Monday, December 6, 2010

The 50K Mud Run (Race Report)

The many months of training all came down to this day. I stood in the freezing cold as my mind started to wander..."Looks like it might rain...I hope my legs hold up...Dangit, I have to pee...Is that rain?"

Sure enough, less than 30 second before the start of the race the skies opened up. With very little time to worry about it, we were off and running. The rain felt nice at first, a lot better than blistering heat, I thought. A few miles in and some easy hills behind me, I was feeling pretty confident.

Then came the mud.

Slipping and sliding in the mud might be fun for football, but no one is laughing when you're running 31 miles covered in the stuff. Slow ascents became a crawl (sometimes literally) and quick downhills turned into a gentle walk, hoping not to slip and fall off a cliff.

As many of you know, I challenged myself to spend the entire race in a posture of prayer, committing to 31 people/groups and to spending time talking with Jesus. I cannot describe how enjoyable my time with Him was. Prayer has never felt so natural to me. I don't know if it was being in nature, or seven plus hours of solitude, but I felt His presence with me the entire time.

Quick sidenote: Thank you to everyone who prayed for me during this race and to those of you who were of the 31, you all encouraged me and helped me perservere. And to those of you not written on my arm, rest assured you were prayed for at some point during the race.

Back to the mud...

My energy was running low and my legs were starting to feel the pressure of the hills. With about 20 miles down and 11 or so to go, I started to question myself. I had been running for well over five hours and my body was feeling it. I knew my family was at the next aid station so I pushed on.

When I saw my family waiting for me, I thought i'd let them know how I was feeling...

In all honesty, I couldn't have been happier to see them. I stopped for some food, Advil and red vines and was quickly on my way. About 6 miles and a killer ascent left...

Seeing my family gave me a huge boost, but it was followed immediately by an 800 foot climb over a mile and a half stretch. I pushed myself, knowing that once I reached the top, it was all downhill to the finish.

As I reached the final aid station with three miles to go, I looked at my watch and realized my goal of finishing under eight hours was still well within reach. My legs felt strong as I flew down the hill, running my fastest miles of the day.

As I came to the final half-mile, I was shocked that my legs felt so fresh. I spent a few minutes praising God for carrying me through before I kicked into a "sprint", passing a few people on my way to the turn just before the finish. With my family screaming and yelling, I crossed the finish line pumped up and full of energy. Official finishing time: 7:39:44
The course, the people and the mud were all unforgettable and my time with Jesus will forever change the way I pray. I signed up for this race hoping to push myself's safe to say I got a lot more than I bargained for.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on a great race! I just did TNF 50K as well in SanFran. What an epic course.

    My race report is here: