Race Report from LPTRunner Alison Wiedmann...
This craziness started back in October. I heard through a mutual friend of Todd’s about a group of runners that run at Lapham Peak on Wednesday nights. I thought- that might be nice to have someone to run with and meet people. Little did I know what I was getting myself into! I arrive and see about 20 people all looking very hard core! I heard foreign words like ultra runner, drop bags, and s-caps. (A little intimidating for a 5k/half marathon runner!) I quickly learned this hard core, talented group of runners is also very supportive and encouraging of one another and enjoy a good time!
Over the next few months I looked forward to Wednesday nights. Getting a good run in (more hills than I ever wished for), meeting new people (some I met more than once- “Hi, I’m Kevin!”) and enjoying the night! During these months I also watched my black loop time shrink, got some 5K PRs and ran my first trail race. And most Wednesdays someone would in a subtle or not so subtle way, ask when my first ultra would be or mention an ultra coming up. And so I started to wonder- is this something I could do? With this in the back of my mind, in February I ran part of the John Dick 50K- 19 miles, the farthest I had ever run! I realized the difference between road and trail races, the WONDERFUL encouragement LPTRs give eachother on the trails and the fun you can have!
And so that brings me to a week and a half before the Kettle Fun Run. Todd of course has been mentioning the fun run since the day after John Dick. I must have had a good run that Wednesday night and feeling adventurous or just plain gullible. But somehow Todd convinced me with only running 19 miles previously I would be able to run 38 miles. (In case you aren’t a math person-that’s twice as far!) So, that weekend I signed up! Looking back, it’s probably good I only had a week to worry and question my decision!
Race day arrives and I try to rest and eat well and pack (but what do I really need?) Todd picks me up and we head off…I realized I didn’t even know where we were running! We arrive at Nordic and get situated and I see some familiar smiling faces. Before I know it, it is 7:42 and Todd, Brian, Dave, Raul and myself are off running. After a mile or so, the nerves are gone and I’m enjoying the run. Friendly faces, good conversation and great weather!
Gradually the miles go by, the aid stations come and go, and Todd makes as many new friends as miles he’s running. (It’s too bad he’s so shy!) We eventually reach the turnaround and sit down for a bit! The rest of the run will be uncharted miles.
As we head back the miles become longer, the hills become taller, the rocks and roots become bigger and my pain tolerance reaches new heights. (Nutter Butters do seem to help take your mind off the pain for a bit.) I was “tormented” by talk of squishy beds waiting at home and magic trolleys that take you back to the start. I also reached new milestones- first marathon, first 50K, first 38 miles all in one night!
Looking back at this crazy night, I know I would not have been able to do it without the support and encouragement of these 4 fellow LPTRs! I know I would be hard pressed to find other runners that would wait (probably quite awhile) at the one mile mark so we could cross the finish line together. And so today I want to say THANK YOU!