Friday, August 18, 2023

The Ultra that WAS

Once upon a time ago in early 2020, back before the world came to a halt due to Covid, I trained for an Ultra that I never got the chance to run. The story of that adventure is here: Well just over 3 years later, I can now finally say that I am an Ultra runner as last weekend, I ran the Landsford Canal 50K.

Much like the previous Ultra I trained for, I did not speak or write much about doing this. I tend to do that when I am going to attempt something scary. Enough people already think I am crazy. So other than the couple of friends I was running the race with, I didn't talk about it much. I mean, I was planning to run 50K (31.5 miles) in August, in South Carolina, with nowhere near adequate training. Even I knew this was all a bad idea! 


It all started in the most unlikely place, one of my saner friends, Marlene. I was included in group text saying she heard about a free 50K that was coming up soon and would any of us be interested in doing it with her. Of those in the group text, I was the only one crazy enough to take her up on it. I then of course contacted some others to see if they wanted in, because of course misery loves company. A few of my Fleet Feet friends were also in. Honestly a few more than I actually expected! All in all, there were about 12 people I knew that said yes to this adventure, though a few went in knowing for sure that they would not do the entire 50K.

For timing reference, I received the original text message on June 25th. Race day was August 12th. And I was planning to be out of town about half of the days in between me registering for an running the race. So yeah, extra bad idea. But we were all taking the attitude of we plan to do what we could and if we didn't finish the full 50K, then so be it. But deep down I knew that if I started, I wouldn't let myself not finish. 


I was not a fan of these stairs
on the trail portion
I wish I could tell you all about how I jumped into an intensive training program like last time where I put in lots of hours and miles preparing. I did not. I traveled a bunch and ran very little. A couple of long runs here and there, but nothing really over 9 miles during that time frame. The closest to any kind of preparation whatsoever were two runs a the site of the race. 

The week of July 4th, the company I work for closed for the full week. I took advantage of that and planned a mid-week visit to Landsford Canal State Park, the site of the race. I had never been there before so I decided to check out the terrain. Armed with a Garmin Course map that I found that claimed to be the Landsford Canal 50K route from several years ago, I did my best to follow the course and document for the others what we were in for. I knew the course was a just over 4 mile loop and that the beginning had a weird out and back portion in order to get the correct milage, but I wasn't sure on the correct direction of the loop. 

You can see just how UP the Up was! 

Turns out, I chose wrong that first time. I ran the loop clockwise, first running the trail portion along the canal, then up a hill to the main road, down the main road to the park entrance and down the hill back to the canal. My watch kept telling me I was off course, but according to the map I wasn't. That's how I kind of figured out that I was running the incorrect direction. Plus, after running the loop and ending at around 4 miles, I started to figure out about the out and back portion, which was UP the steep hill leading from the park entrance to the main road, not down it, twice before running the loop counterclockwise. So I ran that up and back plus a bit more to get the lay of the area. Overall I ran about 8 miles and took a ton of photos. 

The only other run that I would consider a purposeful Landsford Canal training run would be 2 weeks before the race, I met another runner at Landsford Canal to run the course. The plan was to run 2 loops - the up, down up and up again followed by 2 loops. It did not go that way. We didn't start until almost Noon and it was HOT. I managed 1 loop and it was rough going. I was not feeling so awesome about this race. But I wasn't backing out. 


Team Fleet Feet
The Landsford Canal 50K started at 7:00 am on August 12th. It was 70 degrees out, but the sun was hiding in a thick fog that morning, making it not super hot, but super humid. The race capped at 50 runners, and I believe 45 runners actually started the race including me and 8 of my friends. I came to the race armed with a bag of clothes to change into as needed, an extra pair of shoes, my Drankful Adventure Pack full of water plus an extra gallon to refill and a bag full of snacks (pretzels, peanut butter crackers, krispie treats and 4 UCAN Edge gels. Oh, and a mild panic attack. I had that as well. Just kidding - a little. There may have been a few tears before the start. I knew I wasn't really ready, but it was now or never. My Fleet Feet crew snapped a quick picture (you can see how happy I am in it on the end) and we made our way to the start. 

