I love fatasses.
Not that kind, you pervert. Fatasses are a kind of ultramarathon where there's no entry fee, no numbers, no bibs, no winners, no losers, just fun. There's usually a very laid back chill energy at the event. People will be just doing training runs, or seeing how far they can push themselves with a generous time limit. Saturday's race, the Delaware Water Gap 50k, was a perfect example of that.
Iliana picked me up at 4am, and by the time we got there, I was extremely nauseas and she was weaving all over the road with exhaustion. We proceeded to complain and get ready and soon, after a nice runner helped me set up my new hydration pack (YAY!), we were on our way.
Before we started the race, the RD asked who was a virgin of the race. We moved forward. Hmmmm....He told us he didn't have enough of the gifts to go around; could we pair up with someone next to us? I paired up with this guy and we introduced ourselves...and then the RD gave one condom to each group. Ha ha. I carried the condom in my pocket the entire time, and no, I did not use it. But nice to know that he encouraged safe sex.
We started running out down a steep hill, another hill, and then along a highway (I think it was 80) and then we entered the Appalachian Trail. That trail will kick your ass. Kudos to all those who hike the entire thing, or even better, run it. Those people ROCK.
We began running up, up, up. It was steep, rocky, and a little insane. I was pouring sweat and I was walking - you couldn't run in so many sections of the race b/c of the loose rocks and leaves everywhere. I talked with Ray Sales about his latest adventures, Scott about fatherhood, Jackie about life, and Iliana about everything under the sun.
Iliana and I stopped to pee for what would be the 1st of 28 times (Okay, I'm exaggerating a little...just a little...) and lost everyone. That's fine, we were taking it easy, doing a training run.
The rocks continued. And the hills. It was really rough because I just wanted to RUN. Still, we had fun. Iliana and I talked about love, about work, about foreign languages, about our families, about friends, about babies, about settling. It was a fun day as usual.
There were some truly lovely views at the top of the mountains but I couldn't run with my camera in my hand - the rocks were too much and I was afraid I'd drop it or fall on it. Neither of us faceplanted (miracle!) but Iliana almost did - I caught her.
We finished the first of two different out-and-backs and ended in the start/finish/parking lot around mile 16 and changed into dryer clothes, refueled (aka ate and drank). I had trouble with my new hydration bladder, so I changed to my waist belt. (I had to drink out of Iliana's hydration pack the first lap and the passing hikers must've wondered as they saw...
We couldn't stop talking, laughing, sharing stories, having fun. It was a really great day. I dropped one of my pills in a pile of leaves and Iliana had to help me dig and find it. Oh, fun.
And then it opened up...and there were runnable sections. I felt great, and really pushed the pace.
We started to worry about the approaching sunset. I didn't know how fast the sun would set, or when, or where - so I kept pushing it. Neither of us had a headlamp (Well, I did bring a headlamp...and it was back in the car!).
We made it. We turned around a little early to avoid the darkness, but it was worth the peace of mind.
At the finish, we hung out with Ray and Scott and the really awesomely fun RDs. They had more than what is expected at a fastass - Mountain Dew and water and gatorade and cheese quesadillas and soups and snickers and other assorted deliciousness. It was really quite lovely.
And then we were driving back. My calves ached so much, I was forced to recover with pastries and moan the rest of the night to my boyfriend. But I had a blast on this incredibly rocky, pretty, hilly, fun 50k!