The Morning After an Ultra-Marathon

Yesterday we were up by 4 a.m, to drive, hike and be at our assigned Aid Station (“Difficult Run”) by 6 a.m. The front-runners showed up around 2 hours after the start, and our day was non-stop from there. The Northface Endurance Challenge 50-milers and 50K-ers somehow survived a hot and humid June morning to complete something amazing – an UltraMarathon.

It was beyond rewarding to be a small part of this day for every competitor. The 50-mile runners visited our station three times (the course looped) – at miles 18, 24 and 31. With only 250 of them, we quickly recognized most of the returners. Our priorities were to make sure they were fed, hydrated, had full water bottles and satisfied stomachs, and were somewhat conscious of lay ahead! Our station offered Potato Chips, Pretzels, Baked Potatoes, Skittles, M&Ms, Salt (yes, just pure salt – you’d be surprised how many people flocked to it!), Famous Amos Cookies, Peanut-butter crackers, GU Roctanes, bananas, apricots, nectarines, water, Gu Brew & Nuun mixes.

Whew, that’s a lot of fuel.

Just to give you a glimpse of what the runners endured, these were our surroundings:

Great Falls, Virginia

Ivan and I headed out for a short trail run to see what  led up to our site; we lasted about 15 minutes. Our feet hurt from hopping on and over a bunch of rocks (i.e. Get trail shoes!), and there was a serious incline less than half a mile away (meaning, they ran this THREE times, up and down). Words cannot explain the respect I have for those of you who completed this race, and looked great doing it! Absolutely Amazing.

On another note, if you ever get a chance to volunteer for a race, please don’t hesitate. It felt great to be on the other side of things; volunteers make races possible, and it was about time I gave back to that aspect of a race!


This morning, we woke up at 4 a.m. again to get all the gear together, drive to Annapolis, and get me to a different starting line by 7 a.m. If watching people run a 50-mile/50K trail race for hours on end is not inspiring, I don’t know what is! I was so amped to get out and run this morning, and nothing has ever put 13.1 miles into perspective the way my Saturday did. Running becomes so mental: maybe I didn’t train for this run/race, but that does Not mean my legs didn’t have it in them.

Stay tuned for yet another hot, humid summer morning full of that thing we love so much – running. 13.1 miles later, I’m still alive and ready for the next!



Filed under DC, early morning, new things!, running, things that make me Happy, weekends

11 responses to “The Morning After an Ultra-Marathon

  1. Thanks so much for volunteering! Those nectarines were pure heaven.

  2. Good for you for volunteering! That’s awesome – I am hoping to volunteer at a couple of races this summer, you’re so right, the volunteers are what makes the race happen!

  3. Such a great post! I can’t believe what they provide at those fuel stations. Pure salt?? Did they just take a shot of it? I can’t even imagine. It’s so great you volunteered. I honestly think volunteers can make such a difference in a race. During my last half when I was struggling, all the high fives helped keep me going. I guess that’s why the NYC marathon is so amazing…26.2 miles of fans cheering.

    Oh and…congrats on your half today!! Looking forward to your recap 🙂

  4. Sounds like a very rewarding experience! 🙂

  5. J

    WOW sounds like a great race to volunteer for!

  6. Good for you guys volunteering at the ultra! After discovering my appreciation for the trails this weekend, this is something I’d love to do!

  7. Nice work volunteering! I always think it would be fascinating to be at the aide stations when ultra runners come through, especially near the end when some of them start getting delirious.

  8. Scott

    I run many races and I always feel that volunteers are not appreciated enough. I really want to thank you for taking the time out of your life to come support us and help us get through to the end. Saturday was miserable and I could easily say it was the worse conditions I have ever run in – not to mention having to complete 50 miles in it. Without you guys we wouldn’t be able to run! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  9. Pingback: Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon Survival « Dietitian on the Run

  10. Two of my friends, Jeff and Max, ran the 50 miler! I was out of town, so missed cheering for them, but they finished in 11 and 12 hours. Imagine running that long? So proud of them!

  11. That fruit looks delicious, yummm… I couldn’t believe the weather on Saturday – what a mess to slog through 50 miles!!

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