2/3rds of the way there since I had finished 2 legs. Then my mathematical mind would take over and spoil
it. Sigh... I made it to the welcome center and had to take off my shoes so I wouldn't track mud in, but I had to potty. I finished and sat out on the bench putting my shoes on and resting for a second before crossing the road and heading onto the Siltstone trail. I finally reached Scotts gap, the loop part of the out and back on the 3rd leg. I figured Dale was way ahead of me and I hadn't seen any other runners besides the one resting on the table at the aid station before I started on Scotts gap loop. The trail was plenty thawed, but this was where I was really disliking everything. I had been trying to avoid the mud as best as possible, but I completely gave up! Pretty much gave up all around. Death march had been going for a while. Even if I tried to run the mud slowed me down. I had already decided to pack it in and call it a day. It was taking me forever to finish this loop and the runner that was leaning up against the aid station table had caught up and passed me. I knew I had to be the last one out here. I wasn't going to keep the volunteers out any longer than need be. I finally arrived to the aid station. I asked
if I was the last one. NO- there was 17 runners behind me. Dang- I had already resolved to quit. I headed to the potty again and came out ready to go. If I wasn't last, I had no reason to quit other than it was easier than marching back to the finish line. As I finished grabbing some snacks, Dale came thru with another runner. He was in the same frame of mind. Yep, still 15 runners behind us. I headed on out. I could hear voices behind me and eventually Tom from Ohio caught up to me. We chatted for a little bit, but although older he was smoking me. I din't care. I just wanted to finish this thing. Dale eventually caught up to me. We headed inward chatting. Misery loves company. There was another runner behind us, whom I had seen several times throughout the day (at one point sitting down at an aid station). He was slowly catching us. Dale wanted to run, I told him to go ahead. I knew I was going to make it, but the mud had sucked the life out of me. That and the hills and my lack of training for the race. Eventually, the other guy also passed me. That was okay because one more climb and I could hear the cheers. Dale had crossed the finish line. I made it to the top of the hill and a volunteer pointed for me to go left. I headed down the road actually trotting for the finish line. Almost done. Up an embankment and there was the finish line. Woo hoo 9:25:35
I was done! It was ugly and pitiful, but I finished and I was glad to have stuck it out. I went to my truck for fresh clean clothes, changed, and cracked open an ice cold yoo hoo as I headed the bus home.
|Shirt, buff, spruce tree, woooden plaque|
|Dale first and longest run!!!|