George taunted me to sign up for Conquer the Wall 35 or 47-hour challenge. I told him I wasn’t ready for that, plus the race was too far in West Virginia which means I would have to request a special pass from work. I saw on Ultrasignup that my coach Ann was going to be there, so I told him to look for her in rainbow and unicorn gear! I was interested in the URE Marathon, but its registration period was over in November. George told me to message the race directors. On Thursday, 21FEB19, I e-mailed Dan and Amanda to see if they would add me to the waitlist. Within a couple of hours, I received an invitation and registered immediately! When I looked at the list of entrants, the only name I recognized was Liz Tutino’s!
The URE Marathon is a Fatass style event – no fees, shirts, awards. Runners would run out and back on the service road plus a loop of the Uwharrie 100 course. I donated a 5 lb bag of Black Forest gummi bears and a jar of pickles to the aid stations because those are a couple of my favorite aid station goodies. I really liked my bib number 316 – it made me recite the Bible verse John 3:16 in my head throughout the race. I love being out on the trails and admiring all of God’s creations!
The race started promptly at 0800. The trails were super muddy from heavy rain the previous night. It was cold, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Running through puddles and constantly wiping snot off our faces, Liz and I stuck together the entire way. I warned her about how Uwharrie always crushes my soul and laughed about how Dan almost had to call the rescue team on me the first time I came to a training run. The first 11 miles were pretty easy and felt more comfortable without the summertime heat/humidity. I almost felt as if I lied to Liz about how challenging Uwharrie was. Sasquatch Summit, Soul Crusher, and Hallucination Hill did not disappoint!!
Originally I thought the cut-off was 8 hours, so when I heard that it was 10, I felt confident and had no doubt in my mind that we would finish well before 10 hours. We finished in 6 hours and 34 minutes! I think we could’ve finished a little quicker if we hadn’t been primadonnas about getting our shoes wet at the beginning (and we call ourselves trail runners?!) Luckily for me, it hadn’t rained during the day and the sprinkling started right when I got into my truck and headed towards home. When my phone finally picked up cell service, I received a picture from George and Ann!
I don’t know what it is about Uwharrie, but it always has me coming back for more.