The 5 members of Team Fleet Feet headed out together, planning to hang together the best we could. We started out going up for a mile. Then back down a mile. Up again and then embarking on the loop. Most of the run was on road so it was faster going than your typical trail 50K but we tried hard not to go out too fast knowing it was going to be a long day. We walked the steepest parts of the mile up even on this first loop. After 6 miles, 2 of which were very much uphill and 1.5 on trail, we were finished with our first loop with 6 more to go. 2 of the group hit the bathroom and 3 continued for loop 2. On loop 2 I started to fall back on the trail portion so when Katie and Robin stopped to use the bathroom, I kept going knowing that they would catch up to me, which they did. I'll spare you the complete play by play, but the 5 of us ended up being 3 groups the majority of the race - Katie and Robin leading, me in the middle, and Nicole and Gail behind. 

One of the few pics I took during the race
My phone was too wet most of the time
After 3 loops I had to stop and change my socks and shoes. I was sweating so much due to the heat (the sun fully out by now and nearing 85 degrees) that my socks and shoes were soaked through and squishing. I changed my shirt also but didn't bother with anything else. By this time I was mostly running on my own but saw a few others on the course. I ran as much as I could and walked when I had to. I tried to eat a little bit each time I went through the aid station/loop check point, but eventually settled on mostly drinking Coke for calories and caffeine. Another friend had set up a cheering station at the top of the big hill and I checked in with him after loops 5 and 6 for some fruit snacks and peanuts. On loop 6 a friend who came to check in on my met me on the trail portion of the loop and kept me company (very much appreciated) for about a mile before making it back to the checkpoint where I finally embarked on loop 7, the final loop. 

By loop 7, I was walking a lot, but still did my best to run when I felt I could. It was hot, I was exhausted, I was soaking wet, my shoes and socks were squishing again (I didn't have another pair) but I knew this was it. One more time around and I would be finished. I would be an Ultra Marathon runner. All my brain could think at this point was Run 20 steps, Walk 10 steps. Just keep moving forward. 


I was deliriously happy to finally see the finish line and a couple of my friends there, one who had volunteered at the race and another who had finished before me (Katie) and her husband and kids. I gulped down a huge cup of Coke but couldn't bring myself to eat anything quite yet. I knew I shouldn't sit down but did anyway. My main thought was I HAD to get my wet shoes and socks off. Even if that meant walking around barefoot, I didn't care. I was halfway through pulling off my 2nd shoe when the RD came over and handed me my finisher plaque. I tried to text my mom to tell her I had finished but the cell signal was spotty and my phone and fingers both too wet to make the touchscreen work. My quads started cramping terrible. But, despite all of that, I had done it. I was an Ultra Marathoner!! 


So did I learn anything? I learned I am really stubborn, though I pretty much knew that already. I learned that I should have better prepared, which I also knew as well. I learned that in the would of Ultra running, endurance is vastly favored over speed. Finishing was way more mental than physical. Of the 45 that started, only 24 finished. I was one of them. And I wasn't the last one even, though I would have been proud of myself even if I had been. 

I was asked after if would do another. I am actually registered for another Ultra event next month, though it is a different sort of race - a 24-hour event where you put in as many miles as you can - The Hinson Lake 24 Hour Classic. It is a sort of choose your own adventure style race. Want to run 5K, go for it. Want to run 100 miles, best of luck to you. I've not decided my goal yet, but I am toying with the idea of 100K. Many of the same runners from this past week will be there. Plus tents for potential napping. And hopefully, some more training before.

But after Hinson Lake, I may retire from these long distance style races. After the race, I felt great. But during, during I felt pretty garbage. And 7+ hours is a long to time feel bad like that. I am just not sure if the after is worth the during. Maybe for others, but I don't think it is for me. So while I am looking forward to Hinson, I've watched other do it for several years and always wanted to, I think that might be the end of my Utra Marathoning career. I may change my mind at some point, but currently, my head space is not where it needs to be to be an Ultra runner. 

