It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity – The Cremator 50 Miler in Port Royal, SC (July 19, 2014)

This ultra is the perfect race for someone who loves heat and humidity and prefers pavement over trail. I enjoyed the race so much last year that early on I decided to try it again. And this year, RD Tim Waz, in a perfect example of gleeful sadism, decided to offer a Double Cremator. People could choose to do 50 miles on Saturday and then return for another 50 on Sunday, thus earning a well-deserved buckle. I was tempted but sanity prevailed; I realized that with a generous 14 hour cut-off on the first day followed by a more restrictive 13 hour cut-off the next day, I would probably not be able to meet the 2nd day’s time limit. About 20 people did sign up for the double and since they are probably running it as I write this report, I wish them well.

I was very happy I settled for the single option. Although the race was every bit as enjoyable as last year (when I finished in 12:50), this year was decidedly different for me. Although the weather was cooler – yes, some of us do call 82 degrees cool – the humidity was noticeably higher. For some reason, this affected me adversely and I had a queasy stomach for the whole second portion of the race. Fortunately, most of the day was overcast and there was seldom any direct sun. I also had other problems. My quads, which never bother me, tightened up, and I could feel the beginnings of a blister on the ball of my left foot. The course consists of 2 out-and-back stretches, 12 ½ miles each way, along Route 21 along the beautiful sand marshes and quaint towns of low country South Carolina, and while the scenery was beautiful and the people friendly and supportive, it was definitely a struggle for me to complete the second loop.

Once again, my ever-patient husband served as my crew, meeting me every 2-3 miles to exchange water bottles, Gatorade, and cold compresses. There are fully stocked two aid stations, one at the start/finish line and one at the turn-around point, so food needs are well taken care of. Unfortunately I had little appetite because of my nausea so it was difficult to consume enough calories. It’s only been in my last 2 ultras that queasiness has become a problem so I will have to do more research to figure out a solution.

Final results are not yet published since the 2nd part of the race is currently taking place, but it looks like I finished in 13 hours and 20 minutes, considerably longer than my last year’s finishing time. However, I was extremely happy to be welcomed across the finish line by Tim and his band of wonderful volunteers. The medal this year is a handsome beer opener (yes, I can definitely put that to good use – this is one medal that won’t be decorating my medal tree).

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