50K – 31.0685 Miles
Elevation Loss over 50K: 9,570 ft
Avg. Speed: 3.7 mph
Temperatures were around 50 degrees race day morning. Not wanting to be late, Missus Gj and I headed out from our hotel room around 5am. The drive took twenty minutes. Parking attendants directed us to our parking spot, about 400 meters from the stat/finish line. This was necessary since the Relay teams had to use chase vehicles to meet the respective team runners at the various relay points; their race begin their race at 8am
Although we arrived early there where many runners already readying themselves for the arduous journey ahead (and that is not an understatement). I began to double check, no make that triple check my equipment: My Buddies pictures - check (Please note that I did not carry them around my neck due to the many hazards I would encounter on this run – Missus Gj held them for me at the finish line – she did show them off for all to see), Hydration pack – check, power bars & gels -check, trail shoes – check, drop bag – check, safari hat – check, all is ready
The next several sections of the ultra were technically more challenging and would be worthy of rating of anywhere from a 3 to 5. Most time trails were nonexistent as we blazed our way through poison ivy patches, nettle bushes, around fall tree and 3 knee high streams with muck and mud abounding - It was heaven. As I started to land after jumping a hefty tree blocking the trail, my left calf felt like a hammer hit it. Looking down I didn’t notice any blood so I continued on… this was somewhere around mile 9 ….I should have looked first since on the far bottom side of the truck was a broken limb just waiting to give me my first and only injury of the race. Only now a week later is the bruising evident….
I could go on and on about how beautiful the weather was last Saturday, how challenging the trails were and much I enjoyed the “Dances with Dirt Ultra” race, but there are not enough words to describe it adequately; it has to be lived, experienced - for through the pain of the 31.0685miles I found life and was able to spread the word about my Little Buddies to many runners….