Friday, July 28, 2023

World Tourist Status Acheived

High above Vancouver
Last week I took a bit of a holiday adventure to travel to the Great White North. Ok, so it wasn't quite White, it was Great and North! My brother and I visited Vancouver, BC and let me tell you, it was quite the trip. We packed a lot of cool adventures in a few short days including walking from one end of Vancouver to the other (and then across a few islands), Whale Watching where I was actually sprayed by a humpback whale named, Nike, crossing a 250 ft high, 450 ft long suspension bridge, enjoying a 360 degree view of Vancouver from 553 ft up, exploring the HUGE Stanley Park and Vancouver Aquarium, and wading into the Pacific Ocean for the first time. All truly awesome experiences. 

I also got to participate in a parkrun 5K while there, one that gave me World Tourist status (meaning I have run parkruns in 4 different countries). 

parkruns are timed 5ks that take place every Saturday morning. They are free, community events where you can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate that is totally volunteer supported. According to website, there are over 2000 parkrun events worldwide in 22 different countries each Saturday. parkrun is positive, welcoming and inclusive, there is no time limit and no one finishes last (they have course sweepers at most events). 

I first learned about parkrun from a friend and fellow BibRave Pro (at the time) Corey in 2018. I was visiting some family that lived near him in Louisville, KY and we planned to go for a run while I was in the area. He suggested with do the parkrun 5K at Joe Creason Park. It was awesome! There were lots of friendly people who were super welcoming. 

My first ever parkrun finish!

It works basically like this:

You can search the parkrun website to find a run: If you are not yet registered, you register and are assigned a parkrun bar code. I keep mine on my phone to scan, but you can get a bracelet to bring with you to runs if you prefer. You show up to the parkrun site by 9:00 am and then run an organized, plotted out and timed 5K course. When you cross the finish, you are handed a timing chip that you bring to a volunteer to scan along with your bar code. That's it! Free, Fun and Time 5K achieved!

It was so much fun, that when I got home I looked up where I could run another one. Sad news, there was no parkrun anywhere near me. Like I live in Rock Hill, SC and the closest one was the one in KY I had just done. So I figured my parkrun days were done. 

Until last year, on a work trip to Germany, one of coworkers from the UK who also runs mentioned that we should try to find a parkrun since we were there on a Saturday. parkrun is WAY more prevalent in Europe, especially in the UK and he runs them most weekends. So we checked the website and lo and behold, there was a parkrun in Frankfurt at Nidda Park. parkrun #2 for me (and his 250th!) 

Nidda parkrun

Then in June of this year, I found myself in Italy again for work. And again, I was there over a weekend and turned out there was a parkrun about a half mile from my hotel. parkrun #3 achieved in Milano Nord Park. 

Milano Nord parkrun

That run in Italy turned out to be my coworker's 4th country that he had done a parkrun in. He had heard about the World Tourist group on Facebook where you can join after your 4th country and told me about it. I, of course, took it as a challenge. So one of the first things I did when I was planning my Canada trip was to look up the closest parkrun to where I was staying. 

Turns out it was close. As in 2 KM close! So I got up, dressed to run and walked down to the Central Park Burnaby parkrun early Saturday morning. Just as all the others, the group was super friendly and welcoming. I was the only American there but there were other parkrun tourists. I chatted with a really nice lady from Australia and a couple from the UK. This parkrun, like many others, had an after-run meet up at a local coffee shop to hang out and chat after. Like I said, super friendly!

Burnaby parkrun

And with that, I was also a WORLD TOURIST too! 

Parkrun isn't as super popular here in the USA as it is in some other parts of the world (particularly UK and Australia) but it is gaining in popularity. In fact since that very first one in 2018, there is now a parkrun near me in Charlotte! They just celebrated their 1 year anniversary at the Little Sugar Creek parkrun last month. There are now 63 events across the United States. Visit the parkrun USA site to find out if one is near you: You won't regret participating if you do go. 

