Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Umstead 100 Getting to the Race: Pre Race Thurs/Friday

With Tristan and Gilligan before the race. Suprisingly (to me at least), Gilligan is standing in this picture. I was glad Gilligan was agreeable to coming to support my run, crew and even pace me for little bits along the course. And of course I was glad Tristan was there to be my chauffer, pacer and crew.

With my friend Frankie from Rocky Raccoon. Frankie is so nice and friendly. She has the largest and warmest personality and truly is a wonderful person. All throughout the race we were relatively close so most laps I was fortunate enough to see her and some laps we ran together for bits and pieces.
With my friend Emmy from several hundred milers and endurance events (VT100, Umstead 100, the 24 hour race around the lake in MA, JFK50..although we finished within 1 minute of each other, we somehow missed each other in the finishers chute). Emmy is so sweet and encouraging. Emmy ended up finishing in about 22 hours setting a new record for the 50+ female age group...Way to go Emmy!

With my friend Kris W. I met Kris two years ago at Umstead. We met again at VT100 this past summer. She is so kind and supportive. While super fast (this year she came in second place female by mere minutes), she is really sweet and encouraging!

At the pre-race dinner with Tristan, Emmy and others. On Emmy's blog you can see the other side of the table which included Grant, Hugo, and many others. You can see that in this picture Tristan is just starting his meal, while Emmy and I scarfed down our food like competitive eaters...which we then followed up with 2 pieces of cake, yum:-)

This past weekend I had an amazing time at the Umstead 100 mile race. Tristan and I continued our tradition of heading to Richmond VA Thursday night to spend the night with his Dad. This year (unlike I think every other), the day was decent enough to stop briefly by Maymont park, where Tristan and I got married in 2009. Maymont is a lovely park and it was nice to walk around a bit (although perhaps I should have been resting not walking considering I was about to partake in a 100 mile runJ

We petted some critters in the Children’s zoo, went to the Japanese Gardens, Italian Gardens (where we got married), Nature Center and went by the historic Mansion. I would guess our leisurely stroll through the park was between 1-2 miles. After this we continued to Tristan’s dads house. We had a very nice dinner at Carraba’s then returned home for a post dinner walk around the lake Tristan’s dad lives near. Another mile of walking and then I was done for the day.

Friday I woke up naturally about 8:30. Sadly it was to a torrential downpour. I was a little distressed because what if the weather forcasters were wrong and it was going to rain the entire race (similar to 2008). But alas pretty quickly the rain cleared off.

Our drive to NC was uneventful and soon enough we were entering the park. The first person Tristan and I saw as we approached Camp Laphilo (registration/the main aid station and start/finish) was Frankie (from Rocky Raccoon) and her husband. It was great to see her! Almost immediately following this, I ran into Emmy (from the 24 hour race, Umstead and VT100). After taking a bunch of pictures and socializing I was then able to pick up my packet. I bought some items and souveniers which I sent to the car with Tristan, then I started my volunteer shift at the race. For the second year in a row, I was working the merchandise table with Linda and Elizabeth. They are both really sweet and fun to work with. As the day progressed I got to see many friends and make many new friends. Because of this blog, I e-knew a few folks. And because of running so many marathons, 50 milers and even Umstead in 2007/2008 and VT100 I knew a bunch more runners. One comment that cannot be said too often is, runners many times look a lot different in person than in running attire. In fact a few folks snuck by until after they passed by me I realized “I know that gait anywhere” (since I get passed a lot, I know the backs of peopleJ

Soon enough, it was time for the pre-race briefing. It is nice to see all the runners in one large pack. And there were so many “newbies” this year. I remember sitting up front my first two years listening intently to the brief. Now I think I might be able to give it—because I sure do live out the advice given. After the briefing, it was time for dinner. Tristan and I joined a table in which I knew about 90% of the runners (including Emmy, Roger, Admas, Hugo, Grant in close proximity…and Frankie way at the end). Oddly enough, in the section I was in I actually knew runners in adjoining tables as well (my buddy Vinnie from 2008 was in the next table). After a bunch of pictures and chatting it was time to get down to eating. Scarfing down my pasta, salad and bread, it was time for desert. The cake was really yummy so Emmy and I dared to have seconds. I guess it worked for us because we both PR’d by significant amounts of time!

Pretty soon it was time to head out of the park before the gates got locked. Tristan and I headed off to the LaQuinta (the only pet friendly hotel that does not charge a fee for pets) where Gilligan was awaiting our arrival. I set out my stuff, took a long/hot shower, set up numerous wake up calls/alarms for 4:45-ish and then went to bed. I was surprised when I fell asleep rather easily by 10 p.m.

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