Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some days . . . .

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.

1 comment:

T Z said...

Sorry the race did not go as you'd hoped. You wrote a superb race report though. Nice pics too.

I am still trying to figure out where you got off course. When did you see the Roots rocks and sticks sign? Was it on your second loop?

The 2nd Ultra Cowboy Ultra 50 km is scheduled for   June 23rd at Prairie Song Village in Dewey, Oklahoma. The race is once again, a f...