Fun fact about my parkrun experience - Yes, I now have World Tourist status for running in 4 different countries, but I've only run a total of 4 parkruns. So every parkrun I have done has been in a different country! And since my only USA parkrun was in Louisville, KY, I haven't even done the one that is 20 minutes from my house (Little Sugar Creek), but I've done ones on another continent! I should probably fix that soon, lol. Though maybe my 5th parkrun should be in a 5th country... where should I go next?

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Failure to Launch

So yeah, keeping things real here to admit that in fact, I wasn't actually ready to get back to work apparently. 

This month I learned that it isn't exactly setting yourself up for success to schedule a comeback during a month when you are planning to be travelling approximately 80% of it. 

So while I did have some really great adventures...

Trip to Myrtle Beach with my Not-So-Little One

Girls Trip to Lake Lure/Chimney Rock

Sibling Vacay to Vancouver with my brother

I did not have any great successes in getting my life back under control. 

But I am trying hard to not beat myself up about it. Instead, I am going to regroup, and give myself the grace to try again. 

I am not defeated just delayed.

Monday, June 19, 2023

I'm Back, and Ready to Work!

Me at the Duomo di Milano at night
So in my previous post here: I explained how all of my focus lately had been on stressing out over everything - both professionally and personally near constantly. Seriously, it felt to me like every day was just a constant struggle to survive. Was that being a bit dramatic, absolutely. But it's hard to calm yourself down when everything feels just so wrong and beyond your control. 

And while I know it is never a good idea to "put off until tomorrow what you can do today" that is basically what I had been doing for a while. Well, now it is tomorrow...

Do I think being back from Italy will magically make things better and instantly my motivation, self control and habits will all instantly come back? Of course not. But now I am in a much better mindset to actually put in the hard work necessary to get myself back on track in a few areas of my life. It won't be easy, but I am now mentally able to try. And, I've even come up with a new project to keep me motivated (I'm not quite ready to talk about it yet, but will soon and am pretty excited about this). 

So how am I starting? This morning I started 2 different programs to help me focus on getting back on track. 

The first is the Greatness App. This is a Habit Tracker app that helps you build routines and includes courses and lessons to help with mental and personal development. When you first download the app, it gives you a very detailed quiz to help you identify your goals and then suggests different plans and courses for building a customized plan. The app offers all of the following:
    • Fully personalized habit programs, tailored specifically to your goals and lifestyle.
    • Easy-to-adopt custom routines, which can be tweaked along the way as you learn to replace bad habits.
    • Habit tracker and friendly reminders for daily motivation and tracking progress – so you stay consistent and accountable.
    • In-depth expert courses to help you grow any area of your life and make better everyday choices.
    • Daily audio coaching from certified cognitive behavior therapists and psychologists that will help you to stay focused.
    • Intermittent fasting tracker to help you build healthier eating habits. You can choose a fasting goal and track your progress, all in one convenient place.
    • Mental health coaching library – bite-sized audio lessons on managing worry, overcoming procrastination, reducing anxiety, stress, and more.
    • Guided video workouts with step-by-step guidance, led by expert trainers.\
To access all of the content, you do have to pay for a subscription, but there is a free version, which I am trying currently. I am not opposed to paying for content if I find it useful, so if I do find that I am benefiting from using this app, I will subscribe, but I want to get a good feel for how to integrate it into my life before shelling out $ for it, especially when some apps make it a challenge to unsubscribe. 

The app recommends that you start out on the Sticky Habits program, so that is where I am starting. This program says that it will help you develop "5 essential habits that will transform the way you start each day." It lasts 15 days. Currently the only habit it has me focusing on drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, which I pretty much already did, but I am committed to trying the 15 day program as it is. Each of the 5 habits have multiple Steps to Success that gives tips and reasoning behind why each habit is considered essential and how mastering them will start your day out on the path to success. I will post a comprehensive review of the program when I finish the 15 day Stick Habits program. So far, it reminds me a lot of the Tiny Habits concept, which I read the book earlier this year, where you start small and build on to making lasting changes without becoming overwhelmed. 

