coffee; 1 GU gel 15 min. before the start
Fuel During the Race: They offered Tailwind Nutrition drink and VFuel gels (I like berry), which was great since I've trained with both of those so that's how I fueled. When toe cramps came, I loaded up on the offered potato chips and felt better.
Fuel Post-race: At the aid station at the finish, there were PBJ sammies, Oreos, pretzels, mashed taters, but my favorite was actually the plain old bananas.
|Note to Self: Didn't need belt, phone fits in skirt pocket.|
Just the Facts (race results link):
- Time: 7:41
|Post race: dirty shoes and legs except for right leg where I wore race chip.|
- I chatted with Liza Howard, winner of 100 mile trail races! She asked how I felt, I said good and then told her I was lying. She said that I was a very convincing liar. Hmm, probably not really a good thing.
- A GottaRunNow reader said "Hi!" at the start, which helped keep the nervous butterflies away. He felt badly, too, but he finished ahead of me. Way to go, Greg!
- The other runners, volunteers and spectators were so encouraging. I wish I could gather all of them up and give them a big group hug!
My day went from nervous butterflies before the start (which always go away as soon as I start running) to a butterfly award at the end. And in between, there were butterflies on the trail!