Good luck to all my friends and fellow runners! Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.
Nineteen hardy souls had signed up for the event and promptly at 6AM on Saturday morning, the official starter (Monica) shouted “GO” and we were off. I felt great from the very beginning and was running at an easy pace, chatting with Vince about his Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim adventure http://www.monumentaleffort.com, talking with Monica about some Badwater logistics, catching up with Steph and meeting Kat, who was running her first 50 miler. As the race continued Steph and I took turns in the lead, encouraging each other. We both set a PB at the 50 mile point. Congratulations Steph! I was running with some of my favourite Swiss tunes and running felt so easy and effortlessly. It was incredible. After 100km, my wonderful husband Jeff joined me for 20km which was a nice change. When he left I only had 40km to go and I promised him that I will be finished in less than 19 hours, as I still felt strong. To my surprise I didn’t slow down much and when I got ready for my last 10km Mark Tamminga who took over at the aid station for Dieter told me I had 1 hour and 6 minutes left to break 18 hours and it wouldn’t be a problem if I could keep the same pace. Wow, that really got me (thank you Mark). I started to look at the numbers and I have to admit that 17 and changes looked a lot better than 18 and changes and I decided to go for it. On the way out the headwind felt stronger than before, my iPod shuffle died and I took a few walking breaks. At the turnaround aid station I had some water and half a banana again, thanked Sharon and John for their excellent support, had a last glance at the disco ball hanging inside the tent and went off for the last 5km. The tailwind felt really good and running in the dark was almost mystical. As I didn’t have any music anymore I was repeating one of my running mantras over and over again: ‘Run Forest Run”. I crossed the finish line minutes before my birthday in a time of 17:52 – a very nice birthday present.
My “secret” nutrition during the race was: Hammer Perpetuem, Hammer Endurolytes, Carbo Pro, Nuun, Milk 2 Go in different flavours, Glucerna, mashed potatoes and bananas.