You know you are in for a hot day when you are sweating and the race hasn't even started yet.
The Hot 2 Trot is held at one of my favorite places to run, Sweetwater Creek State Park. The course consisted of 1.18 mile loops which included single track, jeep trail, a little bit of paved road, a lot of flat, some downhill, and a walking hill that the front runners ran. There were a few roots, but it was very runnable and trail shoes weren't a requirement. There was one aid station at the start/finish area that had everything you might need, including lots of ice.
The heat wasn't too bad at the beginning, there was some cloud cover and even a misting of light rain, but that just meant that the humidity was at 100%. It is definitely humid when your glasses fog up and the temperature is 80 degrees. I was making good time the first 3-4 hours and was realistically expecting to cover at least a 50K. There was one unexpected surprise at about the one hour mark. Jason was ahead of me on the hill when suddenly he stopped and yelled in pain. There was a yellow jacket nest near the trail and apparently they weren't happy with all the runners running through their neighborhood. I made it through this lap unscathed, but the next time up the hill I got zapped. I'd never been stung by a yellow jacket before. OMG they hurt! By the next lap RD Sarah and her sidekick were out there with some kind of bug bomb. Sarah made me RUN up the walking hill, though, so they could get some space between runners while they sprayed. I was afraid that the killer yellow jackets would just get pissed off, but I was unmolested for the next seven hours.
I stopped once to use the restroom (they had a port-pottie, but if you walked 5 yards off the course there was a restroom with flush toilets!) and once to change socks and shoes. At about the four hour mark the heat started getting to me and I slowed way down. At this point I knew I wouldn't be getting a 50K, but I kept on moving and wound up with 24 laps which is just over 28 miles.
After the race we had burgers and veggie-burgers and the awards were handed out. It was fun catching up with and congratulating everyone on their great efforts. There were some speedy folks out there. I really enjoy myself at GUTS events because I knew just about everyone who lapped me as well as all the volunteers.
Thanks Sarah and your crew, I had a fantastic time!
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