I was very certain that if the race went even "OK" that I could get in 24 5Ks. That would mean one 5K every hour which is how long one loop around the course is. That would be about 75 miles. One hour 5Ks? That sounds VERY slow huh?
We grabbed some good Japanese food on Friday night - got to bed by 10 PM - then were on the road towards Black Mt. by 6 AM on Saturday. Gotta throw some props out to Beth (wife) for the homeade chocolate chip cookies and leaving with the kids for the night so we could stink up the house.
Chillin the night before...
I didn't enjoy having to lug all of our aid 100 yards down to the race HQ before running 24 hours, but there really is no other way to accommodate everyone. I only complained once and we all pitched in with the hauling. We got our base camp setup and had about 45 minutes to rest before the race began.
I knew temps could approach 90 during the day so I dressed in all white. Weezy and I also agreed to implement the cold ice towel strategy. We stuck about six white cotton towels in a cooler of cold ice water and could stop and cool down with it when things got hot. I opted to wear mine like a sheik, but more on that in a bit.
Excitement was building before the start and I enjoyed watching all of the runners get their stuff setup. Some had massive tents with boxes of stuff. Others had a little duffel bag and a chair. I was one of the Biltmore House types with a eight foot long table full of food, drinks, and gear. May as well have it if you need it.
Everyone setting up & getting ready for the Black Mountain Monster...
When I was unpacking after the race on Sunday I laughed when I found a mirror in my box. A mirror at an ultra? Man, I must be getting softer. I'm proud to say that I never used it during the race either.
Finally, lets get this thing started! The RD calls all runners up for a quick pre-race briefing at 9:50.
- The course is marked well, but watch the turns. - CHECK
- It's gonna be hot so run smart - CHECK
- Make sure the lap counter gets your number each time - CHECK