I hate to do this to you all. This is going to be long. I'll try to keep my boring writing concise. Skip the reading if it's too long or boring. Look at the pictures!!
Saturday, January 21st was the first inaugural Everglades Ultras put on by Ultra Sports, LLC with Bob Becker as the race director. I have to say, this was a special race. The terrain was breathtaking, fast and easy as well as slow and challenging (see the video of mile 44). I finished with minimal whining and no crying. I did cartwheel at the end too. I came in third overall out of the women and won a beautiful, hand carved walking stick!!!!!!!!! Ok, there were only three women who finished but who cares?
H, another Addisonian, was there. She volunteered but would have rather been running. She was recovering from an injury. We camped out the night before the race and she showed me nebulae through the telescope!!! She was also at an aid station at the beginning of the race. Fun to have Addisonian talk and support!
All of the volunteers were wonderful and enthusiastic. The were so appreciated. The ladies at mile 33.5 were especially wonderful. One really babied me and gave me energy. Thanks volunteers.
Bob Becker organized the race extremely well for a first race. Well done Bob!!!!!!!!!
The State Park Rangers were all incredible and had big smiles for me when they went past. They were so laid back and seemed to be having fun. Nice to see such laid back law enforcement!
Biggest threats, poison ivy and mosquitoes. I successfully covered up as much of my body as possible to avoid poison ivy. I'm a mass of itchy mosquito bites though. Man, they can bite the hell out of you through clothes. Saw a small gator on the trail and a black racer back snake. I saw some of the cutest, tinyist deer tracs and a spider.
As far as the race went, I was very happy with my performance. I didn't cry. I only sat on the side of the trail once. I ran a lot despite very few, ok scratch that, NO LONG RUNS since Ancient Oaks in the beginning of December. I actually took very little extra HC. Maybe 30 mg on top of my 25 usual dose. It was a good amount for the day. The following two days I took 10 extra. Seems about right. I took two Zofran, one prerace morning and one when I thought I was going to hurl. I finished 50+ miles in 13.5 hours. I was happy with my performance. More than anything I felt so thankful that I had the opportunity to see places that very few people ever see. I got to meet new wonderful people and hang out with old wonderful people. It was an amazing weekend. Thanks Bob Becker!
Video of mile 44. I'd have this at the end but I can't caption it nor can I center it so, here it is.
|Big Cypress Boardwalk the day before the race|
|Gator mama and baby at the Big Cypress Boardwalk the day before the race|
|Some type of fig plant that is parasitic and becomes terrestrial. I really liked it because I took 100 pictures of it.|
|Friday, January 20, 2011 - look short sleeves at the prerace meeting!!!!!!!!!! Bob Becker, race director, in bright yellow on the left. I love Florida's warmth! Zane was snowed in Idaho!|
|Steaming swamps in the early morning on West Main.|
|Sun is rising, birds are chirping beautiful.|
|East Main tram, swamp on either side of the road.|
|Sun coming through the trees on East Main|
|My shoes were like this from about mile 8 on. Well, they got washed off in the unexpected creek crossing where I was convinced I was going to take on parasites or be eaten by piranhas.|
|Can't remember where this little beauty was.|
|Right after the most wonderful aid station at mile 33.5. Strangely out of place.|
|Back into the swamps on a tram. This one was very over grown and kept snagging my tiara. THE NERVE!|
|Out into the grasslands. Hot and beautiful.|
|It got so hot out there and I wasn't handling it well (stomach wasn't). I decided to take a rest. It worked wonders and I felt well enough to continue.|
|Mile 44. There was a lot of this at mile 44. Finished up with muddy, wet shoes and a big fat smile on my face.|
|A well deserved breakfast on Sunday morning.|