So here it is, my race report. Please keep in mind that I'm still trying to process everything that happened this past weekend, and I'm still in shock from it all.
Saturday, May 24th : RACE DAY
Everyone around me seemed thrilled that the race day was calling for "cooler" conditions, the temp was 3 degrees in the morning with a high of 15 expected. I, on the other hand, was NOT thrilled! I hate the cold and I thrive on HOT/HUMID days. Oh well, what can you do?!
Loop #1: 0-20k
Corey and I approached the start line and assumed our position near the front of the pack. The race started and we TOOK OFF! I decided I wanted to take it out extremely fast, as I did not want to end up stuck in the pack on the trails.
The first 20k went by so quickly I can't even remember them! All I know is that they felt easy and effortless.
After the first loop Corey and I stopped at the aid station for about 2
mins to refuel. My Mom and Dad were there with our Perpetuem and
Mountain Dew ready to go, we had a quick sip of each and were QUICKLY
back out on course! I REFUSE to waste time at aid stations.
Loop #2, #3, #4 : 20-80k
I can't even begin to describe how amazing this part of the race was for me. Everything felt so easy to me! My legs were light and fast, my stride was effortless, I even had a few runners comment on how light on my feet I was :) The miles just seemed to roll by. I enjoyed every minute of the race. The aid stations were filled with amazingly supportive volunteers who were always there to cheer me on. Every time I went through the Gatehouse Aid Station the volunteers would ask me to give up one detail about my wedding, it was really cute. They started to refer to Corey and I as "the adorable running couple". (on a side note: if you can run 100 miles with your significant other, YOU CAN GET THROUGH ANYTHING TOGETHER).
I was amazed when I can into the 50 mile (80k) split at 8:16!!!! One of the volunteers actually told me I had achieved the 2nd place in the 50mile race and was shocked when I told him that I was in the 100 miler!! LOL!!
Loop #5, #6 and #7- 100-140k
I wish I had some cool stories to share about these loops, something about a wild bear encounter or a brutal obstacle that I overcame... But I don't. The miles just kept passing like they were still early on in the game. Yes, my legs were sore. Yes, mentally I was getting tired. But for some reason I was just inspired and wanted to push harder! I kept seeing all my running buddies out on the course (John M, Dale D, Alan M, Alex L, Sylvie K, Stephen B, Bill L, Catherine H... sorry, too many more to list) and it just made me want to push harder. I was so inspired by everyone's effort, especially Sylvie, and I wanted to be sure I was returning to favour to them.
Corey told me repeatedly that he had NEVER seen me run this well. He even got emotional because of it. I`m normally very hard on myself, and I think this was the first time he had ever seen me truly believe in my abilities.
Loop #8 -140-160k
What can I say?? This loop SUCKED for me. My legs hurt, my stomach was in knots and I was ready to be DONE with this race. Although I felt like I was falling apart on the inside, I didn't let it stop me from moving forward. Corey kept pushing me and reminding me how amazing I had done throughout the entire race. He wasn't about to let me fall into a slump. I pushed through, and forced myself to run even when I didn't want to. Luckily for me, the downhills did not hurt AT ALL at this point, so I pushed myself whenever we got to one.
As we approached the final climb, Corey took my hand. He kept me moving up the last brutal climb. I started to get VERY emotional. As we reached the top, someone yelled out "you're going to break the course record by an hour!" This made me break out into tears and pushed me into a sprint to the finish.
My final time was: 18:57:59 - 1st place woman!!
Previous course record was: 19:53:52
Not quite an hour, but I`ll take it! :)