The other program that I am starting to day is the 75 Medium Challenge. This is a less extreme version of the 75 Hard Challenge, where you follow an extremely strict meal plan (no cheat meals, no alcohol), exercise outdoors 2x a day for 45 minutes, drink a gallon of water, read 10 pages of a nonfiction book each day, take a progress picture each day. If you fail any 1 thing, you start over. Yeah, that is a bit much. So I am doing a scaled down "Medium" version. 

The 75 Medium Challenge consists of the following:
  • Eat Well 90% of the time and only drink alcohol on social occasions
  • Drink 3 liters of water per day
  • Read 10 pages of any book each day
  • Exercise for 45 minutes every day
  • Take a progress picture
Way more doable. Today is Day 1 for me. I am confident that I can stick to this as it has some room for adaptation while still being pretty strict. It's almost Noon and I have already put in my 45 minutes of exercise (iRock this morning), stuck to a meal plan for breakfast and snack, plus brought for lunch and afternoon snack, and have drank almost half my water for the day. I also took my progress picture first thing this morning, which will never see the light of day, but I took it. Maybe at the end to show how far I have come (hopefully). 

So that is where I am now. Back. Motivated. Ready to get back on track. I will try to post an update each week to see how things are progressing. And I will do full reviews of both the Greatness App and 75 Medium Challenge to help others decide if they would benefit them as well. 
I may have felt like I was starting over this morning, but I got up and gave it my all

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

As Soon As I'm Back from Italy...

"Professonal" me - working a tradeshow
this one in Atlanta, GA
So if you have been a reader of my blog and/or follow me on social media, you know that I not only run/workout on the regular, but am also a RCAA certified running coach training for Fleet Feet Sports. Well... in addition to that, I hold down a day-gig that I don't mention much as the Global Marketing Manager for a company that manufactures QC and performance testing instruments for the Textile Industry. Pretty impressive, eh? 

Anyway, one of the biggest events that I coordinate for my job is this huge, week-long trade show that takes place every 4 year in Europe. Every 4 years, it switches between Barcelona and Milan. It was in Barca last time (see my post about that awesome trip here: so this time, it is in Milan. This will be my 2nd time going to Milan and I am greatly looking forward to it, despite all the work. 

But that said, prepping the trip has been pretty much all I have been able to focus on these days. It's a lot to coordinate, and I feel like I have let a lot of my other goals and focuses slack. I hate being in a perpetual state of - I'll worry about that as soon as I am back from Italy, or I will get back on track with XYZ as soon as I am back from Italy. This has become my mantra. I don't like this mantra. But, sigh...  as soon as I am back from Italy, I DO plan to get to work on some major goals. 

So stay tuned for that. And wish me luck in Milan. I leave this weekend (June 4th) and will be gone until June 14th. And then, just you wait, I'll be not only back, but back on track. 

Pic of the Milan Duomo from my last visit in 2015

Friday, April 28, 2023

Ville to Ville Relay Recap

Earlier this month, I got to run one of my bucket list races, the Ville to Ville Craft Beer Relay. Every year I had suffered from a serious case of FOMO seeing all the pictures from teams that friends of mine were on and I vowed I would do this race one day. Well, last Fall, I was approached by one of my fellow Fleet Feet runners, Nicole, had a few spots open on a team she had registered. I immediately claimed one!

So here are the basics. The races is a 72 mile relay from AsheVille, NC to GreenVille, SC. A team of up to 6 runners take turns running a total of 12 legs that vary from the shortest being 4.16 miles (Leg 12) to the longest being 9.64 miles (Leg 9). Most were around 6-7 miles. And if you are not familiar with this area, you are running over some pretty severe elevation. 

The elevation profile for my first Leg - Fletcher to Hendersonville

Before the race, you submit your anticipated team average pace and based on that, your team is given a start time around two weeks before race day. These waves start at 5:00 am and go through at least 8:30 am (that was the latest time I heard at least). My team submitted a 9:45 average pace and were given a 7 am start time. 

