January 19, 2020 - Swamp stomper earned it's name but I came out with a podium spot!
The day and night leading into the event were very rainy. We had been warned that the course would get messy if it rained. I think the conditions kept a lot of people home. When I arrived at Meeman-Shelby forest the rain was continuing. This was my first 50k so my only goal was finishing and I never really considered dropping out. Before I knew it we were off! The race started with a short road section before we hit the trail. As soon as we turned onto the trail we were greeted by the first of many unavoidable puddles. Shoes were wet and there was no turning back. The first few miles were runable and enjoyable until we turned off to "The red loop" which was full of elevation. The aid station volunteers were great and supportive. It was an out-and-back course. So when we made the turn around I realized there was only one woman in front of me. From that moment my only goal was to keep the other women behind me. The rain continued and the 25k race started an hour after us. All the athletes turning up the muddy trail made most of the course unrunable. When I would try to run my feet would slip out from under me or I would inevitably find a mud covered hole. My 2nd loop was more than an HOUR slower than my first loop but it wasn't for lack of energy. With Infinit in my pack and some granola bars for something to chew on, my nutrition was on point. My last 3 miles ended up being some of my fastest because the trail got a little firmer and I could finally run again! In the end my time was nothing like I predicted but in conditions like this you have to let your predictions go. I never expected to podium in my first 50K so I am very happy today reflecting on my effort with a new award on my shelf.