|Deer Skulls Wearing Sombreros! You never know|
you will see on a trail.
|Tom the Creek Troll|
|A tame section of the muddy trail|
At around mile 5 I was met by Tom the Creek Troll at the creek crossing. The water here is about thigh deep, it was cold but felt refreshing. For the next 2 ½ hours I was in second place of an ultramarathon (yes, I know I left an hour before anyone else but let me have this fantasy please)! To pass the time, I sang Garth Brooks and OAR songs. As the true leaders came flying through I was in awe of their speed and ability. They all wished me well and I did the same. Trail runners are a friendly lot.
After many hours, I started to get some chafing in a couple of very awkward places (use your imagination). It was becoming very uncomfortable. At the time, I was running with a bunch of guys. The pain was becoming excruciating so I blurted out, “Does anyone have any vasaline or lube?” I was met with an awkward silence realizing that asking a bunch of guys for such things in the middle of the woods may not have been the best strategy. I decided that my options were to grin and bear it at the risk of losing a testicle or drop out. I kept running. If Lance Armstrong can live with one nut, so I can I. Odd decisions one makes when in distress. (I am happy to report that “righty” is doing just fine).
A majority of the trail was under water or very muddy. This presented challenges but nothing that couldn’t be overcome. The day turned quite beautiful. I even took off my long sleeve shirt around noon and opted for the short sleeves. There were tons of extremely nice and cheery runners and the aide station volunteers were fantastic. I never did get to run with Aaron but after the race he and his friends Pat and Mike (also from Pittsburgh) came over to the house for showers and beer. Later it was off to Kelly and Tom’s for a goodbye party.