The Huff 50k Race
After a long month of chilly weather and too much snow for my liking, the “trail gods” granted one more beautiful day before the end of the year. At 40 degrees and sunny, we started the race last Saturday in perfect conditions.
Though not officially part of the Extra Mile Fitness Company team in Valparaiso, my mom and I managed to sneak into their heated tent before the race started, to keep warm. Being one of the few people running the race for the first time, I listened to everyone’s account of the ups and downs of the upcoming race. Peeing behind the tent to avoid the way too long for the port-a-pottys, I ran to the start line and waited as the directors pushed the start time back another ten minutes.
In black shorts, compression socks, and two long sleeve shirts I was pretty chilly before the race. But as soon as we got going I was fine, and ended up only taking off my headband near the end of the race.
The race went perfectly. The course was two loops of 15.5 miles in the trails of The Chain of Lakes State Park in Albion, IN. By half way of the first loop, I guessed I was about 6th woman. I finished the first half of the loop in about 1:05, just making a mental note to myself for later. Near the end of the first loop, I was feeling good and eying down a woman in purple that I allowed myself to slowly reel in.
By the 4th mile and first aid station, I had caught purple lady (yay) and another woman, putting me into 3rd/4th place. Out on the trails, I never listen to music and I am not good at running and talking to others while on the course. I ran the last 10 miles by myself on the trails, and when I say by myself, I mean it. I was running with no one behind or in front of me for miles, allowing me to experience the beauty and silence of the wooded trails alone.
Nearing the end of the race, searching and finding each mile marker with a way too giddy grin, I finally made it to the last aid station, downing a cup of water and sprinting my way to the finish line as the 4th woman overall.
Looking back, I think if I had known where the third woman was earlier in the race I could have tracked her down, but honestly, I do not really care. I really enjoyed running the race, and seeing what I could really do when I ran by myself, and my own way.
Overall, the race was a blast, the pre and post race activities was a blast, and I hopefully the weather is as gorgeous next year as this one was!