In this particular race, it is a mighty fine feeling to finally make it to the 35 mile point because you know that there are no more HUGE hills to do. After the major undertaking of the WALLS (a section of the course that has very steep hills followed by very steep down hills. This goes on for a mile or two), I figured since I was feeling really good that I should pick up the pace. I was running nice and easy up to this point chatting away with everyone I could. I started running around 10 minute miles until I reached the 5k more point. Then I turned it up to sub 9 min miles to the finish. I love it because I get to pass all the people who started the race at sub 9 min miles. lol. Starting slow is a wise thing to do most of the time in these runs.
I was thankful for the cloudy weather during the race. It did storm like crazy and pour down rain for about an hour or less at one point. But for the most part the clouds blocked the sun so towards the end of the course where things are very hot and exposed it was not so bad. I did get very hot though after I picked up the pace to 8 min miles or so. My face was red and I was getting dehydrated since I traded off water for coke for the last three miles. It was worth the wonderful coca cola rush though.
The above water jugs were my close friend when I felt hot. I would pour some in my mouth and pour ALOT on my head. These jugs are located at the last turn of the course. At his point there is two miles left to the finish line. I poured water on my head and booked it fast to wartrace to get my finishers medal.
The guy behind me was such a great sport. At the 5k to go point I heard a guy yell, “HEY WASHINGTON!!!!!!!! WAIT UP!!!!!!!!!!!” He had left his friend in the dust to catch me. We ran together until he wanted to take a walk break where I just kept on at my faster pace. I had about .5 miles to go and one last hill and I had to walk. I was all dizzy and dehydrated. I had not taken care of my intake for about an hour or more. Look at the dude, he caught up to me and finished just behind me. I gave him a big hug, he hugged me back, and we laughed about trying to run fast at the end of 41.2 miles. I really enjoyed running with him. At the finish my friend was right there waiting for me along with Lisa who was waiting for her husband and friends. I did not partake in the BBQ chicken this year but I did have another coke. LOL. I sat down and watched the winner of the race down his beer (a brazilian man who finished in 4:44:43). The fellowship at this race is just wonderful. My friend and I stood around and talked with the family for a pretty good amount of time watching others finish which is one of my fav things to do at this race. We finally got in the car to head back to the motel when all heck broke loose. The rain had come, the floods had started, and it was going to be the worst in 100 years. Thank God for Carrie, Lisa, Mike and fam who took great care of me. 🙂
Overall the race was awesome. I loved it. My next post will be on the added adventure of being in one of the worst floods Tennessee has ever seen.