Blue Cruise 50k 2016- My first ultra
Let me just start this post by saying... HOLY CRAP I AM AN ULTRA RUNNER!!!!!
Now let's get down to business.
Now let's get down to business.
The Blues Cruise 50k started at 8:30am with packet pick up starting at 7:30am. Needless to say, we were up extra early and arrived plenty early. We grabbed our awesome swag and headed back to the car to get everything ready. And of course snapped some ridiculous pictures to capture the moments prior to my first 50k ever. So thankful that I had my awesome tasc Performance gear on. It held up well and was so comfortable the entire race.
This photo was taken by one of the photographers really early on in the race- probably around mile 2-3. We were trying to really pace ourselves coming down the gravel hill- it was way too easy to want to FLY!
Blues Cruise is known for its pretty epic aid stations. Even the first one was entertaining as we were greeted by this lovely smoking nun. I didn't really take anything from the first station other than some water.
Beautiful views were abounding in this race. It is one big loop around Blue Marsh Lake and there are plenty of chances to view the water.
This is the name and entrance of the second aid station.. Say it slowly and you'll see why it's so funny. The aid station was around mile 8 and is where I took my first drink of soda and I think pickle juice. I never tasted anything so good!
The pictures won't do most of the scenery justice, but I will share them anyway. You will thank me. I felt an amazing sense of peace and relaxation while running this race just because I was so disconnected from the "real" world. I left my phone in the car and was SO thankful I did. I wanted to allow people to live track me, but I did not want to see messages or notifications. I took a chance and just went free. It was so amazing. It also helped that I had an awesome friend, Bekah, who ran most of the race with me and showed me the ropes
Super blurry, but that's what happens when you try to take pictures when you take pictures while running.. slowly.. but running.
...same goes for selfies.
This path was more of a road, but it was so covered by leaves and everything else, it was still just as peaceful and wonderful as everything else.
At our 1/3 of the way point!! I thought it would be overwhelming to think that we still had 21 miles to go, but I really did not feel that way. We were just on an adventure!
Some more aid station pictures here. Everyone at this one was dressed up and they had some good stuff going on. They had french toast which people raved about. I think I just ate oranges and really salty chips and drank some soda and pickle juice again.
Halfway point- Still a lot of miles to go but smiling and ready to tackle ALL OF THE MILES.
Another awesome aid station.. and they even knew it!! Pink flamingos and an amazing array of food.
I had this delicious burger as a last minute decision because I didn't even know they were an option until I had already downed some soda and who knows what else.
We found a pretty impressive FUNGI in the forest. Loved the color.
Another picture that really doesn't do the scenery any justice at all. You could see the fog over the mountains and it was just breathtaking. Which was ironic because we had just come up a decent incline and were out of breath
THE ABSOLUTE BEST AID STATION EVER was at mile 21 (ish). It was the best for quite a few reasons. They are as follows:
2. We had to climb a ginormous mountain/hill/death incline to get there..NO SERIOUSLY. We did.
3. They took my pack off and filled it while I stuffed my face full of delicious calories.
4. BEER. We were so sweaty and at 2/3 of the way through, we definitely deserved to celebrate.
5. We got to run on flat ground for a while after this aid station which was also reason to celebrate.
But seriously, the volunteers at all the aid stations were great, but these people were just fantastic. I got a hug that lifted me off the ground and cheers for my first 50k and all of this gave me renewed energy to get it done.
More water.. my happy place.
Our last selfie together until the end of the race!! And coincidentally my last picture during the race too. I am not sure why. Maybe I was just absorbed in everything that was this race and looking forward to the finish.
Thankfully, there were photographers in there somewhere as we came down a pretty steep hill. It was really awesome that they had people out there to catch some shots of us on the course.
I can't really recall all the thoughts I had while running in this race.. except those silent (and those not so silent) curses as we approached climb after climb when I wasn't so sure I could power my legs through another one. There were many moments were my legs felt so burned out, but I never once thought "I can't do this" or "What am I doing here?" Maybe I am an extra kind of sick or crazy. However you want to spin it, that's totally fine with me because I had an absolute blast.
Right before the end of the race, you climb this gravel hill that you think you will never make it to the top of and then when you do, a nice man tells you that you are almost done. They tell you that you have about a quarter mile to go and you get really excited. You get even more excited when you realize you have someone to make that last little journey with. This guy I crossed the finish line with was that someone. I have no idea his name is (although I keep meaning to look him up in the results.. maybe I will) and only know that his IT band was burning (he told me). This is why the running community is so cool. We support each other no matter what and stupid little things mean a lot. All this is to say that we shared some conversation that last leg of the race and we crossed the finish line together. We crossed the finish line and he turned and gave me a high five. The coolest. I proceeded to tear up (okay, maybe some sobbing occurred.. and maybe Bekah laughed at me too) of course and get my finishers jacket.
All changed (not clean, just clean clothes) and some food in our bellies, we thought it would be fun to get one last picture with our new jackets before we hit the road.
All the swag- long sleeved shirt and visor for participating, jacket for finishing!!! Not too shabby.
Maybe you are all wondering whether I will be running any more 50ks?
The answer is..ABSOLUTELY!! I enjoyed this so much and will definitely be looking forward to my next one. No, I did not come home and sign up for another one, but it will be happening.
Would you ever consider a 50k? Are trails your friends or enemies?