On Friday, I headed out to State College, PA, to catch the end of the Trans-Sylvania Epic MTB Stage Race and see some of my favorite people. The weather was amazing, and the camp that the race is held at is gorgeous, so I got to sneak in a wicked awesome MTB ride when I got there before catching up with Justin Lindine.
That night, I got to test out my truck-bed (get it? Justin called that my “dorky journalism pun,” though he thought it was funny too) and it turns out that my MTB and gear fits perfectly next to a sleep pad and sleeping bag, so it was a cozy night.
Saturday, the promoters let me ride in the lead car with them and we rushed around the course cheering on the race leaders. Turns out, sticking your torso out the window to shoot pictures is actually a ton of fun!
Speaking of pictures, here’s one of my favorites, with the singlespeed race winner Brian Ferrari taking a beer handup from Count Dracula.
By the end of the race, everyone was exhausted, including Justin, who took the overall win. I was beat too, and headed home after the festivities died down, because I am a crazy person who signed up to run a trail marathon despite not doing a run over 12 miles in almost 3 years, since Ironman KY in 2010.
But it turns out, I don’t suck at running. I went out with the race leaders, three dudes and one other girl, and by the first lap (6.5 miles), we had a 5 minute lead on the field and I was comfortably running a pace that was actually my 10k PR. By the second lap, Kristen (the other girl, who I quickly became best friends with) and I had been passed by 2 guys but were still way ahead. We would have won the half marathon, had that been the category we raced. By lap 3, both of us had tripped and fallen on downhills, the 100 degree temperatures were killing us, the technical trails and hills were brutal. We got passed by one more guy, and at the aid station (there were only 2 on the 6.5 mile course), I rested m hands on the table and thought I was going to throw up and pass out. But we kept going, because we had to. We rolled in with 1 lap to go and powered through. It was ugly, it was rough, and no part of my body was happy with me. But we finished, crossing the line together as the first women, and with only 3 men ahead of us. It was a small race, but my running buddy is a serious marathoner/ultramarathoner, and I was able to keep up with her, so I was thrilled.
Yep. Good weekend.