Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free State Trail Ultras 09

Just after finishing the 40 Mile run at Free State on Saturday:
Saturday morning at Clinton Lake near Lawrence, KS I participated in the Free State Trail Ultras for the second year in the row. Last year I ran and finished the 100K but this year I opted for the 40 mile event since I had promised my friend (running his first marathon) that I would run it with him (the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon the next day, Sunday). The Clinton Lake trails were in good shape other than a little mud here and there which just makes it more fun. It was a warm, muggy day. I think I started sweating even before we started the race at 7:00 am. I had lots of fun on the course talking to all sort of runners, chatting about Leadville and other runs and everything from politics to garden planting!

I finished the first 20-mile loop in 4:00 and headed back out. I was loving my new camelback hydration bag that I purchased at the Great Plains Running Company. Never ran out of water the whole day! During the second loop I was running along in a train of 3 runners, a woman ahead of me and a guy behind me. I can’t believe I can’t remember their names – we ran together for hours! Anyway, all the sudden I started screaming in terrible fright and turned around and sprinted the opposite way, almost running into the guy behind me. “What!? What!? What is it?”, he said. “A-a-a-snnnake!” I stuttered and yelled and pointed ahead. It was just a harmless green snake about 18 inches long but I don’t care. It was awful. Once I turned around and convinced myself the snake was gone and it was okay to run again, I couldn’t help but sprint for some reason. We had a few sprinkles in the second loop – nothing too much – just threatening clouds and a little thunder. I finished with no problems, no major moments of discouragement or anything like that. I did realize only afterwards that I had a silver dollar-sized blood blister on the back of my right heel.

I ate some food and visited with other runners at the finish line and left to go home. 10 minutes to the West I hit rain and thunder and lightning and wind and I started to worry about the runners still on the course. Then the tornado sirens went off and I was listening to the radio reports of serious tornado threats. Anyway, come to find out later that the race was called off a couple hours after I was done running due to the tornado and everyone was sent home. Crazy day in Kansas. Meanwhile I drove home to Wichita, worked in the garden a little bit and went to sleep.

Next year I’m doing the 100K at Free State!