Now, because the event is put on by regular folks, names of runners are unknown to volunteers (besides "repeat offenders"). It was cute to be asked at the sing in if I ever run a trail, ever donw a night run, and have an idea what to eat when I do this thing. I just smiled. You also don't know who else is in the race until you show up - and get a print out of participants. Only 7 female were listed this year, but the total was the biggest in a decade, 70 runners. I came with a goal of 22 hrs and, obvioulsy, a belt buckle. I knew only a handful of folks - and I mean a handful: Keith Knippling, Greg Loomis, Dan Brendan, Bedford Boyce and Levy Rizk. Levy and I scouted the first/last 7 miles the day before the race and were glad we did.
Usually the weather plays a huge negative role at OD100, but we lucked out so much, I have no words. Some did complain on the heat, but for this newly-Texan, 80's and humidity way below 50% felt a paradise. The race starts at 4 am, but it goes through the town of Woodstock for 3 miles and then ventures on a road up, so lights are not necessary at all. Then the grey starts coming up. The field spread out some, but still kept close. After 7 mile AS you hit long steep-ish downhill and make a loop on half-trail and half-road for Boyer. Besides this little thing (about 2M on trails) first 32M are all road-run. I wore my old road shoes, to get rid of them was about time (2 years old?). Actually, come to think about it, the whole thing can be easily done in road shoes, in fact, trail shoes are contra-indicated. I was smack on time on my predicted splits, and despite running roads, was extremely happy. I felt awesome, I didn't breathe any hard at any point, I was hydrating and eating gels on cue, I ditched my old shirt (ran first marathon in it, 9 years ago) at AS and was running in bra for cooling effect (Texas teaching), and I was listening to my music. Talked to an "Alabama" guy (who happened to be Dink Taylor) just past mile 25, I think, told him how I always happen to have some serious thing happen to me in the last 20 miles or so (like, rolled both ankles at RR, broke tail bone at Cactus, explosive pooping at WS..). What an idiot, jinxed myself! Was passed a few minutes before 20M AS by a woman, and learned from volunteers we are 1-2. She worked hard to pull away. I could care less, besides, it was mile 20, for God's sake, who races that early! Had some stomach loose, visited woods couple of times, hit Immodium, was ok after.
The Holiday Inn across had a great lady at the counter who let us use one room for the showers. It took me all I had to get in a tub (standing was not an option). I dozed off at the hotel lobby for another hour or so. Then I had to be out (ladies boss was coming), and it was raining outside. God, I was glad I am done. Got back to start/finish, dozed off some more. Dan Brendan, the animal at 60+, finished a couple of minutes behind me. Levy did 23:50, and he only had 1:30 to break 24 with 7 miles to go (so, 1:20 for those 7, and 2 hrs for me). The boy is tough! Also, shows what I lost...oh, well. Below is a synopsis from the VA Happy Trail runners: