Since running with George at NC Fatass 50k, throughout the week, he would inform me of upcoming races. This was helpful because I had been on Facebook fast since early January. I couldn’t decide between doing The Idiot Run at Morrow Mountain State Park, Uwharrie, or Run the Rock Challenge. RR was in its first year, hosted by Gallant Few and Mission 22 at Raven Rock State Park. You had the option to run, walk, or ruck for 3,6, or 12 hours to raise money and awareness for combatting veteran suicide. Initially, George said he was going to be at the Idiot Run, but Thursday night before the race, something came up for him at work, so he decided to register for the RR – 12 hours. Also because his friend Rebecca signed up for the 3-hour option and asked him to come just in case she needed the extra encouragement. Rebecca is amazing because she survived a traumatic brain injury from a hit-and-run car accident which the driver left her for dead. She makes me ask myself, “What’s your excuse?!”
Luckily for me, registration was open until the day of the race so I signed up the night before. The other determining factor for me to choose RR was that AJ had an international flight to catch at 4 pm that day. I figured I’d stay close by and he could stop on the way up to the airport. Plus it’d be really nice to see him halfway throughout the race. Turns out George and I were the only two who were crazy enough to register for the 12 hr challenge. We called ourselves Thing 1 and Thing 2. I asked Julia, the RD, Sharpie the word “Thing” onto my Number 2 bib. George loves Raven Rock – he has been running there for years. In fact, his nickname is the Raven Lunatic.
The race began at 0700, I didn’t prepare much the night before and consequently had a flustered start. AJ said he would meet me at 1200. Each loop was 6.6 miles on a rocky Mountain Laurel Bike Trail and took me about 75 min to complete each loop. It was 1125 by the time I reached the parking lot to begin my 3rd loop. I had a decision to wait for AJ or continue, knowing damn well I wasn’t going to finish the loop by noon. George urged me to keep going. By the way, running with George can feel like I’m running with a celebrity. He is well known in the North Carolina running community. He introduced me to April, who was out volunteering. She is getting ready to do her 10th Umstead 100!!
AJ got there 20 min after we started that loop. I totally panicked and felt bad, I ditched George and April and booked it at Mile 23. I felt so guilty for having him wait for me, but he calmed me down and said he promised he wouldn’t leave without seeing me. I felt so happy and energized to see him, even if it was only for 10 minutes. I requested him to bring me Garden of Life Sport protein shake blended with almond milk and sweet potatoes with coconut oil and cinnamon (yum!) Technically I could have taken AJ to RDU, come back for final 4 hours of the race, and still be
After AJ left, I waited a few minutes for George to come. He grabbed a little food and we headed back out on the course to do a goof-off lap. I could’ve called it a day after 50k, which is what my training schedule called for, but I felt really good and kept on going. George and I ended up setting the course record together at 50 miles in 11 hours and 48 min, a new PR for me!
It was such an awesome day! I was really impressed with the staff, volunteers, and everything that the race stood for. I would recommend it and participate again next year. I really hope George and Julia are able to make the Raven Lunatic 100 mile course happe!