Well, I did my first "ultra" this past Saturday in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX. We loaded the kids in 'Vanmorisfun' (our '90 VW Westfalia Camper), and drove down through New Mexico for a very quick weekend. We camped in the canyon with a few of the guys and families from C.R.U.D. (Coloradians Running Ultra Distances), and were totally attacked by bugs! That part was lame...
...the race began at 7:00am, and we ran the first hour in the dark by headlamp. I made the mistake of going to the back of the pack, instead of positioning myself more in the middle. I ended up having to risk ankle-twisting, as I was passing people for the first 2-3 miles of single-track in the dark. After about 2 miles I caught Teddy from C.R.U.D., who seemed to be fighting to get past slow-pokes as well, and ran with him for about 6 miles 'til he dropped me (he ended up winning the masters-over 50-division)!
The next 10 miles or so, my stomach gave me problems. I had to keep my pace down or else I would almost barf. On top of that, I kept feeling like one of the safety pins holding my number on was scratching me. I looked down, and I had a big, red, blood stain around my left peck...my (white tech) shirt had rubbed off the ends of my nipples. I took my shirt off and ran the rest of the race shirtless, which given the hot weather, was just fine. The nausia kept up, but finally, at about mile 25, I got my tummy back and was able to finish the last 6 miles pretty strong. I finished at 6:15, which is really slow, but it was great to see that I could do this distance pretty reasonably, and, that longer races are possible for me.
We ended up getting back to Amarillo, TX for church on Sunday morning and visited the Orthodox Presbyterian Church there. We had a great time of worship and fellowship with them, and ate lunch at the church building with the congregation.
I am already looking forward to hopefully running the 50 miler next year, and getting back to the church there in Amarillo. I also look forward to running and learning more with the C.R.U.D. guys.