Enough can not be said to laud Adam, Dan and Kat for their time and hard work invested in the Triolgy. The venue, the volunteers, the Mt Institute staff, the fraternity of ultra runners and the families and friends who come to support them all contribute to the aura of the event. I arrived rather early on Thur as I get a bit too excited for upcoming events. But being there early allowed me to see familiar faces as they arrived and to greet new faces as well. I strongly feel that those “new” faces will be familiar faces next year. Three days of running are plenty, however, returning to work on Monday was difficult as my thoughts returned to the courses I had just run and the conversations I had just had over the Trilogy daze ( I mean days ). There are way too many memories to recount in this space. I do not wish to exclude any particulars. Let it simply be known that everyone of you is remembered in these post race days. The 50K went very well for me this year! Gavin pulled me to the end in a very respectable time. I only wish that I hadn’t tripped and fallen on my face 20 meters from the finish banner. The 50M was a bit anxiety filled. I had failed to make the 14 hr cut by 4 minutes last year. My feet had become terribly blistered on day one and I had difficulty getting food down pre-race. I was committed, however, no matter how I felt as I had dozens of supporters who pledged $ for me to finish that goes to operate the Bike Club I sponsor at South Middle School. It isn’t easy thinking of letting down donors and middle school kids. During the run, I thought “Next year I’ll have to find an easier way to raise $”. But as I drove home on Sunday afternoon I thought of how I can improve my performance for the 2013 Trilogy. I don’t want to miss out on the fun and friendship. After the first stop at Judy Springs Aid I felt so much better. Seeing Pete, Dennis and Nathan spurred me on. The climb up the east face of Horton was rather quick and before I knew it I was cruising down White’s Run trail listening to the squirrels chatter and enjoying the views as I bounded along the knife edges. The crew at the turn around were great. They found first aid so I could bandage my feet. Then up the trail. Again I just cranked and enjoyed the views. Heading down the west slope of Horton was grueling. Blistered, bandaged feet are no fun. But I had my finance supports to think about. Just keep moving I thought. As I arrived at Horton Aid, I received cheers from Megan , Michelle and another who I don’t know the name. Michelle offered me a sip of her legal adult beverage. It tasted SO good! My spirited buoyed when they told my that Rhonda had pasted through 1hr ahead. I was rooting for her and she ended up kicking the 14 limit in the teeth. The long trudge up Spring Ridge was as daunting as ever. I did see a snowshoe hare for the very first time at the top of the climb. Nearly 40 years visting these mountains and it was my first sighting of a live snowshoe. Bear scat was also abundant on the ridge. Amie caught me on the descent to Judy Springs Aid and as I was filling my H2O and belly, she simply disappeared flashing up the trail. The last 10 miles I figured I would run without walking. No, I was wrong. But I never stopped moving. At the base of Cardiac my watch read 13hr 30mins. Man, I was cutting it close. I gave myself 15 mins to get up Cardiac, I made it in 11. I was in good shape. Running past the observatory, I could not see any lights from the yurts. What?! Had there been a zombie invasion, were the RD’s playing a trick on me? As I turned off of the road I see the finish clock and heard cheerring after I answered to the question from the dark, ” Are you a runner?”. “Absolutely!”, was my answer. Folks were willing to leave the warmth of the yurt to see me the “half Fast Runner” finish under 14 hrs. It was fabulous! The final day was not so great. I could barely get my feet into my shoes, I could barely jog without painful footfalls. But I had to finish! AND I HAD FUN!
Author: Mark Wm Thorne