This is an ultramarathoner. 📷 @davidtlam
Last night I completed the #ECSCA 50k course, 55km+ & 7000'+ actual. I started at 7:00, moments before sunrise(2), exactly one week to the minute after the scheduled race time. After 11+ hours of running & power-hiking, I finished in an empty pitch black field, alone, perhaps the hardest thing I have ever done in a day.
Many things went well, ideal running weather, no falls or scrapes, so many online chat encouragments; a few things did not, an ankle roll, an IT band/knee flare-up slowing my downhill running, bad connectivity, dead batteries. New challenges were overcome, unfamiliar squishiness on familiar trails, first time bounding ankle deep through swollen streams(6), and the quietest I have ever seen the Marin Headlands.
Thanks to @BryanTing for making this solo run possible with encouragement & support, picking me up in the dark, dropping me off at the start, then meeting me an hour later at the Tennessee Valley Trailhead to top off my water bottle and show me where he’d stashed my one essential dropbag with water & spare fuel out of sight (fortunately it was still there hours later), my only actual "aid station(s)" (the race had seven). The rest were just knowing where water fountains were, Santos Meadow before Heather Cutoff(3), Cardiac(4), Muir Woods(5), Golden Gate Bridge north side(9), Warming Hut.
After running to approximately where I remember last year’s @TheNorthFaceECS finish line was in a cold, unlit, and bumpy Crissy field, city lights in the distance(10), I jogged to the nearby Sports Basement to find refuge before a calling ride home.
Morgan recognized & surprised me, congratulated me and gave me a cup of warm cider. @DavidTLam came by moments later, took a photo(1) and posted it to show everyone I had made it.
Tired muscles, a little soreness, and only a few blisters to show for it, it still feels surreal, like I have to say it to remind myself that I actually did it.
Still sorting through everything I saw from dawn to sunset(7&8), felt physically & emotionally, thought & heard inside my head (no headphones).
I also know I have more work to do for my next ultra. For now, rest, reflection, and recovery.
Lastly a reminder to consider donating to @JWLevitt’s fundraiser for fire victims:
* Directly: https://www.facebook.com/donate/359051034667215/
* Or tantek.com/pay and note "TNF fire donation". I will pass it on.
$1/km $2/km whatever you can, and @TheNorthFace will match. Thank you!
#2018_328 #tnfecs #50ktraining #ultra #ultramarathon #notarace #runner #workharddreambigdocoolshit #instarunner #marin #marinheadlands #trailrunner #trailrunning #fromwhereirun #whereirun #ultrarunner #latergram #nofilter