This past Sunday I ran Turkey and Taturs for the first time. I knew this race would be challenging due to the rocks, roots, and twisty singletrack. I did not know that the hardest challenge would come from my body, not from the course, but I will get to that later.
The day dawned cool and slightly cloudy...perfect weather for a trail run! I was signed up for the 50k and Brian Hoover promptly set us off at 6:30 am. There was just enough light to see the rocks as the sun was just coming up. The races quickly spread out and I settled into an easy pace with some running buddies. We soon approached the first very well stocked aid station. It was only a few miles in so I just grabbed a couple of pretzels and ate on the run. Right after this it was onto Powerline for the first time. The group quickly separated and I was running alone.
I was feeling well and caught a friend I had met at Pumpkin Holler a few weeks ago. We wended our way around chatting and laughing while the miles rolled by. We reached the aid station at the lower parking lot where Arnold Begay and my wife were in charge. They took my jacket and gloves and I was off again. This was at about 11 miles or so. This was a crucial moment in the race. I was hungry, I felt like I was a little behind on calories, but the fun and slighly competetive nature of our running group kept me moving. Not long after this we arrived at the half way point.
I watched as my running buddies ran through the turn around and I stopped. I momentarily debated dropping from the race. I did not feel well and I had started with hamstrings that were less than ideal. I told a volunteer I was thinking of dropping. She promptly said..."well, only you can make that decision and you are the one eho has to live with it". Hmmm....ok....obviously dropping was no longer possible so I chugged some Gatorade and took off. I quickly caught up to John Nobles. He had rolled his ankle at mile 1 and he was not having the best run. We hung together for about 2 hours. We chatted and enjoyed running together. I joked that this was probably the only time ever I would see the front of him in an ultra!
We had about 6 miles to go and I was feeling a little frisky so John and I parted ways. By some miracle I ran a big portion of powerline...ok...there were some hikers and I wanted to look tough. Ha! I was now about four miles from the finish. I cruised through the last aid station and headed for home. I was pretty sick to my stomach at this point. I actually was not feeling good for the past 2 hours, but I was going down hill pretty quick.
I finally saw the bridge leading to the finish and knew I was less than a minute from finishing. Once I crossed the line Barbara took good care of me. They said I was really pale and looked pretty dehydrated. Miraculously I did not throw up, but I probably would have felt better if I had. It took about an hour or so to start feeling good. We hung around, ate, and cheered in the other racers.
This was an awesome event and one I highly recommend! I struggled because I did not listen to my body. I should have taken the time to eat, hydrate, and add some extra body glide!