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I just wanted to write you and tell you a heartfelt thank you for such a great race day. Your volunteers are all amazing, the course is wonderful (much harder than I had a clue I was getting into). The other runners were also great. I want to thank you for giving me the green light that day to finish. I needed a finish for so many reasons (both running and non-running related). I started running a little over two years ago when my marriage, my job, my life… blew up. I have two young boys (just babies then) and I packed up and started my life over with $20 in my pocket and a great family to go home to. I ran because of stress and heartache (like so many I am sure). I ran because I had done it a bit in high school. I ran because I love it. I ran to escape. I ran because it gave me control. I ran…
During all of this running, I laughed and cried and blew my body up doing too much too soon. But I just knew I could do this. I feel like I am meant to. Along the way I fell in love and had my heart broken. I have learned that, for me, that is the worst running injury. Ann Trason said this is a thinking sport. And it is. For me, it is also one where you run with your heart. I had trained hard last summer and fall. REALLY hard. So many races where a DNF or DNS because my heart and head got in the way. I came to Texas, where I was unknown, and I could run with the one person I am only truly ever in competition with-myself.
I am big on gut feelings and I knew I should go to that pre-race dinner. Getting lost on the way, I thought that is why I felt compelled to go- so I could show up to the start on time. George sat with me at dinner and chatted and made me feel at home. Little did I know he would be my “trail angel” that next day. I spent that first 20 miles arguing with my brain not to quit to just keep walking and the point of the day was to finish- not my time. George checked on me throughout the day as we ran into each other and made sure I wasn’t going to miss cut-offs. By the time I got to you I had talked myself into smiling and a quick in and out of that station before I had time to think. Then I heard that I wasn’t going to make it. The runner a week ago would have stopped there, not wanting to be the last one, not wanting to put the volunteers out, not wanting to finish because my time was as ugly as my inner attitude. It took all of me to find the old me and ask if I could keep going. And you said yes. I knew then I really wanted this finish.
I ran into George again and started crying. He told me to keep going and that he would run into me at the aid station where my drop bag was. I think I saw him again at that first aid station where he told me that I get to keep going even if I miss those end cut offs. Now I wanted to make you guys proud. Heck I wanted this finish to make me proud too. So I ran. Then coming into Larry’s aid station I felt awful. My legs were on fire and I felt tired and was already “done” and thinking of what I was going to tell George. I took two anti-inflammatory pills ate the most amazing tortilla turkey cheese roll-up and headed off to the next station. And wouldn’t you know it, in about 10 minutes I felt great-even better than the first part of the race and I took off RUNNING. I saw George and he gave me the update and I flew to try and make that first hard cut off. I missed it by 9 minutes I think. I hung out, we talked, I ate. And I had 40 minutes to make it to that next aid station (Mile 40.5) before the last official cutoff. I ran. I heard George telling me to slow down, but I felt so happy. The WHOLE course was pulling for me and there was no way I was going to not make that cut off. My quad then cramped and I had to stop. I forgot to take salt. I didn’t have any on me and then I felt it on my face- so yes, I used my salt to try and get the cramping to stop (later I learned that I had too much salt and that my muscles cramps were just my legs tired from running). So I got the cramp to stop and ran. I got to that last aid station, I think, 12 minutes before the cut off. I wanted to take off flying but George, my trail angel, and Linda, his girlfriend and my crew, were there. And walking safely into my first finish was all that mattered. If you all hadn’t believed in me and given me the gift of time, I wouldn’t have had that finish. Once I knew it was really only me that could pull me off the course and I felt great- I think I cried 6 or 7 times “seeing” that finish in my head and knowing it was actually going to happen.
I strongly feel that you can’t run without love in your heart; not long distances anyway. Mine had been shattered and I came to Texas running on fumes. I left your race feeling such pride and love and I just can’t thank all of you enough for that gift. Please send my love, thanks, and appreciation to everyone else, too. I look forward to coming back next year and running and helping out after I get a 2nd overall finish the next time 😉
If any of you need anything, and I can help, I will in a heartbeat.
All of my love,
Congratulations to you and your volunteers for staging a great run. Your hard work showed. Your finish line hug and TLC was the icing on the cake.
Thank you for putting on a great. The only thing that could have made it better was if I had beaten Jack. What can I say, he’s a tough runner, especially on the CT trail.
And, a big thanks to all the volunteers, especially Larry & Antje.
Once again, thanks so much for treating me like family and for your support.
The food was great, the volunteers very helpful and the camraderie top notch.