I met the Mother Runners for drinks and dinner at the Sheraton on Friday evening after packet pickup. We had a great time together despite the lousy food. Paying 26 bucks for lukewarm pasta and peanut butter cookies is not my idea of a great food experience. For sure next time I will be spending that money elsewhere.
|Remember my friend Joy? She ran Leg 7 this year.|
|The Mother Runners|
|This is EXACTLY how we look when we are NOT running BR. Candice, me, Kristin.|
|I look confused, right?|
|This is EXACTLY how we look when we are fresh and ready, not tired and stinky.|
The first stretch of the run was Towpath--nice and flat. Then we turned onto the Bridle Trail for a while. The first aid station came really soon--too soon for me--at 3.5 miles, which was just after Brandywine Falls. Of course, we had to get pictures at the Falls:
|Kristin is in charge of the Go Pro.|
We had some long uphills on the trails, and there was a looooonnnngggg, sunny, gravelly hill right by the expressway. After slogging up that hill, I asked Kristin to film my signature move: I threw my fists in the air and yelled, "Yes! I made this hill my bitch!" I don't know why other people don't see how funny this is.
Our next stop was at Pine Lane, which came after miles of uphill trails. We stuffed our pie-holes there with junk food, wiped our faces and necks with iced towels (thank you, Volunteers, for being geniuses!), and refilled our water bottles. That was our last aid station until the end of the leg.
Let me pause a moment and thank all volunteers in the Burning River race. You were all amazing. I felt a little awkward asking for food and water considering I wasn't running 100 or even 50 miles, but you never made me feel like I was unworthy. You commented on our shirts and told us how fabulous we are. Races can't work without volunteers, and you guys are the best.
Ok, I'm done being sentimental now. We left Pine Lane and hit the trails for a while. We passed quite a few 100 milers, and they all seemed to be in great shape. One of those 100 milers was Ron Ross, who is a school board member at the district where I teach, and this year he ran his 10th 100-miler. Amazing! He wasn't even grouchy when we saw him; in fact, none of them were ever grouchy when we passed. We were able to joke with some of the runners because we kept crossing each other, and I even discussed the Ragnar WV Trail with a nice man whom I threatened to smack on the butt as I passed.
One thing I really love about Leg 5 is that there were at least three long stretches of flat road or path that allowed me to stretch my legs: there was the Towpath, a road, and the Bike and Hike. Candice and I took turns going full steam and then walking until everyone was together again. I consider this interval fat-burning work.
About 2.5 miles away from the finish, we turned back into the woods, and this was the point where we needed our headlamps. Once we were in the woods it got dark pretty quickly. I tripped once, but I managed to regain my footing without hitting the ground. Luckily, none of us had a spill, and we made it to the Ledges safely and happily where a huge party awaited us. We took pictures and handed off to Leg 6:
|We are a little delirious right now.|
Candice took me back to my car, and I got home at the same time as my husband, who saw I was whipped and made me a quesadilla while I showered off the bugs and sweat. And then I crawled into bed, exhausted but too excited to sleep deeply.
I got up at 5:30 AM to get to the finish line with the other Mother Runners.
|Joy looks like a rock star after her leg. I had time to shower and comb my hair and I still look like a hot mess.|
This weekend was definitely a whirlwind, but I so enjoyed it. The philosophy behind the Mother Runners is that women empower women. We stick together and we raise each other up, and that is what I experienced at this race. Special thanks goes to Kristin, who made me a Mother Runner and stuck with me. Thank you to Candice for jumping in when we needed you and not bailing on us when things got funky. Thank you, Mother Runners, for the fun and for the inspiration. You are all amazing.
By the way, I'm thinking of forming a 4-person relay next year. Who's in? Anyone? Well, regardless of your racing or running plans, I hope you Run Happy, Peeps!
Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @itibrout!