|Pre-race photo with my new friend Stefan, who is from my hometown. I can't seem to make it vertical. Stefan is super speedy and won the 27 miler!|
|"It's not a trail run unless someone gets lost." Oh please oh please don't let it be me.|
Just before mile 22, I thought I had caught up with Paul; he seemed to be crouching on the ground ahead of me. I called out his trail name, "Schemer!" but he didn't reply. Surely he had not fallen asleep on the trail. Turns out, he hadn't, and I was hollering at a jagged tree stump. Trail delirium can be like that. I settled it with another sip of Fireball.
With about 4 miles to go, Stefan texted me to let me know he was heading back to Rome but that he'd enjoyed meeting the GOATS, and the finish line was awesome. A little later, a 50 miler passed me, and he told me we only had about 3 miles remaining. My watch had me just over 23 miles. but the 50 mile runner had run this section of the trail before, so I trusted him and concluded that my GPS was off a bit from the twists and turns in the shaded forest. Megan texted to let me know that she and Paul were waiting at the finish line to cheer me in, so I told her I would let her know when I hit the blue diamond trail, which was the last mile. Recalculating, I figured I was going to come in under 7:45. That was a good feeling.
|Triumphant finisher photo -- I think James took this one.|
|DeLane, Megan, and me shortly after I finished -- I think this is from Megan's phone|
Cross-posted to riseupandrunagain.blogspot.com