We arrived Friday afternoon and set up the camper in the back 40 of the lodge. Several runners had already arrived and were setting up camp. Others continued to arrive after we got there. After we got things set up, many of us met up at the local Italian Restaurant for dinner. We took up the entire back room! Hey, we have to carb load somewhere, right? Might as well do it with friends :D
After eating we went back to the lodge. It was then I decided to make the short drive over to Ellerbe to talk with the folks who's dog bit Joey and I in June. They still had not paid the balance of the medical bills, and I was ready to move on from that mess, but they had to finish the bills first. I got to their house and they were home. I didn’t dare step out of the Jeep into the yard that had way too many animals in it. I called them and she came out and talked with me. After talking for an hour about many things, I drove away with the balance of the money they still owed for the medical expenses, and a final feeling of peace and closure from such a horrible accident, that should have never happened....
Got back to Hinson and was quite happy! Shared the news with the circle of friends who were camping there at the lodge. Some couldn't believe I went on my own to square up the debt, but they were happy that it was over too. Hey, it needed to be done, so I did it.
In true ultrarunner style, we retreated to our tents and campers by 9:45 to try n get some sleep. OK, so we don’t know how to party the night before, but we sure do for the next 24 hours!
I woke up well before my alarm and got dressed. Got the kids up and had them get ready as well. It was just me and my kids this weekend - Andy had to work so I had to play both runner and mom during this event. I knew it would be kinda hard to balance, but was willing to do it as the other choice was not attending at all...
My kids were way excited to be at Hinson. Last year they had a great time and logged many miles. It was a race they talked about all year and how they wanted to go back again. They each had goals this weekend and were ready to reach them!
8:00am and the race is underway! The kids and I started out together, but Drew and Kayla took off and left Ashlynn, Jordan (the family dog) and I behind. Drew’s goal was to run 50 miles, up from 50K last year, Kayla's goal was 26.2, and Ashlynn's was a 10K.
I started off slow with Ashlynn and Jordan. Took the first lap at a walk. We took another lap together then went back to our canopy so Ash could rest. I was hoping that Kayla and I could rotate watching Ashlynn but Kayla was quite interested in logging the miles early on. I was happy that she and Drew were running, but it was hard to play mom when I wanted to run... So that is how most of the day went. I would go out for a lap or 2 when Kayla stayed with Ashlynn, then we would switch.
I slowly started logging some miles. One thing that was fun was getting to go out and run with some folks that I don't get the opportunity to run with very often. I logged some miles with Mark and Tim who I am friends with on facebook but had not met in person before. It was an awesome thing! I even ran one fast lap with Bobby. Most definitely my fastest lap of the day. My heart wanted to run like that all day, but that was not my goal. I also had to keep track of my kids. I didn't get the chance to run with everyone I had hoped to, but was at least able to say hi to most everyone.
Night started to fall, and I was still a ways off from my 39 miles. Kayla had gotten in her marathon and was helping at the aid station, Ashlynn was chillin at the canopy, and Drew was still running. He was closing in on his 50 miles. I was waiting by the canopy for him for quite some time, waiting for him to run by, but he hadn't. I had someone run by saying that Drew was looking for me so I went out for another lap looking for him. He was waiting for me on the bridge at the half way point. He was getting tired. I told him he was 4 miles away from 50 miles but I could tell he was done. He came to the decision to stop at 46 and what I thought was great is that he was not disappointed that he did not make the full 50. He said that will be next years goal :)
Joey arrived during the late evening and Ashlynn fell asleep on his lap. The day had worn her out. She covered a 10K. I was able to get in a few miles while she slept with him.
Joey and I ran my 39th lap together and I called it a night. Tried to fall asleep in the chair under the canopy, but a cool breeze had picked up off the lake and I took the kids into the camper with me to finish out the night.
Early the next morning we headed back down to the lake to see who was still running and to take down the canopy. Lots of people were still movin. Relentless forward progress... Pure awesomeness in motion! I started taking down the canopy when Rebecca came by nearly in tears saying “Amy, I am going to make my 40 miles just this lap to go!” If anyone knows about running and crying its me (flashback to U100). I stopped taking down the canopy and said you got this and I started running with her. We took off jogging down the path, me in my flip flops and jeans and Rebecca in her running attire on this last “banana lap” It was awesome! I hadn't planned on running any more that day, but I couldn't let her go on her own! We finished up on the other side of the lake, she dropped her banana when the horn sounded and we walked in happy about another great Hinson Lake 24 experience! Congrats on a great finish Rebecca! So proud of you and your accomplishments. You have come a long way girl! You are a huge inspiration to not only me, but to Kayla as well. She looks up to you a lot!
Now the real work began, had to tear down the canopy and the pop up camper. This is the third time I had to do this after running an ultra. Last year after the 100k at Hinson, again at Crooked Road after 83 miles and again now after 40+. Sometimes I think the real endurance comes after the race and pushing forward doing all the other stuff that needs to be done. ;)
Got everything packed up and met up with a few folks afterwards at the local Shoney's over race talk, bacon, eggs and chocolate milk :)
Another great Hinson in the books. Thanks to Tom who puts a great race together each year. My family and I are looking forward to 2013!