Saturday, November 28, 2015

Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra with a Dash of Star City Half Marathon

Last weekend sure was a busy one for a weekend that neither of us had official plans to participate in any races whatsoever. Like I had mentioned in previous posts, Mr. Marathon was able to participate in the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra Marathon at like the last minute due to someone who dropped out. This run took place in Rocky Mount, VA, which is only 30-45 minutes north of where we live. It is so crazy that such a splendid 24-hour event like this is located so close to home! Well, hubbs wasn't allowed to have all the fun, and I had a long run on the schedule, so I signed up on a whim to do the Star City Half Marathon in beautiful (hilly) Roanoke. I did the Star City Half Marathon in 2013, and it was rough, so I was very hesitant to do it, but I am glad that I did!
It was cold in Roanoke!
So let me run you through our entire weekend (HAHAHA GET IT? RUN!!!) . It all started bright (dark actually) and early Saturday morning when we both woke up before the sun and parted ways around 6:30 am: me to Roanoke, him Rocky Mount. I arrived at the starting line in Roanoke with just (barely) enough time to hit the porta potty and warm up/thaw out before the chilly start of the race. While I was preparing for my race, mister was preparing for his. He took off with the group at 8:00 am to start the 24 hours of laps around the 1.18 mile loop around a quaint little park that was tucked away behind the city.

My finisher's medal!
Fast forward a couple of hours and quite a few miles later for both of us (13.1 for me, approximately 16 for him). I had a good run, finishing at a satisfactory time of 2:31:19. It was an improvement of over 6 minutes from Myrtle Beach with significantly more elevation change, so I'll take it! Anyway, I had finished my run and was on my way to Rocky Mount for hubby's event. He called to check on my and see how I did (insert AWWWWWs here so sweet I know blah blah), and he informed me that he forgot to pack his extra shoes and his current shoes had begun to give him blisters already! So he was on his way back home to pick up shoes and come right back to continue on running.
He ran like this the whole time, prancing about and whatnot.
So I'm going to break away from the narrative of the day to explain a little bit about this 24 hour event. It is a really great concept: the event goes from 8:00 am Saturday to 8:00 am Sunday. Like I mentioned, the course is a 1.18 mile loop that runners do laps on. The running club that puts on this event has great volunteers who mark the laps as runners come through. The best part about this event is that participants don't have to run for the entire 24 hours! They can take a break, take a nap, go eat, go home if they forgot something, whatever! So obviously that's what Mr. Marathon ended up doing.

Such a gorgeous little park!

After Mr. Marathon returned to the park with several pairs of shoes in hand (foot?), he took off again. And he ran. And ran. Oh, and he ran some more. He kept on running until mid afternoon, when we were planning on heading back home yet again for our Christmas Parade at 5:00 pm. We headed home and watched the parade, got our jollies, and then we returned yet again to the park where Mr. Marathon and I set up camp for the night, literally. We set up a tent so that he could take nap breaks and then go running so he could meet his goal of 50 miles. Throughout the night, I cheered him on from my slumber. It was very cold, so it was even more challenging to wake up every few hours, change clothes, and go run in the pitch black night! I wouldn't know, but that's just what he told me. Anyway, he got up to run at various times throughout the night at approximately 11:00 pm and 3:00 am to go run. I, on the other hand, did not. Regardless, he ended up finishing his miles and smashing his goal to little bitty pieces by around 5:30 am when he clocked in at ***drum roll please***......
Selfie with the 100K! Which he finished at like 3:15 am!
(he waited until the sun came up to take this picture, obvs)
He is very happy with his mileage total for this event. His goal kind of evolved in the days leading up to the event and during the actual event. At first, he thought he just wanted to run the longest distance he's ever run, which would be anything over 31.1 miles/50K. Well he secretly wanted to do more, so he set a goal to do 50 miles, which he ended up getting at around 1:00 am. He still had 7 hours of the event, so obviously the next logical step is to just keep running, which he did. He kept on going and decided to aim for the 100K mark, which is 62.1 miles. In order to get credit for his 100K, he had to finish the lap he was on, which gave him 62.6 miles. Contrary to what most normal people would have done (um, pass out??) he realized that he forgot to take pictures along the course! Now that the sun was coming up, he pranced off for another lap to get pictures. Then, when I finally woke up, he felt bad that I didn't get to see the course, so I walked part of his last lap with him. By this point, he had racked up 64.98 miles! Crazy guy!

He blew past this milestone around 1:00 pm!

He flew past the 50K mark by 4:00!

Our tent!
NOT PICTURED: our generator and space heater.... :)

We survived camping out!
Finishing off his last lap with 3 minutes to spare!
Taking a picture with
ultra marathon runner legend, Tom Green
He ran 55 laps, and he never got
tired of looking at this cute little waterfall!
The 24 hour event was definitely one of the best experiences we've ever had at a running event. It had a super friendly, encouraging atmosphere, and it was accessible to ultra marathoners of all levels! Not to mention, they had awesome food throughout the day, including candy, cookies, pickles, olives, pizza, hamburgers, peanut butter and jellies, cinnamon rolls, quesadillas, soups, sodas, and so so much more! And of course they had wonderful volunteers to provide these foods and of course they had great volunteers to keep tallies for the laps. It is just so amazing that we have such a world-class event hidden away right in our own backyard! This race is something that we (yes, we) are putting on our (yes, our) race docket for next year.

The face you make after running 100K+ and hardly sleeping
and you desperately need real food
and your wife says "Wait let me get a picture!"
My precious little ultra-marathoner!
Rest and recovery is the best part!
Because of the holidays, I fell off the blogging bandwagon, but hopefully I'll catch up soon. Mr. Marathon and I participated in the Turkey Day 5K a couple of days ago on Thursday, so we'll do a quick post about that soon, and those announcement posts that I keep alluding to at the end of each post are coming, I promise...!!!!! So stay tuned!


  1. LMFAO @ "ultra marathoners of all levels"

  2. Thank you for sharing It is indeed a great place to participate