I’m having a hard time writing this one. Words will never be able to describe the past few days. The race. The land. The people. This is going to be a long post.
Mostly this blog post will be a photo journal. I probably took over 100 photos along the course. I like to think I could have finished an hour sooner by stuffing the camera away. But really — this isn’t about speed or time. It’s about enjoying the experience, making friends, and creating memories.
The race started at 7 AM, just as the sun was making her grand appearance. The vibe at the start was infectious. There is just an amazing spirit at Monument Valley.
|My biggest fans xoxo|
The first 10 miles flew by because the scenery was beyond anything I’ve ever seen before — and that’s saying a lot. The views were just… breathtaking, amazing, spectacular… Ultra-Adventures knows how to put on a race. Everything — from the course marking, to the volunteers, to the atmosphere — you’ll never find a race that compares.
|This is pretty awesome, right??!?|
My goal for this race was simple: finish without crying.
So, I modified my strategy. This time I would just enjoy the ride. This time I would not focus on being fast. This time I would remember to eat. And eat often (huge shout out to honey stinger for your support!). And hydrate. Bust mostly I would remember this is much more than an athletic feat. Every single time I run I grow and learn something new about myself and the people around me.
|Probably one of my favorite shots|
|And my second fav|
|Ear of the Wind arch|
|I love rock art, so this was just such a treat 🙂|
|After climbing for God knows how long straight up to the top of Mitchell Mesa, we were rewarded with views. VIEWS!!|
|On top of the world. And HAPPY 🙂 🙂|
I knew by this point that I had to be close to the front of the pack. I was feeling awesome. I hadn’t cried ONE time and I had about 9 miles to go to the finish. The last half of my race I was so fortunate to meet an exceptional human being and fantastic runner named Meghan. She kept me going and not only was she straight up hard core (wearing a weighted pack) but she was a wealth of running knowledge. I don’t think she”ll ever know how much she pushed me to keep going. I knew I had a crazy energy reserve stored up for the last final miles so I just went for it. I flew through the last aid station – gave Steve a kiss and the kids a final LOVE YOU and told them I’d see them at the finish.
|With just a few yards to go, my little buddies were there to usher me into the finish 🙂 I love this pic!|
|Happy moment — I see the finish line — and my family and friends 🙂 🙂|
I finished in somewhere around 10:52 (I don’t know the official time yet..) I never thought I’d break 11 hours. And the best part was that I felt really great the entire time.
|My 2nd place overall female prize — a handmade tomahawk. 🙂 🙂 Proud 🙂 🙂|
|Top 3 BadASS CHICKS with race director, Matt Gunn|
As I now go grab a glass of wine and try and relax (and ice my feet and ankles) I want everyone reading this to take away one thing from this post — you can do anything. ANYTHING. What’s your dream? Go get it! Life is short — do what makes you happy people!