|Headquarters at Camp Lapihio|
I took it easy saturday morning, and packed a bag with lots of layers to add on if they were needed. Made my way into Umstead State Park around 2:30 pm. The first friend I was going to pace was Paul. Paul's wife sits in the next cubicle from me at work, so as much as I already knew about Paul we had never met before. Hanging out around the headquarters were plenty of other people cheering on the runners and eagerly waiting for family members to Laura .... On Your Left, Please! What an unexpected treat! We had never met before either but have been online friends for a few years. Her kids were out and about too, little scamps.
|She's tiny! and really fast.|
These runners complete 8 laps of 12.5 miles each, making 100 miles. After they complete the first half of the race they can pick up pacers for the last 50 miles. This is where I like to volunteer. This is my comfort zone. Before race day I had made arrangements with Paul for 2 laps, then Master Man for 1 lap around midnight, then pick up Tammy around 4 am for my last lap. I actually saw Tammy and Master Man first in the headquarters before Paul finished his lap 4. Great to finally meet Tom, he's a professor at my alma mater Appalachian State so I was amped to run with him for a while.
|Paul and I before running|
The race used a new timing system this year. There is one aide station halfway around the loop (well, 6.8 miles in) that had a timing mat, and the start/finish line had the other mat. Every time one of my athletes crossed a timing mat I got a text message.
When Paul and I finished his lap 6 around 10 pm, Tammy was in the headquarters after finishing her lap 5. Turns out, Tom crossed the mat at the aide station for his lap 6 and DNF'd, so there was no midnight lap for me. Turns out that was ok, Tammy was early. Her lap 6 took just over 4 hours so I just hung out in the headquarters and ate until then.
So at ultra marathons (if you've never done one) they really dole out the spread. Umstead 100 puts out some of the best food around. There are grills at both aid stations with a steady supply of burgers, dogs, chicken, this year they even had brisket. Inside the kitchen had spaghetti until around 2 am when they busted out the pancakes and french toast, as you really should do around 2 am. Running 100 miles you have to take in plenty of calories, and turn those calories into energy at a remarkably fast rate. Ultra fare is widely varied, but I do love the food at this one.
About 2:15 am Tammy and I took off for her lap 7. I had to really add on the extra layers to stay warm, Tammy did too.
|The dino pants really make the layers complete.|
As I type that, it sounds completely insane.
Yep, it really is completely insane.
Finally the sun came up and we turned off the headlights and finished the lap around 6:45 am. Taking 5 hours to run 12.5 miles isn't going to break any speed records, but we had a blast. I always have fun hanging out with Tammy, she's a great friend to have.
|6:48 AM, finished my 38 miles and I'm hungry.|
I think my 2016 big goal is going to be finishing the Umstead 100. It's time for me to step up to the big game. This was my third time pacing. Time to join the idiots and race this thing.