I packed a thin lightweight rain jacket as the forecast mentioned rain all day. At 6am fireworks set off to signal the start and we were off running. The first loop went well, and I was running well. The air was humid, and no rain yet. My body doesn’t react well to the humidity and I sweat a lot, much more than the average runner. So I have to make sure to replace the fluids and electrolytes I lose while running. The Umstead 100 is a 12.5-mile loop with spurs in Umstead Park (Raleigh, NC). The course will be repeated eight times equaling 100 miles. There is also a 50 mile option, so if your not feeling the 100, then you have the option of just finishing 50 miles. This is a huge psychological game when your at mile 50. During the second lap I began to feel the effects of my short recovery from Coyote 2 Moon two weeks ago. Coyote 2 Moon was the first 100 I had ever finished. It took me 38 hours and had 28,000 feet of gain. I did not run a single time between finishing Coyote and Umstead. I know this sounds like bad planning, and it is. My legs felt like there were at mile 70 when I was only on mile 14. I also made the mistake of wearing Gore-Tex shoes. I figured It would be raining all day, and Gore-Tex would be the right option, wrong! I was sweating profusely and soaked my socks and shoes. The sweat in my shoes had no where to escape as the Gore-Tex wouldn’t let them. So I squished my way back to the aid station fully intent on dropping. I knew this wouldn’t be my day. As I shuffled into the aid station I saw Charlie, who I had met at Adam Hill's Pitchell run last year in October. I told him I was dropping and that this run was just bad timing. He told me to "take a break, and go slow and steady."
That’s what I did. I ended up running another painful two loops, and met up with Fred Dumar on the 3rd loop. No sense in dropping at the third loop and DNF'ing when you can just finish one more and get credit for a 50 mile run. He was right! I kept telling myself to keep going and finished the 50 miles.
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