Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Summer Beast Report

What started out as an overcast day with a pleasant breeze quickly turned hot and humid, then as night fell, mother nature decided to turn on the "cold driving rain" switch. 

Let me say this about running my first ultra.  I REALLY appreciated the volunteers at the aid stations every six miles.  They were the best.  They helped so much when the going got tough and ugly.  And boy did it get ugly.

Toward the end, every mile lasted forever and I may have been delusional but I swear as Widewaters finally came into sight, the geese stood down by the water on the other side of the canal and laughed at us.

Then the bushes turned into monsters.  I couldn't believe it.  I've run that towpath a thousand times but I never noticed the monsters on the side of the path before.  Maybe they only come out after midnight.

And the rain just kept pouring down. 

Finally we crossed the bridge to run the final stretch in and I thought all would be well very soon.  But somehow while we were running our last loop, somebody added extra mileage onto the winding path that leads to the finish line.  I don't know who did it or how or why, but that last mile in had to be 5 miles long.   Really nasty trick to play on a bunch of good hearted runners.

The most amazing thing I saw though, as we finished the second of our two 25 mile loops in the darkness, was watching the 100 milers heading back out into the wind and the driving rain to do their 3rd and 4th loops!

Mental toughness at its finest.

Here are a few pictures early on in the race while the running was still smooth and easy.

Great run with a great bunch of people.

Upcoming Races:
Run For Hope 5k - Saturday, Sept 4th, 9:30 AM , Tonawanda NY
Fleet Feet 15k - Monday Sept. 6th 8 AM, Buffalo NY
Harvest Moon Run - Wednesday Sept. 8th 6:30 PM, Pendleton NY

Next Ultra Up:
Oil Creek 100 Trail Runs- Saturday Oct. 16th, Oil Creek State Park PA