Dugway is basically in the middle of nowhere. It took nearly two hours of driving to get there. But when we arrived, it was actually a very pretty place.
|And the sunrise was stunning.|
|Back of the packin' in the sunrise. Photo courtesy of Scott M. Stringham|
I finally calmed down and got my act together just in time for the course to get stupid hard. So there was 4000 feet of climbing in the 30K. That's a lot of feet, you guys. And I was smack dab in the middle of the (insert swear word of choice here) Whole 30 program. I basically had no energy and wanted to die by the time we started climbing up Scorpion Tail and then the Widow Maker. The race director has a sense of humor and all the points of interest and climbs had names.
|I want to believe.|
|There we are in front of Dugway Stonehenge, with some other choice shots of the course. Photo courtesy of Scott M. Stringham.|
I was trying to enjoy it, but being completely drained and malnutritioned, I instead started writing depressing songs in my head and gave myself a band name. Look for an album of melancholy running and hunger songs from Heather's Body and the Sadness coming out sometime when I actually learn to play an instrument.
|This would make some sweet album art. Photo courtesy of Scott M. Stringham.|
They had cold Gatorade at the start/finish aid station and even though it's not Whole 30 approved, I knew I needed some. My fingers were swollen and it was getting difficult to bend them. That's not a good thing, in case y'all were wondering. So I drank that Gatorade and felt no guilt because I'm fairly certain it's the only reason that I made it though the last 9 miles. I definitely had a boost in my mood after drinking it. We even managed the ri-friggin-diculous climbs up Scorpion Tail and Widow Maker faster than on our first loop. It was a running miracle.
|Jabba the Rock endorses Gatorade.|
|After the tough climbs, we got to slytherin down the other side of the mountain.|
We made it to the finish line in just under 7 hours total. That's basically a 20 minute mile average... But we didn't get blown up, and to my surprise, I received an award for second in my age group. Make no mistake, Scott and I were dead last, but there were only two women in my age group. They had 6" shells that had been fired there on the base as the age group awards. Unfortunately for Scott, his age group was nearly half the field and he was fifth in his age group, so he didn't receive any military debris. He did win a pair of super sweet running socks in the raffle though, so we both came away with a little something extra.
|Shell, medal with a UAV on it, and comfy shirt with course map. They had some nice swag.|
When we finally made it to the start, I was ready to puke my guts out. Getting off the bus was the only thing I wanted in the world right then. So of course, they made us sit on the bus for approximately forever before they could pull up five feet to let us out. Once I was free of my bussy prison, we met up with Jamie, Tennille, and Teresa. Jamie and Tennille were dressed as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Teresa was decked out in exercising ghosts, Scott was a mideaval warrior, and I was in my muscle suit.
|Photo courtesy of Jamie Eckles.|
|So I guess I'm this dude now.|
There was no joy for me, since I was 2/3rds of the way through the Whole 30 program and had yet to feel any benefit from it. I was a broken shell of a human being (well, a broken shell covered in muscle print fabric) by the end. We squeaked in just under three hours for a course that should have taken half an hour less. Scott enjoyed it though, because he could eat what he wanted and is super good at running anyway.
|Trying not to die on my end, enjoying the lovely day on his end.|
|Great shirt and medal this year.|
|Close up of the medal detail.|