This year the Buffalo run was perfection! I actually got plenty of sleep on race night, the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect! I really couldn't have asked for a better start to race day. Plus, my awesome friend Lindsay wrote this amazing blog post that I read the night before that really motivated me. It made me realize that I could really push myself and even if I burned out, so what? I'd have to walk? I was okay with that. Lindsay was also doing the 25k distance although she started at 8am with the 50 mile runners. She had wagered a friendly bet that I'd beat her time. Well, this only fueled my desire to run fast even more!
Race morning I got to the island early and chatted with some friends, including some who had just completed the 100 mile distance! Then at the race briefing I met up with a gal named Kristyan who I know through Facebook and Instagram. I felt like we had been friends for ages, she's a really cool lady and fellow slow, mom runner! Plus, I met a couple other local gals. So fun!
When it was go time I stuck to my usual, slow start. I did as much running as possible on the first 2(ish) mile climb, which was much more than I've ever been able to run before. We weren't more than a mile into the run when a gal came up along next to me and asked if I was Renee. Turns out she had come across my blog and recognized my compression socks and pack (What?! Not every runner comes out in hot pink and florescent colors!?) so that was really cool.
Then when the first downhill came I was warmed up and decided to open it up. Passing people on the downhill is so fun. I love that "OH.MY.GAWD! I'm going to crash and die!" feeling of flying downhill! I ran mostly by myself, but did chat with a few runners here and there. It's always fun to get to know people a little when you're out there.
I passed both Lindsay and my friend Laurie, who were going the opposite direction and we gave each other cheers of support. I ran along with a gal named Jenny who had never done the Buffalo Run before and I warned her that the toughest part was coming up. We chatted and joked and when we arrived at the switchbacks I knew I had to own them. The last time I was there I was in tears, hated the world, and was ready to give up running forever! I took off on my own and this time, I owned that hill! I ran as much as I could without puking up a lung. When I wasn't running, I did the power hike. At one point, and this is the best thing anyone has ever said to me during a race, a gal told me she was staying behind me, "Because you seriously have the best legs I've ever seen in my whole life! Perfection." Wow! What a compliment! If that doesn't make a girl run faster, I don't know what will!
The whole race was just fantastic! Running the course where I earned the title "ultrarunner" was powerful. Plus, I just felt wonderful out there doing what I love. And I can't lie. I wanted to beat Lindsay's time. And, guess what? I did! But only by four minutes! Girlfriend is getting faster too!
At the end of the race I stayed to cheer other runners on, like Kristyan and Jenny and many more. I hung out with friends who had completed the 100 miler (I know, amazing, right!?) and were huddled in sleeping bags. The atmosphere there at the finish is so wonderful. This is a really fantastic group of people. Plus, the day couldn't end poorly, I finished in 3:07! That's an 11:18 average pace! For a course with 1,950' of vertical gain I say, not bad. Not bad at all!
Katherine texted me this picture before the race. I thought it highly appropriate.
Race morning tea in my Antelope Island 50k mug!
Ready to rumble!
New friends, from left: Natalie, Kristyan, Me!
Kristyan took this photo after we had run together for a bit and I took off. I'm the pink and orange speck near the front of the line.
Post race hang out time!
This is Craig. Craig just ran 100 miles in 22 hours. Yes, twenty two hours of running and he is smiling! Mind blown?
And this awesome lady is Jennilyn. Jennilyn won the women's hundred mile race in 20 (and some change) hours and set a new course record!
Lindsay and I hanging out and celebrating our awesome finish times!
Official race results: 3:07:12 59th out of 144 females! 24th out of 57 in my age division! I wasn't even near the back of the pack! WOO HOO!