Any idiot can run a marathon. It takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultramarathon.
Which of course begs the question, What kind of idiot does it take to run an ultramarathon around a 1/4 mile track?
The answer is, a me kind of idiot!
The morning was kind of foggy and about 25-30 runners showed up. This is about double the turnout of the last couple of years. There was a wide range of runners; several running an ultra for the very first time, several who had run the Umstead 100 last month, Dave from my home state of Minnesota who was running this as a training run for a 24 hour run in a couple of weeks, a 78 year old dude who was a very fast walker, and a guy who completed his 198th marathon or greater distance race today (he's running 2 marathons in the next two weeks to make it a round 200).
Not much to say about the race itself, once you run around a 1/4 mile track, all the rest of the laps are kind of the same. The weather held out until about the 4:30 point at which time it started raining. Initially it wasn't too bad, but the intensity kept increasing until about the 5:00 point at which time it was a full-fledged thunderstorm with lightning. Scott, the race director, pulled us all off the course and we hung out under the pavilion eating cookies and swapping running stories. About an hour later, the storm moved off and it was safe to continue. The clock was stopped while we were all off the course, and then restarted with all of us at the start line again. The one hour break was both good and bad. My muscles had really stiffened up and it took a good lap of walking before I could get back to slow running. However, my heart rate, which had crept up to near 160 was back in the 145-150 range.
I had planned on running this as a two-three hour training run and evaluating my condition each hour and if I felt good I would run another hour. I ended up doing the full 8 hours and covered 37 miles. You can probably put an asterisk next to the mileage because of the one hour break, but I'm still counting it.
After every one finished we had celebration pizza and cokes, and then the award ceremony. I was completely surprised to find out that I was 2nd place female. There were several runners faster than me, but they stopped running after 25-30+ miles, either because they were training for a future ultra or recovering from a recent ultra. The prize was $20 off the entry fee to the November 50K race. Looks like there's no escaping the darkside once you cross over! The top gal, Margaret, ran 44+ miles and the top guy, Garth, ran 55+ miles.
Overall it was a great experience, I got to meet some super runners, and was very pleased with what I did.