Pat, my husband, usually does only once race a year and this is the race. I love this race because of that fact alone. We ran this race the first time two years ago as a team. Last year we ran independently, same thing this year. My main goal is to enjoy the race with him and keep it fun. My secret goal, as always, is to do better than the previous year. We always head down to Paducah and get a hotel room. We rest up before heading to Carson Horse track where the race is held. We parked the bus in the same spot as last year, about the first turn, and then headed to get our race packets. Steve Durbin, the race director, was there and we chatted with him for a few minutes. We spoke with The John Price as we headed back to the bus. John brought us a handmade wooded plaque in a USA shape documenting his cross country trek he had just finished. (We had went out and stalked him on US 60 as he went through KY.) It was great to see him again and able to walk after finishing that amazing feat. We stopped and spoke to Diane and Naresh, and she introduced us to Mike. We finally made it back to the bus and began setting up our tent. The tent was important last year in changing our clothes with the humid conditions. This year was not as bad but still was nice to change when needed.
Soon it was time to line up and walk across the timing mat and then begin the race. I let Pat set the lead and decide what we are going to do. We started off running timed increments and then eventually we were running half the track and walking the other half. I am always so proud of him for even being out there with me. He does not train at all and he is game to go for as long as he can. I also have learned not to push him when he is done. It all makes for a much enjoyed experience. We chat and catch up on stuff and it is just pure fun. Plus, we chat with runners that I meet at other races and he gets to meet them too. Diane catches up to us and we chat about the upcoming Vol State run that we both are planning to attempt. Pizza is brought out and we enjoy a couple of pieces of that. (They do a wonderful job with the aid station all night long and all of the volunteers are top notch.) Since the course is a half mile track you see the same people throughout the night and it is always fun to see the top runners pass by looking strong throughout the night. Naresh is looking great even though at one point he wants to cut his ankle off. The more he hurts the bigger he smiles. I get tired around midnight. Way past my bedtime. We continue to plod on. Pat lets me know his feet are starting to hurt. He decides to stop at 18.5 miles (6:21:22). Which is a good thing because his feet are quite blistered and I know he has to work early Monday morning. He retires to the bus and I get my headphones on and head back out onto the track. I try to jog some, still feeling a little tired. Once it gets to 4 o'clock I start to feel a little better and keep trying to get some more miles in. It was going to be close to try to beat 33.5 miles from 2010. I start trying to calculate. I start watching how long a lap is taking me. More calculations. My brain is tired and the numbers aren't working. I just keep going around the track and the time just keeps winding down. Finally I do it. I get 34 miles in, but I think I can get one more lap in. I keep going trying to get that last lap in. I have to speed up to make it in. I crossed the line at 9:59:26 to attain 34.5 miles. Good enough for 4th female and 31st overall. I'm thrilled to have met my goal and to have another great race with my husband. Plus, meeting a few more people; Josh H, Scott S and seeing the old faces. Such a great race and fun times.