Sunday was the Turkey & TATURS 50km trail run (2x 25km loops - one in each direction). I was very curious as to how the day was to pan out as it had been raining the day before & it was supposed to rain the day of the race. Although the trail was going t be plenty muddy (yea mud!), I was not looking forward to running 50km in the rain AND THE MUD. The Trail Gods were smiling that morning as it was not raining & was perfect running weather. It was dark for the first 15 - 20 minutes until the sun came up & then it was a perfect running day. The trail was very peaceful & serene. Once all the runners were out of the way (which was not long) as they were far ahead, the birds, & frogs put on a concert like no other. What a way to hear God & know His presence in the world.
Aside from my spiritual focus, I was definitely focusing on pink ribbons with black dots. If not, I was sure to get lost. There were also plates nailed to trees pointing out the direction of the second loop (Oh, did I mention that there were trees, trees, trees & more trees. Also an occasional rock or two or three . . or billions.).
There were a few times that we came up to the top & had grand views of the Arkansas river & downtown Tulsa. Coming out into the open allowed for wonderful breezes to cool me off .
The aid stations were second to none & the volunteers were great (even if one had an OSU shirt that WASN'T Oklahoma State University - just kidding!). Trail running is unlike any other sort of running a trail runners have never met a stranger & are always first to extend a hand or say an encouraging word. This is even from the front runners as they whiz by.
There was one point (Lip Breaker) where I thought more about Lung Breaker than any other part. I was glad to get the top. You couldn't really run up it as there were plenty of rocks (did I mention that already?).
As I am working towards Mother Road 100 - Part 2 in November, it was nice to see an encouraging sign on one of the trees.
Now, coming into the end of the first loop (25 km), I dug into my drop bag to see if there was anything that I could not live without & when I found nothing that I needed, I took off back down the trail to run the loop in reverse. For some odd reason, some of the trail looked different. Hmmm, maybe I was focused on those darn pink spotted ribbons to notice everything. I expected to pass runners going the opposite direction on the first loop, but when I passed one for the second time, my mind was going wild. Maybe there was a second part of the course where the runners pass. When I passed two additional runners going the opposite way & crested a hill that I could not remember, I knew something was not right. I turned around & decided that if I wasn't too far off course, would get my bearings & head off again. Much to my surprise when I turned around, I came out into the open right where the 2nd loop was supposed to end (the race finish). I quickly tore off my race number so as not to have any of the spec-TATURS think that I finished well.
What a disappointment. I was mad at myself for not paying attention. This was my first race in 10 years that I did not finish. If there was a good side to things, at least I got in a good 20 mile trail run.
Live & learn. I need to learn to watch trail markers better.
As always - - Know No Boundaries.
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