Hi John, thank you so much for your hard work to put on the Zumbro race. I was a first time 50 Mile finisher and I barely made it. What a brutal course! It broke me absolutely sideways.
On the start of the second lap, just after cresting the first hill, just before 5am, the light and darkness started to vibrate and I began to hallucinate. I had to stop running to re-center myself. I couldn’t run without hallucinating again. For 4 long, slow miles, I beat myself down. My self-talk was a downward spiral of negative. I was walking slowly.
I was giving up.
I was going to finish the 2nd lap, get into my car, and drive away without telling anyone.
Eventually, I waddled to the first aid station. The volunteer told us we still had time to finish. We could do it if we just kept moving forward. I realized that I could still make it if I just walked the remainder of the course… for 11 more hours. The sun started to rise. At the top of that next hill, I suddenly got mad. I cursed the course. How dare Zumbro punch me back and think it had won? I stamped my feet, threw a tantrum, and screamed into the woods that I would beat Zumbro just to spite it. I kept going.
11 long hours of hiking later, I sprinted as fast as I could across the finish line. A volunteer handed me a coke. I collapsed into a folding chair and started to cry. I bawled my eyes out, convulsing with agony and relief and gratitude that I had entered the darkest place earlier that night for those 4 miles. I had decided to give up. But my legs had just kept moving forward.
Thank you to the volunteers, thank you to you, and thank you to all the other participants. Every single runner that passed me wished me good job and good work and good luck. There was no way I could have finished by myself.
Thank you for pushing me to grow beyond my limits.