There is not much new to say about this race. I’ve done the 24 hour here twice and the 48 hour once, so this was a return visit. I had really hoped to stay on the course the entire time because I usually end up leaving with at least 4 – 5 hours to go. The reasons for leaving are varied; usually the weather plays an integral role. Sometimes it’s too cold, or rainy, or windy, but this year the weather turned out to be just right. I cannot use that as an excuse. In fact, the short period of rain and wind that did occur turned out to be during the 5 hours I spend away from the course sleeping. That was pure chance but it worked out in my favor.
No, my reason for not sticking it out for the full 48 hours this year was a bad blister situated under a hard callous on the sole of my right foot. In rereading my previous reports about this race, I realized that I had had the same problem in past years. While the course is asphalt, usually a good thing (for me), the surface is jagged and broken in places and, combined with the inclines/downhills on the course, the result is a challenge to my sensitive feet. This year was no different. After 24 hours on the course, I began hobbling and changing my gait to accommodate the chestnut-sized lump on the sole of my foot. I decided to return to the hotel (the nearby Holiday Inn) to shower and get some sleep. I was optimistic that after a few hours with my feet elevated, the situation would improve.
That was not to be, however. After a welcome 5-hour rest and a change of shoes and socks, I began walking around the one-mile course once again. I was refreshed and ready to go (and had missed the rain shower), but my feet were still bothering me. Around 8 pm, my only objective was to get to 100 miles and receive my buckle. It took me until 1 in the morning to achieve that goal. During those midnight and early morning hours, I walked the course with Kimberly, and our chatting helped to pass the time. After she reached 100 miles, I decided to continue for another couple of laps, take a break, and then bide my time until a reasonable hour when I could text Darcy to come get me. My final mileage was 104 and I had spent 44 hours on the course.
Despite these blister problems, I enjoyed myself tremendously. I know a lot of the runners who return every year to do this race; it was great to visit with Joyce and Ray as well as Kim, Jim, Doyle, and others. The race director, his wife, and the many helpful volunteers are welcoming and pleasant. I’d like to give a special shout out to the kind man who controlled the timing booth for the entire race and always let me know my lap count. The food and drink were plentiful, there are real bathrooms, and other than my blisters, I have no complaint. Next year, I will probably attempt the 24 hour rather than the 48 and give my tired feet a break.