Rails to Trails 100K race recap:
I will start with a course description. We start in a medium town and run south to a very small town then continue to small town. After that we continue south to a smallish town then proceed to an extremely small town and turnaround and head north back to the original medium town. We do that for 62 miles with a little less than 900 feet of elevation gain. The course views were mainly flat farmland in Kansas. Lots of cows but a did see a combine actually moving. I did like the tree lined course though. The weather was perfect. It started out in the 30s but never made it out of the low 60s. The sun was shining and there was very little wind. I could not have asked for a better day. Pictures from the smallish town and the trees around the trail.
Now for my crew. They were awesome. Not one of them is an ultra runner and only two are regular runners. I worked with two of them for a combined 30+ years and the other two are family members in addition to being great friends. We had fun learning what to do on the fly. I was mostly confused on what I needed when I needed it. They were there doing everything necessary to keep me moving and well supported. My pacers were the only reason I finished. At times we did not see people for hours, when the sun went down I would not have made it by myself in the dark. I have praised this magnificent group in other forums and I cannot say enough about how grateful I am of them. These are the best four people I could have ever asked to finish this journey with me.
How I got to this point. I want to thank North Texas Trail Runners for being the first group to get me to run more than a 5K on the trails. Dallas Dirt Runners (D.D.R.) this group put the idea in my mind that I can something this crazy. If I named all the individuals it be pages of praise. I am going to single out Ray Liberatore for being a person who not matter how a feel just talking to him calms me down and gives me confidence in my abilities. My Wednesday running group: Kenny Hallman, Darren Beck, Dennis Starkey and Noemi Moreno Lusk to name a few. Those Wednesday night runs with this group are must do runs. I will drop a few more names Agustin Negrete, Nikki Davis and Elisa Norman, I have not run with these three much lately but they have inspired me to run far, faster and do stupid things. I had to find some fun in this longest of long runs.
I am happy to have buckled the eff up with a 100K. I have regained the ability to walk somewhat normal as of now. The chaffing is not as bad as I thought it would be. I am having trouble standing and sitting but it is just sore muscles. I also have some mystery bruises. I am overall elated and feel accomplished. I finally feel like I am somewhat of an ultra runner. Bonus information, I finished in a time of 15:06:47. I was trying for 14 but this is good time for me. I took second in my age group and yes there were more than two of us in my age group. Lastly, I finished in the top half overall.
It was a long training season but worth it. I had some ups and downs but mostly good times. I had two DNFs in training races and literally had wasps flying out of my shorts in a training run. I had a hard time sitting after that incident. I also made some great friends on the trails and my last to lead up training races I set all sorts of personal best. While in Kansas, I had to get some Kansas City beer for the celebration.
One more thing on the Kansas trip, I drove through the Flint Hills section of Kansas. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I can’t explain it. It is simply rolling hills but so much more. I can’t wait to run a marathon out there. Sorry for the no pictures on this section.
The best part of the weekend was my son graduating from the fire academy.
This ends my journey to a 100K. I miss hiking so much. I am going to take some time off from trail running and get back to hiking once my legs are stable.