Last weekend I participated in Lake to Ocean 100k from Port Myakka to Jupiter Island and it was 85% on single track. It was AMAZING!
The race was by invitation. It made me feel good that my Florida Ultrarunning family has welcomed me into their circle. Jeff Stephens invited me to join his inaugural race a few months ago. The only catch was that you had to have a crew. I don't know too many people and my husband is not interested in crewing me. Jeffy told me to ask a 2013 Vol State Alumni, Jan Walker. Within 20 minutes, I was invited to the race AND had a crew since Jan immediately accepted the challenge. Just prior to the race, the West Coast FURbies (Florida Ultra Runners) decided to do "West Coast" t-shirts for the race and included me in that despite not knowing me! What a great group of people!!!
I'm not sure I have much to say about the race. It was beautiful, it was amazing. Considering I spent the whole day on the trails, I hardly saw anyone. Running the better part of 65 miles (yeah, it's a 100k but I did go off in the wrong direction...a lot) alone was calming and centering. I just broke up the race into sections and took each part as it came. Knowing much of the trail very well, Jan was a fantastic resource as well as incredible support. There was NO WAY I could have done this race without her. NONE. THANK YOU, JAN FOR EVERYTHING! A few things about the trail, it was a challenge to keep my eyes on the well marked trail as well as the ruts and roots in the trail. I didn't fall spectacularly once. The bromeliads were breathtaking. Running through the swamp made me feel like Indiana Jones. When the sun set, the fire flies were magic. They were lazily floating around and giving me a show. Behind them, an amazing electrical storm. More than anything, I wanted to stop, stare and take it all in but I didn't, I kept moving.
I don't always run a lot during races and this one I did. I didn't take any pictures of my own nor did I wear flair. I didn't joke around much at the beginning or during. I was actually pretty serious because, for good reason, I was a little in doubt about my ability to complete this race.
Seven people finished officially. Three of us finished unofficially. I finished 29 minutes after the cutoff for a total of 18 hours 29 minutes (First Place Loser!). Jan ran me into the finish at 12:59 am on Sunday morning. For the last three miles, I was in a downpour and lightening storm. At the finish, I ran past everyone at the picnic area (yes, there were some awesome people sitting around in the rain at 1 am!) and right down the beach into the Atlantic ocean!
Thanks to Jeff for inviting me, Jan for being amazing, Paul for making my running and training possible (and for taking care of the animals when I'm gone). Thanks to everyone at the race for being so nice and so much fun!
I'm going to do a separate post for meds and aftermath.
|Me bottom left, Jan to my right|
WEST COAST! (WC won)
|Pre-race meeting. Me sitting on the ground. Jan behind me standing up. Jeffy, the RD, talking to the group|
|At one of the "Aid Stations" Picture complements of Jan Walker|
|Right after a stretch of 97 degree heat and swam slogging. Picture complements of Jan Walker|
|It really was 97 degrees!!|
|Oh yeah, don't try something new on race day. If you do, expect it to hurt. Chafing from my pack and lack of clothing.|
|Cool! The view on the way home|
|I am easily amused. This was on the way there|