Lunar Trek Ultramarathon Done
what i signed was my reg for the Lunar Trek 50 K (31 mile) ultramarathon in Scandia, Kansas. i've never run farther than marathon distance, so tackling 31 miles was daunting. then throw in the fact that the race starts at 11 p.m. and you're not only battling mileage, but the fact that your body wants to be asleep. then, throw in mud - lots of good, slow, ankle-pranking mud - and you've got a heckuva race.
dad and i completed the Lunar Trek this morning...around 5:30, just as the sun was coming up. to say that was a weird experience is not doing it justice. i am, however, so pleased with our time (6:28 total - this included long stops at aid stations and some walking) and even more appreciative of the great couple of days I could spend with my parents.
i couldn't have done this without my dad's support. moreover, neither of us could have been so well prepared and taken care of without Ma Woo, who, as always, met us every five miles with everything from fruit to candy to a suite of Hammer Nutrition products to crazy stories of her own adventures throughout the night (see the state of the family SUV below).
the organizers deserve an incredible amount of praise. they did such a nice job not only welcoming us to their small Kansas town, but laying out a challenging course with ample support and fun. big thanks to the families along the route who opened their farms/barns/drives to us and provided everything from boiled potatoes to booming hip-hop to keep us going. i will be back next year.
i just noshed on a cheeseburger and am one Pale Ale into the "recovery" process. i feel great - not sore and just a bit tired. the blessing of running dirt and gravel roads is their forgiveness of joints.
here's a quick breakdown of my mental/physical state during the race...a bunch of folks have asked what parts were the hardest, etc. keep in mind this was an out and back, we made up our extra one mile at the turn-around point. thanks to all who provided encouraging Facebook posts/texts/e-mails/calls. really meant a lot to me.
Felt super tired, almost instantly. My body's way of saying, "It's midnight, dumbsh#t. What is this?" Rolling hills, lots of mud.
My favorite stretch of the race. Beautiful run near tree lines and on small dirt roads.
This was hard. We easily felt the extra half mile and the long, straight stretches were mind numbing. This was about 3 a.m. and my head was wandering and i got sleep-tired again.
After maybe my favorite aid station (mmm, boiled salted potatoes and hip-hop echoing through a barn), we booked it on this stretch. Felt great, but sort of stupid, as we hit the next aid station pretty beat. I got a good second wind here, but felt out of sorts.
Nothing sounded good at the last aid station, so I ate a peach and drank some water. this was a great stretch - we got our pace back and put our heads down. was seeing the end in sight and enjoying the upcoming ability to say, "This is the farthest distance I've ever run."
It was clear that at this point, we just wanted to finish. We kept up a good conversation, as we had the entire way, but our pace and our speed up hills increased slightly. We battled the mud pit again, which slowed us down and wore us out, but the focus was on the faint light of the Pike Valley High School on the horizon.