It is sad that you are so busy, or so lazy, that you write your blog post as a regular document weeks ago but just cannot put it on your supposedly running blog…

But here it is now: the long-time coming race recap of the Dirty Burg 50k in Belmont, MI. I had a blast at the race, and would really recommend this one to runners looking for a fast, and challenging race! And the race director, Phil Stappert, is awesome.

A few weeks I was feeling it. The itch. The itch to race, run fast, eat loads of gels and MM’s at the aid stations. So I signed up for the Dirty Burg 50k in Belmont, Michigan on the last day I could get a t-shirt of course.

The race was at the Cannonsburg Ski resort in Michigan a little north of Grand Rapids. It was a pretty low-key race and I believe my mom and I were the only non-Michigan runners there!

The race was put on by those in charge of the Yankee Springs races, which I heard really good things about.

On Friday afternoon, my mom and made our way to Michigan, me icing my hip/groin area and her with a sore heel. Yeah, we were ready for 31 miles :/

On the way, we stopped at a restaurant in Grand Rapids that had a craft root beer list! I was in heaven with my espresso infused root beer and huge delicious salad. As we sat at the bar, watching iRunFar live Tweet about Hardrock. We picked up candy for the night at our dive motel and fell asleep around 10 pm.

Waking up at 4 (3 a.m. my time) we quickly threw on some clothes and headed out to the race.

The sun took awhile to come up-long enough for us to worry that we were not equipped with headlamps. But thankfully, it finally did come up as we were shuttled in group to start the race. While we were listening to last minute directions, Phil the RD was running around setting up the aid stations.

At 6 a.m. we were off, and it was one of those starts that we had to “race” to the start of the woods before it went into single track. I settled in behind the lead guys and one woman and that’s pretty much where I stayed for the next two hours.

The first lap went by quickly and I felt good. I have been struggling with a pulled hip/groin muscle that was making me VERY nervous to start this race, but for the first two laps the pain was not too bad.

So the course:

It was a rolling single-track trail about 5.5 miles. Then the big one: running, well walking, up the main ski slope and running back down to make a 10k course.

There was an aid station halfway through at mile 3.5.

And, you did this 5 times!

Laps 1 and 2 went by easily, and at the end of lap 2 I passed the woman who was in first.

The third lap was good. I started running with a guy and as we talked we sped up the pace-maybe a little too much, because by the fourth lap I was feeling it!

Lap four took a bit to get into, especially the trek up the “mountain.” My legs were finally feeling the miles of the race and lack of miles in mile training. But I kept thinking, “One more!”

One more was a lot harder than I thought. I got down to the bottom of the hill, chugged coconut water at the drop bag station, grabbed a Humagel and ran off for lap 5.

OMG it hurt. The first 3.5 miles was torture as my legs were dying, my feet tripping, and my mind shutting down. I am embarrassed writing this because I died so hard.

The aid station took forever to get to and my next landmarks that I remembered seem to be getting further away as well. I didn’t wear a garmin and just kept track by my watch split times. I had it down to each lap between 58 minutes to 1 hour and five minutes.

But back to lap 5. By the end of the trail session I was done, but the ski slope was still there taunting me. I ran up as long as I could then put my hands on my knees and power-climbed up. To tell you the truth, it didn’t last long.

So I improvised. I turned my sore butt around and walked backwards up the hill, watching the bottom to make sure no one was coming.

I finally made it and crashed down the hill. Heel hurting, big toe nail feeling like it was going to yank off, and I flew into the finish line.

I finished the race as first female, 6th overall, in a time of 5:12.

Overall I had a blast. It was hot, hard, and my kind of race. The finish line was quiet and filled with guys lounging around drinking a beer.

The award was a free entry to the cold Yankee Springs so I guess I know what my schedule will be like next year.

I ran the entire race in Altra Lone Peaks. Because it was a loop course and the dropbag place was near the finish line, I didn’t wear or carry anything that I couldn’t fit into my sports bra.

The race was great, the people were great, and my legs are sore as I write this!

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