Gail, Christine, Victoria, Me, Jeramy and Nicole

website has a TON of information on it, super useful when preparing. There are detailed breakdowns of each leg including directions for both runners and drivers for you print out and carry with you. Each of the 12 legs were rated by difficulty: Easy, Moderate, Hard and Super Hard. Our team was extremely thoughtful when assigning legs attempting to fairly distribute the mileage and the difficulty. For example, I was assigned Leg 4 and Leg 11 which gave me 12 miles with one leg rated Super Hard (the 2nd hardest leg) and one leg rated Easy (the 2nd easiest). My teammates legs all looked pretty similar, 12-ish miles give or take and fairly distributed difficulty. One of our teammates was a WIZ at creating complicated Excel spreadsheets. Seriously, I think she might be a math witch. 

The theme of the 2023 Ville to Ville race was Hollywood. It is strongly encouraged for your team to dress up to theme and there are awards for things like Best Costumes, Best Team Name and Best Social Media Postings. So once we noticed we had a team of 1 guy and 5 girls, we leaned into the Hollywood theme and named ourselves Jeramy's Angels. This worked doubly well in that our Charlie (or Jeramy) had to leave the team before the finish line so he would be crossing "virtually" as a voice in a box, much like Charlie would on Charlie's Angels. We decided on color coordinated outfits with tutus for the ladies and a running tux shirt for our fella. These were for photo purposes only as the tutus were a bit much to run in and according to Jeramy, running in the tux shirt was like "being under a wool blanket with 2 cats". We looked amazing though. 

One of the rules is that you can only have one vehicle on the course for transporting your team from exchange point to exchange point. Our team rented a minivan to act as our transport vehicle for the weekend. We packed her up with all our gear (Chistine was our baggage check to make sure that we did not overpack) and food (we totally packed way too much - Victoria made SO many PB&Js and PB Bagels, we were never hungry), gathered the crew and drove to Asheville.

Packet pick up for the race was at New Belgium Brewing in Asheville the evening before the race (no day of pick up). We drove straight there and arrived around 4:30 after a bit of yucky traffic from it raining. In addition to our team tracking bracelet, shirts, bibs, and medals, we were given a pint glass, beer koozie and drink ticket each. You had a choice of 4 different beers, I chose the Voodoo Ranger Juicy Hazy IPA, a really great beer I have had before. 

We met up with 3 other groups of runners (our sister Fleet Feet team plus 2 other local groups from Rock Hill/Fort Mill). We got to meet the race director as well, who was dressed in a tuxedo, leaning into the Hollywood theme. There was music, vendors plus the bar had drinks specials for those who wanted more than their initial free beer. The rain stopped while we hung out and we took some pics and had a great time. 

Teams: Jeramy's Angels and CeCe's Friends

Afterwards, my team, and the other team of Fleet Feet runners (CeCe's Friends) went out to dinner then off to the hotel to get some sleep before the big day. I roomed with a girl on the other team, and they had an hour earlier wave time (they started at 6:00 am), so it was a 4:15 am wake up call for me! 

Out hotel was very close to the start, so we met in the lobby at 6:00 am for our 7:00 am start time. We dressed in our Jeramy's Angels shirts and headed off to the race site with a quick stop to fill the gas tank so we wouldn't have to during the race. 

There were about 40-50 other teams starting with us, each with their own van, so parking was a bit of a struggle to maneuver the parking area, but we found a space that we thought would be easy to get out of (spoiler alert: it was not). We took some fun pics and then walked our first runner, Jeramy, to the start area. Right at 7:00 am, Jeramy's Angels had officially begun! 

Nicole handing off the tracker to me
This post is starting to get super long, so I am not going to go into the minutia of the race here. Our team had a runner on course at all times with a timing bracelet that we would exchange to the next runner in a marked transition zone. We tracked the runners via the RaceJoy App which I will most likely do a post about just that. Overall, it was a solid way to track with just a few minor issues. We mostly knew where our runner was at all times. The legs were on roads (with the exception of the first leg had some trail sections and the last 3 legs had sections on the Swamp Rabbit trail (which was paved and ran parallel to the main roads. The course was straight up HARD in some places, but it was an enjoyable hard. I enjoyed the parts, even though there was a lot of UPHILL. Like A LOT!

