My coach and I chose the GRT as my last long run before North Coast. I had pictures of a sunny day, a light breeze, and runnable trails in my head. My reality was somewhat different.
The weather was cool, drizzling on and off, and windy. I changed my outfit at the last minute (literally, I probably flashed half the field) to capris, a tee, and a jacket. I wished I had brought gloves but I hadn't thought I would need them after a week of 70+ degree weather.I pulled into Moraine State Park right at 8am and collected my bag, shirt, bib, and chip. I threw the swag bag and shirt in my car and visited the restrooms. Then we lined up and off we went!I was excited and happy at first. We were on the pavement for about 100 yards and then turned onto a crushed gravel path. It was easy running and I was holding back at just below 10 minutes per mile. People were blowing past me but I figured I would catch a good many of them later in the race. Then I hit the first mud pit and all my hopes for a good day flew right out the window.
For the next 9 miles I slipped and slid and walked and tried to gingerly pick my way around the above-the-ankle deep pits. Sometimes it was a quarter mile of mud, a small runnable section (like 100 feet), and then more mud. I gave up on picking my way around and just began sloshing through. My feet were freezing and felt weighted down. By the time I hit the turn-around at 10 miles I was wishing I had stayed in bed.
Elevation profile from the back of the shirt
After the turn-around the runners took a shortcut back to the trail we'd run out on. The short cut was in good shape and I began to hope that the return trip would be nicer than the out section, at least for awhile. My relief was short lived as the shortcut trail linked back to the main trail in less than a mile. It was back to mud and puddles.
I began to get really depressed and feel like this was never going to end. I ran Just A Short Run 30k in 3:07 just two weeks ago. Today I was only 13 miles in at that time. I was freezing, miserable, and probably surly. I just wanted to be DONE!
My shoes post-GRT
As I got closer to the beginning/finish and began to recognize landmarks I had passed on the way out I increased my pace but it didn't do much with having to walk every muddy hill. Finally I broke out onto the gravel path and then the blessed pavement and I was free! I crossed the line in 4:40 according to my Garmin. I collected my medal and quickly headed for my car to drive home shoe-less with the heat blasting!
Official times and photos will probably take a few days since the 50k and 50 mile won't be finished until later so I will update when I have those! For now I'm just glad I survived!
3/17 Shamrock Marathon
4/20 North Coast 24 Hour
7/27 Burning RIver 100M
8/24 Baker 50M
10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)
Brands I Heart:
Altra Zero Drop
Oh my! What a tough sounding race you had today. Cold mud cannot be fun ... not fun at all. Nice job on toughing that one out and I think you've definitely earned a long hot bath/shower.
Train smart ... race smarter.
Love the medal and the muddy shoes. My kind of race! Great job!
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner, INKnBURN Ambassador
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
That sounds like a totally miserable race, you did great in those conditions! Very cool elevation profile. Hope you've thawed out.
Sounds rough. I would have cried my way back and not finished. Good job at toughing it out.
Congrats on surviving such tuff conditions!
Thanks all. Official results are up:
The first woman only finished about an hour ahead of me (11:00 minute mile pace). Guess it was a tough day for everyone. Only the top 3 men broke 3 hours!
Geez Louise, no thanks!
The overall results prove that you kicked ass though, incredible!
Were the aid stations plentiful and did you partake in anything along the way?
There was an aid station at 4 miles and 14 miles with just water. And a fully stocked aid station at the 10 mile turn around. I carried a water bottle so no water stops for me. I ate a quarter PB&J, a handful of pretzel sticks, and a peanut butter cup at the 10 mile stop. After being out there so long I was starving! I dug through the goody bag and ate all the samples on the way home! Runner problems....
Tough race but you did it! I'd say they should rename this race the "Tough Mudder" but that name is already taken. Nice job!
PRs: 5K- 28:16 (5/5/13) 10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13) 4M- 41:43 (9/7/13) 15K- 1:34:25 (8/17/13) 10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14) HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)
I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to
More like Cold Mudder ha-ha, a race like that is a will breaker!
Sounds like a tough race. I love running on crushed gravel. Too bad the entire course wasn't like that.
Way to start the race with some excitement by flashing the field! It's amazing how the weather can throw us a curve isn't it? By this point I just pack for any conceivable conditions. Speaking of conditions, that mud sounds terrible. I can't imagine trying to work through that for a whole race. It was definitely a race to be survived, and you did that, so that's good, right? On to the next one!
PRs: Marathon (2:49xx; '13) Half (1:24:13; '15) 10k (37:25; '14) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:27; '14)
Barking Mad To Run
Congrats on finishing a tough event!
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Smaller By The Day
That medal is awesome, but I almost think they'd have to offer finisher's cash for me. That sounds less like running, and more like survival. My hats off to you for sticking with it, and finishing. Congratulations.
Weight 100 pounds lost
5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)
10K 48:59 April 2013
HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013
MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013