Subtitle: OH YEAH!!!
90 laps. 85-plus miles. Zero nausea. One 20-minute nap at 0524. Four-plus more laps than last year. Three more miles than last year. A buncha new friends. A lotta great new stories. So, so many people to thank for their compassion, good cheer and encouragement. Wow. Just wow.
Case in point: The Amazing Scott Family. RD Ricky, wife Sharon and daughters Korre and Kara cheered for me, counted my laps, smiled their amazing smiles (!!!). Made this country boy feel like a complete rock star. No way to repay that. Ev. er. Y'all are beyond compare.
Chocolate milk only the first six hours. Dried fruit and salty chips until about dark. McDONALD'S HAMBURGER three times throughout the dark. Some other salty items on and off, too.
Spent much of the night going round and round with, at different times, new friend Rob Mitchell (100 miles!!!) and my former West Virginia Wesleyan College teammate Tom Elmore (93 miles in about his 8th or so ultra!!! How 'BOUT them Bobcats?!!!). Other folks throughout the night included Gene Meade, Mo Percy, Cyndy Barbour and my longtime running pal Bob Ring.
Oh oh, I almost forgot: Dear Lauren Wilkins, THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY RACE!!! Deets are fuzzy still but i think it was around 0100 and I was doing the weebles-wooble thing and had fairly strongly committed to finishing one more lap and then crawling in my sleeping bag for a break ... when ... I get back to the start/finish line and Lauren ... has ... McDONALD'S COFFEE!!! And she even put the cream and sugar in it for me after I whined about my hands being too frozen for my fingers to work properly. Walk, slurp, walk, slurp ... BACK IN THE GAME, DAWG!!! Thank you, Trail Angel Lauren. You can bet that I will be looking for a way to repay you somewhere down the road. :)
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I enjoyed myself all night. Really. And. Truly. Drank in the changing nighttime sky. Found comfort in the river. Even drew some power from the train that blasted past.
Slapped on the Patagonia puffy for every step of the nighttime portion, even though I ran a whole lot more than I expected to in the dark. Was having too much fun to walk the entire night. Kinda magical.
Happy. Happy. Happy!!!
5th place overall.