Here are some notable observations:

  • I never felt alone on the course like I did when running the previous relays I have done like the GAP and Ragnar Relays. There were many more teams and we ran on roads, so it felt more like an actual race. You had plenty of opportunity to pass and be passed.

  • People watching the other teams was a ton of fun. Many dressed in fun costumes. Some of the notable ones were: Will Ferral characters
    , Muppets, full on ball gowns, Top Gun, The Hollywood Sign, League of Their Own, The Pink Ladies, different Brittany Spears outfits and many more. I had huge admiration for the dude I saw running the hardest leg of the race dressed as Ron Burgundy (pictured to the right)!

  • The exchange points were chaotic, but an organized chaos. There were plenty of port-a-potties including 2 reserved for the "Runner on Deck" at each exchange. However, do note that later in the day, you will want to bring your own toilet paper just in case. The only exchange I was at that had zero TP was the leg 9/10 hand off. 

  • The course was hands down, absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I took a ton of scenic pictures. If you have never been through this area of NC/SC, you are missing out.

  • You will want to bring your own food, water and other race day essentials. There are no aid stations, not even at the transitions, and most exchange stations were not near town centers with easy to get in and out of restaurant options (though we did find a cool coffee shop during leg 3). The exception was the Leg 10/11 transition which was at Swamp Rabbit Brewing. The food and beer there looked amazing and there were lots of other options close by, but Leg 11 was mine, so I had to run instead of partaking!

  • You are given your medals at packet pick up so that you can "award" yourself your medal after your last leg. My team decided to hold on to ours and put them on all together at the finish line. That you have the option was nice and kept the finish line clearer. 

  • There were FREE race pictures! I only saw a photographer at the finish, but there were some scattered throughout the course during the day. We just somehow seemed to miss them. See below for our Finish Line Photo!

The girls are ready to help Gail into 
her tutu for our triumphant finish
After 12 long legs of challenging running, my team changed back into our tutus for that final run as a group across the finish line (sans Jeramy as he had to leave us after Leg 10, but I did call him on my cell so he could "experience" the finish. The 4 of us left waited along the straightaway close to the finish for our final runner, Gail, to come in. We helped her quickly into her shirt and tutu and crossed the finish together in a vision of colorful tulle. 

Jeramy's Angels had a finish time of 11 hours, 38 minutes and 8 seconds. Our goal average pace was 9:45 and we hit 9:47, which I think was pretty dang awesome! (All thanks to Gail and her complicated spreadsheets).

The after party at Hampton Station was really nice. My brother lives in Greenville, but I had never been to Hampton Station before. There were lots of cool shops, bars and resturants there and they brought in a ton of food trucks for the occasion as well. Everyone got a free beer with a ticket on their bib. You could purchase others if you wanted to. There was also Ville to Ville gear for sale. I had preordered a 4-pack of the "official" Ville to Ville beer andNicole and I walked over to Birds Fly South Ale Project to pick those up. We met up with CeCe's Friends and took a ton of pictures before deciding that we needed to head out to get some dinner. It was a long day, but it was SO MUCH FUN

Jeramy's Angels and Jeramy's Angels and CeCe's Friends

Like I said, I didn't really do a play-by-play the day, but if you have any specific questions about the race, the course or anything, just drop me a comment below. I am happy to discuss this awesome race further. 

Would I recommend Ville to Ville: Heck Yeah! Would I do it again? Well my team has already registered for next year's race! While I am not 100% sure I will be able to run it (it is so hard to commit that far in advance) but I have first rights of refusal with my team and I will do what I can to work it in. This race is SO popular though, you pretty much have to register you team the day immediately after running it. Seriously, it sold out in 25 hours!!