Man this is long. I’m so chatty though, I don’t know how to make it less so…
I had quite the reception waiting for me at the Fire Tower-my two pacers, Josh and Luc were there, Luc’s wife Jennifer, and Mike, who had dropped at mile 42. It was nice and refreshing to have someone to talk to out there.
Starting on the orange, I was so slow again, going up the uphills. I was with it mentally, more, having taken a caffeine pill, but just physically becoming so poky slow. Josh gave me the summation after Hickory Ridge-we were okay to get to the Grist Mill, but if we didn’t pick up the pace, we would probably time out before the Covered Bridge. So we tried to do more running-well, it’s hard to call it that. It’s more like I’m not walking, just slogging along. It was so foggy on top of the hill, I had to keep asking Josh and Luc if it was foggy or just me!
Where Josh is the Hero
We pass mile Marker two, and see a light below us. The light is focused on us, and Luc and I can’t figure out what is going on. Josh is ahead, and comes upon Runner 137, Ed, who is down. First, we thought he had fallen, and that’s why he was down. Ed is hurt. Josh takes charge and tells me and Luc to go on ahead, and he will help Ed. Luc and I finally get off the hill-it’s less than one mile-and I finally come to my senses and tell Luc to take off and run to the Grist Mill in the shortest way possbile, and I will continue to follow the course down to the Grist Mill.
Right before we found Ed, I was getting ready to tell Josh I was dropping. We were getting closer to the cut off just for the Grist Mill alone, and I knew, with the three big climbs along the river, that it would have been very hard to get to the CB before cut off. After we found Ed, I did have a bit of an adrenalin rush, but that wore off fairly quickly, and I was having just a fair amount of trouble getting off the hill. As I walked on toward the Grist Mill, alone, I realized I was just going to hit the cut off there-and I was okay with that. 25 more miles, in my very very poky state, was not going to get me to the finish line.
Jennifer, who was waiting for Luc at the Grist Mill, drove us back to the Campground where the emergency people still had not started up the hill for Ed. Ryan, the race director, was there all of a sudden, and had started up the trail for Josh and Ed. I followed Ryan, figuring they could use all the lights we had.
Josh and Ed are almost off the hill at this point!! Ryan joins Josh and helps Ed to the rest of the way off the hill. It turns out Ed is having either kidney or back problems, I’m not too sure.
I start to have my usual post race problems-I’m getting light headed just standing there. This means I am getting ready to faint, and I go to the other side of Jennifer’s van. That’s all the emergency medical people need, another runner just up and fainting for no apparent reason! I sit for a while, then throw up (also normal for me) and Ed is whisked away, and Luc and Jennifer drive me and Josh back to the race finish. It turns out, (which is what I thought) I was the last runner out on the course. If we hadn’t been so slow, we may have passed Ed while he was still running. So I think it’s somewhat of trail karma that I was so slow, and had two pacers with me so Josh and Luc could help Ed. And, after seeing a downed runner, it really was not that important for a race finish. It put things into a really good perspective.
We get into the pavilion and see Gabe sleeping on top of the picnic tables-he had a phenemonal finish, 21 hours something! Along with Regis, and many other friends with great finishes, which I think should be a post by itself. Some friends who also didn’t finish too.
I stayed around for a while, cheering runners in, making sure to get out and cheer Fred Davis in-Fred was completing the 1000 mile–10 Mohican finishes!! I left before the award ceremony, eager to head for home. I declined a 50+ Mohican medal-I already had one of those, to me it’s an “Almost Finished Medal”. Since I had selected a men’s technical Mo shirt, I passed that along to Josh, as a gift for pacing me-more trail karma, I won’t wear a shirt that I didn’t finish the race in, so Josh got a nice Mo shirt, which he can wear, since he was both a volunteer, a pacer, and a finisher from last years race!
Many things went well for me for this race, and I will write about that in a separate post. Most importantly, it’s so good to have FRIENDS out there! Nick, Wendy, Josh, Luc, Jennifer, Bryan, Mark, Rob, Mikey, Kathy, even Walt who wanted me to run the purple loop twice!!
It was a well managed race this year also, thank you, Ryan, and all the wonderful volunteers who gave up their weekend to cater to us runners!