This is the longest its ever taken me to write a race recap. But considering this was the longest race i’ve ever done, it seems appropriate.
It wasn’t even a matter of getting my thoughts together…it was a matter of getting my brain to wake back up. LOL I knew going into this that staying up all night running would take its toll, i just didn’t realize how much.
I will say that the Anchor Down Ultra was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. It was not my first ultra, and it won’t be my last, but it will always be special.
It was held August 19-20 (ten days ago) in Colt State Park in Bristol, RI. A place I know fairly well as I live nearby and its one of our favorite places to picnic and watch the water. But, I have never seen it like this.
The course was a 2.45 mile loop that I had 12 hours to circle as much as possible. It was about a mile of trail and the rest paved with a short grassy uphill & matching down.
And I know people think running in circles can be mind-numbing, but having the breaks in terrain – woods to paved to grass to paved – actually broke it up nicely.
The event was incredibly well run and well organized. The volunteers at both aid stations were amazing and completely made a difference out there. Especially in the wee small hours of the morning. Seeing that beacon of light at the tent village was like a lighthouse leading me home.
I know I usually do recaps by miles…but right now I couldn’t sort lap 2 from lap 15. At some point they all sort of blurred together. So instead i’m just going to share some general moments.
- Ultra people ROCK. Unlike a marathon where people are more focused on themselves, ultra people focus on each other. I may have spoken with every person out there during the course of 12 hours. And they were all friendly and awesome. Whether it was their first, or their 15th.
- I’m very grateful to a couple of women I walked a lap with. Hearing another runner’s story at 3am, while you’re both just keeping moving, makes the steps go by way faster. Thank you Hollie and Heidi. You are both awesome!
- Give a girl a Walt Disney quote and she knows she’s in the right place!
- Give a girl some other people who are runDisney addicts and she’ll chat the miles away.
- Watching the full moon rise is magic.
- Watching the sun rise a few hours later over the water is beyond words.
- Having a volunteer yell “there’s my girl” as you approach the tiki torches of a water stop really gives you a boost. Thanks buddy!!
- Eating pizza at 2am while walking through the woods is surreal. And Facebook post worthy. LOL
- Having a much faster friend pass you every oh, three laps, and check on you gives you something to look forward to.
- Reflective lettering makes you a beacon in the dark for some runners. Especially when you’re in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night.
- My headlamp survived all 12 hours (Amazing).
- My garmin did not – it died about a mile from the finish. So close!
- Realizing that there is a difference between someone who runs ultras and an ultra-runner. I run ultras…the guy who flew by me on the trail at 4am while I was trying to carefully pick my way over the roots? He’s an ultra-runner.
I am also, as always, eternally grateful to my husband. For setting up my tent, getting me settled in, and then coming back for me at 6:30 in the morning to drag my carcass home. Love you babe.
This is what 11.5 hours and 44.1 miles looks like. Exhausted and happy. 🙂