Friday, April 2, 2010

Umstead 100 miler: Before the Race

With the Race Director's wife: Myra Norwood before the race.

Myra is so sweet and always so encouraging throughout the race. She watches out for all the runners taking really good care of everyone.

It is always a real treat to see Myra and she always seems to be at the main headquarters day and night throughout the race, ready to offer words of encouragement, food, beverages or whatever else a runner might need.

Thanks Myra!!!

With Jill Perry, the female winner from 2009 (and 2010, but we didn't know it at the time).

Jill is super friendly and super fast (you can see my priorities...friendly first:-).

Jill and I have run several ultra's together; however, she always beats me significantly. But at the rate I am improving (1 or 2 hours per ultra, I will be her competition in about 8 years!)

Each lap that I saw Jill I was able to get a picture of her and a few I was able to get a self portrait picture of us together. I believe with a count of 4 pictures she can easily subtract 2 or 3 minutes from her time...

With my friend Tony before the race.

Tony is a running machine. He recently ran the Brazil 135, has run Badwater (and will be running Badwater again this coming July) and has run a bunch of other 100 and 50 mile ultra's including Javalina and Umstead.

Tony took really good care of me last year at VT100 just a few days after Badwater. He helped me clean my feet at mile ~40 walking around getting me all the necessary feet cleaning stuff.

Then he helped me again at mile 70 when he was waiting for his runner Bob (who my husband happened to have taken back to their hotel room after DNFing at Margaritaville at mile 62).

Tony is super sweet and ended up shattering his 100 mile record this year, go Tony!

With my friends Emmy and Frank.

Emmy and Frank have run so many ultra's with me including the 24 hour race around the lake (where I met them), Umstead 100, Vermont 100 and JFK50.

Both Emmy and Frank are accomplished runners who finish 100 milers within 24 hours and then recover super fast and then run marathons/50 kms or other long distances within a week or so of completing a 100. They are running machines.

And yet both are so nice and friendly. And they have a super nice family. I always look forward to seeing Frank's family including his wife Pat and daughter Katie who are always so encouraging and take good care of Frank and all his friends.

With my friend Jenny before the race.

This year Jenny finished the 50 miler then started volunteering at the main aid station. Jenny is so nice and friendly.

Jenny and I ran a few miles of Rocky Raccoon about a month and a half ago. During this time she really lifted my spirits. She learned about my mom passing away and was so kind and supportive. She had met my mom at Rocky in 2009 (who became quite well known because she had a cat on a leash). As Jenny and I were running we discussed how I felt that my mom was there supporting all the runners from heaven and she concurred.

Jenny has been running many 50 and 100 milers recently and always runs so fast and consistently. She tends to finish in the top 3 of females and is so down to earth and encouraging (like so many other super fast runners!)

4 a.m. is very early. It is dark and cold. But luckily this year it was not wet.

After the multiple alarms went off I got down to the business of getting ready. I spent lots of time gliding before putting on my lucky outfit. While getting ready I drank my first diet Mountain Dew in 2 weeks. The caffeine hit me hard. But in a good way (well until my heart was racing in the car ride over after my 3rd diet dew and I thought I might need a trip to a hospital instead a trip to the start). Finally I was all ready and it was time for Tristan, Gilligan and I to drive to the race headquarters at the start/finish line.

Upon arriving at the park, Tristan parked the car then brought my drop bag to the main aid station so it could be driven to the second aid station. He then returned to the car just as I was finishing my last minute tasks (including attaching my bib to my fanny pack…how I forgot to do this on Friday night is beyond me. Perhaps I am becoming complacent).

We then walked to the main headquarters. I put my drop bag at the back of the lodge on a stack of benches. I get a little worried about putting stuff on tables because it is so easy to spill cups of soda, Gatorade or water and even though all my stuff is packed in Ziplocs I don’t want to risk anything getting wet or dirty.

Walking around the headquarters I was able to see my friends: Tony, Frank, Emmy, Monica, Luanne, Bill and many others. When refilling my water bottle I was able to chat with Myra, the race director’s wife for a bit. She is so sweet!

The next person I met was Jill. She was looking really good and was so enthusiastic and energetic. Each time I saw her on the course it would be like a breath of fresh air. I got a pre-race picture of us and wished her luck.

With a few minutes to go, I headed to the bathroom for a last second potty break. Now I was all set. After a quick picture with Blake who was starting to corral the runners, I headed back towards the Lodge to get in line at an appropriate place. I wanted to go out medium fast…I would define it as walk/running “with purpose”.

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