Quick race report. Saturday I ran the @liveloudrunning event called the Blue 2 Blue Challenge.
This race was an out and back that showcased two gnarly trails along the Blue Blazed Trail System in CT. The race started between a river and a playground in New Haven. You literally pick the trail up and immediately start climbing about 400 feet. This leads you to the Regicides or “the Reggie” as a I like to call it. Lots of beautiful views to take in over super technical and rocky course.
Next you go along the Quinnipiac trail that has a few water crossings and some more brutal turf. When I say this was challenging, I am serious! This race was no joke! I had made it out to the course the week before for some recon and ran the first trail, the Reggie, out and back. It was raining, as it has been for the last 2 months in CT, which made everything super slippery especially since I was running in an old pair of shoes(thicc bois RIP). I took a few spills and it took me 5 hours to get 15 miles done.
My plan for the race was to go sub 10 which isn’t fast by any means for a 50k but there was a 12 hour cutoff, and this was intended to be a long run in prep for #WorldsEnd. Race day comes and I see a few of familiar faces and my training bro @chesterhop Weather looks to be mid 60’s for the day and sunny. RD and Coach Jimmy Mac is giving the pre race speech as we get to the starting line. Shortly after the count down begins and we are off.
I quickly settle into a pack that I follow along for the first 13 miles. I’m making really good time and am way ahead of where I was hoping to be. I cleared the Regicides much quicker than the previous week and made it to the Q. I met and chatted with a few people along the way and was having an overall good time until I felt a small cramp. As a preventative measure, I slowed my pace a bit, fueled, and drank some water. The group pulled away from me but I was fine with it because I was so far head of where I wanted to be.
I began to build traction again and start seeing the leaders on their way back looking incredibly smooth. As I get to the turn around, I’m feeling pretty thirsty so I grab a Gatorade from my drop bag, chug that down, and chat with the aid station captains and jimmy. After fueling up I grabbed my poles and made my way for the trek back. About a mile out, I get lost and end up along a side of one river. It didn’t seem familiar and I apparently am lost. This always happens! I make my way through by bushwhacking and get to a blue blaze but can’t see what direction. I see Kris in the distance and decide to wait for him. We start catching up on how our days have been and realize we are lost again. After sometime we make it back to the trail and run into the sweeper. Since everyone was doing better than expected he was called in a few hours earlier. Soon after, we are joined by the legend. We share some miles and are pushing the pace and it happens again, I begin to feel some more leg cramps. This is around mile 25 but I’m pushing along. Everyone can see my pace slowing, so I urge Kris and Brian to urge on.
Joe hangs back with me until the final blow. I have a large cramp hit my left calve, then my right one, and completely collapse on the ground. The muscles tense up and my body shoots out, as this happens, it feels as though my muscles are being stretched and ripped at the core. I immediately start screaming a few choice words while punching the ground in pain. Joe rushes to my aid and Brian and Kris sprint back towards me. They immediately jump into action crushing salt pills and feeding me from my bottles as I lay face first in the dirt screaming in misery. My race was done. Joe hung with me until I had recovered enough to hike off the trail to where his car was and drove me back to the start finish.
My first DNF