Well, here's the race report.
I was really wondering how this race would go. Forecast of 40C with humidity, forecast of sandy, technical trails with some hills, forecast of 'I haven't run further than 25k in a year and that was two months ago...'.
As I said in my preview, what could go wrong?
I'm the master of race prep, shall we say.
The race started at 8am, which was nice as I didn't have to get up until 5am. After checking that April and Mel got their car started, I picked up some ice for the cooler (need cool Gatorade and beer!!!) and hit the road.
Got to Mansfield Outdoor Centre, picked up my race kit, saw April and Mel, found Tanker and K and got my chair set up with them, Robin B was there too, whoo hoo! Relaxed, then went and found Joe who was running the 24 hours and hey! Francesco is here! He was running the nighttime 12 hours in prep for a fat ass 100 miler later this year.
I started at the back and FINALLY got to meet Robin W. Joe and I ran together, though he got a bit ahead of me on the first 8k loop. I caught up to him and we ran the second and third loops together. I slowed down a bit but it was fun to run with Joe, and I was hurting - that's what I get for running while overweight and undertrained, oof, everything hurts.
Going into the race I had said 'I have to run at least 32k' but by mid-way through the second loop I was like 'Oww, maybe I'll call it at 3 loops' and then I said 'Don't be an idiot!' I just kept plugging away, ran behind Joe for the 2nd loop and part of the third before I took the lead. A tree fell on one of our loops and perhaps it was because we were there to hear but believe me, when a tree falls in the forest, it's loud.
Ran with Kelly B and Kelly W for a bit, which was really nice. Always great to see them.
On the...third? loop Mel and April both lapped me, at different times, looking good. By the time the fourth loop started I knew I'd finishing at least that. I tried to pay attention to how long it took me to get to the 2k marker as I thought I'd probably have time to do a part loop...it felt like it took bloody forever! I swear, that two k is ridiculously long. The first 4k of the course felt way longer then the second 4k, go figure.
At some point I accidentally dropped Joe. I'd figured if I was going a bit slower running with him that's okay because we're running buddies and I would be pacing him at Haliburton, so good practice. I may not be good pacer material, because I looked behind me, and was like 'He'll catch me' but he never did, he was gone. Oops.
My stomach was upset, I stopped after the first loop and otherwise held it until the end of the fourth loop. I thought 'Do I have time to go out for another 2k to get to 34k on the race?' but math is not my strong suit while running and decided I didn't, I felt like I was moving really slowly.
So I stopped at 5:23:06, 32k.
Of course, looking at my Garmin data after, I had a huge amount of time to get to 34k. Sigh. I shouldn't talk myself out of these things.
It's funny, I was all proud of myself for only getting lapped by Mel (who was also running the 6 hour) once but she ran 52k so she obviously lapped me twice and we just didn't notice each other.
I thought I'd missed Joe going back out when I was otherwise occupied in the toilet, but after a long time wandered back towards the start/finish and saw him by his tent sitting in a chair - he was done, after 32k (though he never crossed the mat so he's only credited with 24k). Talked with him for a bit, to Mel, cheered on April and K running the 12 hour, hung out with Tanker and drank beer in the sun - it was a great time! Robin had a strong 6 hours, she got to 40k, very impressive.
I think - THINK - I was 29/41 starters. Not a strong showing, but given how little I've been running and how heavy I am - I'll take it. No complaints here. I had a GREAT time - such a fun course, lots of sharp turns, stumps, a couple of nice long hills (one that just went on forever....). The rumour is 2016 is Dirty Girls' last year which is sad if true. The volunteers and aid stations were amazing - this is a really great race and course.
One change this did make to my season - obviously Joe is not prepped to run 100 miles at Haliburton. So instead of volunteering during the day and pacing at night at Haliburton, I'm running the 50k (what could go wrong hahahaha I predict my slowest-ever 50k), and then volunteering overnight. Looking forward to it, should be fun!