I told you Friday that my Saturday long run plans would include 30k on trails as part of a 50k relay. All I can say is that Saturday’s 20-plus miles were some of the most fun I’ve ever run.
The conditions couldn’t have been worse. It had rained and dropped a tiny bit of wet snow the night before, so the trails were nothing but mud. And when I say mud, I mean sometimes shin-deep mud. My leg of the relay, which I ran with my friends Jess and Janelle (sounds like a band, no?), didn’t begin until the 3rd loop of the five 10k loops, so it already had the impact of hundreds of feet all over it. Read: super slippery! I’m pretty sure each loop took us more than an hour to slog through.
Just staying upright was a challenge. By some miracle I managed not to fall, but Jess fell once and poor Janelle was on the ground five times. By the last loop, she had had her share of kissing the mud. We were all slap happy at that point, and I laughed until I had tears in my eyes.
A few comments on people who run ultras–what a fun, laid back crew. They’re out there for the joy of running and many don’t get caught up in their times (the way, ahem, some of us road racing peeps do). And can you beat the aid stations at ultras? Cookies, pretzels, PB & J sandwiches, the works. Gotta love it. Big props go to Phil Lang and Bullseye Runningfor pulling off a first-class event in the first year.
And of course, since it was Feb. 11, I ran with my Sherry Arnold bib on. I didn’t know her, but I can imagine that as a runner who lived in a beautiful state like Montana, she would have appreciated the quiet peace that can be found on a trail in the woods. It was an honor to wear her name and see many others doing the same.
How was your weekend run?