The Huff 50k Relay Recap!!!

This recap, just like any others I have written may be lengthy.  There is just so much information about a race and the experience of it, I can’t bear to leave it out! 

Friday evening D and I headed down to packet pick up.  It was at a restaurant along with a small pasta dinner.  They served spaghetti and garlic toast, salad and cake!  It was good and the other runners there, were as always, joyous and talkative!  D and I could tell when the staff had reached their boredom limits and people weren’t coming in as much.

They were having a ton of fun!!
When we left the dinner/packet pick up we headed to a quaint Bed and Breakfast in the town closest to the race.  They were very inviting and let us know everyone staying but one couple were all runners for the next day.  Whew!  I knew I wasn’t going to be waking anyone up!! 
Our room!
D wandered around collecting a couple of homemade chocolate chip cookies while talking to the owner and then we started winding down by reading books until we eventually went to sleep!
When we got up in the morning the owner was confused why we were staying at a B & B yet brought our own breakfast.  I let her know I only ate certain things before a race and since the one thing she didn’t have was bagels, I was glad I had brought my own!  D and I ate from our mini breakfast bar, I showered and we got ready to go. 
Just the basics!
We were meeting our third runner Kari at the park the race was taking place at and she was getting close.  We headed out!  We got to the park and D said just while I was driving back to park “it’s going to be hilly today” based off the hills we were cruising up and down back to the parking lots!  I stayed positive and let him know that we run hills, it is OK!
We met up with Kari, gave her all her stuff and race bib, then headed toward the start.  Race started at 8am and it was not already about 7:40!  We headed over by the main tent and I handed them my sweats. 
Main tent, food, heat and lots of people!
I had volunteered to run first!  I made sure I had all my stuff on, for this race I opted to take my FuelBelt Revenge R2O, due to having 2 bottles on it.  I could have one with Gatorade and one with water.  This also held my phone and GU nicely. 
I headed to the starting line and started talking with the runners around me.  We discussed what flags we were supposed to follow.  The course had both green and pink flags.  One set was for the folks running the 50k and the others were for the relays and single loop runners.  Nobody knew which…I was hoping someone one the course could help me and I started out blind!
First hill we went up on our way to the trails.
We started the race by heading down the road for a very very short distance before hitting the trails.  I settled in at a comfortable pace knowing it was going to get hard and I wanted to save myself for later.  It was a frigid 25 degrees out so the ground was crunchy and uneven.  I loved it!!
Miles 1-4:  We had to come to a fast walk as everyone bottlenecked onto a small wooden bridge heading across a water filled ditch.  A girl right in front of me fell and I mean hard!  Her feet slipped, her hands then slipped and she ate the bridge!  She was running with friends who immediately were on her making sure she was OK!  I knew then this was going to be an interesting run and we were only in the first mile!  My Garmin beeped I hit one mile, still feeling good.  Soon I came to a section where the pink flags went right and green went straight!  I came to a complete stop turned around and asked another runner “where do I go???????”  He assured me green was correct and I took off!  Right before mile 4 I saw people slowing down and when I looked ahead I realized why.  Everyone and I mean everyone was walking.  There was a huge hill…that being frosty and crunchy was not only slick, but root filled and dangerous.  So we walked in true trail runner fashion, up the hill.  This is also a favorite of mine with trail runs, there is no judgment on anyone that walks up a hill or anything.  Trail courses are expected to be hard and everyone even the fastest out there may have to walk a few steps here and there.
Miles 5-8:  We hit the first water station and I grabbed what I thought was juice, it ended up being flat orange soda…oh well, it hit the spot!  I grabbed my GU and started taking it down.  I struggled with it due to it being so cold.  I had to let it warm up a bit so I could get it down easier.  I was also thankful to know I was almost halfway done.  At this point I knew I need to run more trails.  I also turned my Garmin from watching my pace just to overall time and distance.  I didn’t want to pressure myself too much.  I plugged along and talked to a couple while running.  They were just doing the single loop but having lots of fun.  They stopped running for whatever reason so I kept going.  I was at mile 8 before I knew it. 
Miles 8-11:  The hills were getting worse.  The last few miles were by far the hilliest.  They were steep both up and down.  It was also getting a little warmer and all the foot traffic and started to loosen things up a bit so footing was becoming more questionable.  I made sure to be careful going down as I could tell it wouldn’t be too hard to fall and go face first down a hill.  I didn’t want my run to end like that.  When I hit mile 10 I started trying to turn it up a little considering the terrain.  I knew the race close to being over (for me anyway), so I pushed.  I came around a corner and saw D yelling!  I pushed through the finish and gave Kari five as she took off! 

2 hats, 2 cups, a shirt and finishers belt buckle!
I crossed the line and forgot to stop my Garmin for about a minute so my last split is off a little.  Here is my breakdown. 
1: 9:39
2: 10:01
3: 10:38
4: 10:30
5: 10:27
6: 10:57
7: 10:50
8: 10:23
9: 10:41
10: 11:25
11: 8:59
I really wish my Garmin  Connect would work so I could see the hills and what my total gain/loss was for the day. 
Finished!
As D and I waited for Kari I had some soup, coffee, crackers, and water.  We knew it would be awhile so I had time to rest and change.  I got out of all of my clothes into a fresh set of everything!  It felt amazing to be out of the sweaty clothes. 
D taking off his sweats, lol!  Vogue!
After awhile I got a message from Kari.  Something was wrong.  She had followed the pink flags and ended up adding an extra 2 miles onto her run!!  I knew then I had to do something, but what?  I didn’t know where she was in the woods so I just waited.  I got another message when she was 3-4 miles out and I told D, I am heading back out!  I went back out onto the trails looking for her.  I ran about a mile back into them when I found her and then ran that last mile with her.  I knew that mentally she was holding on but we have all been there right?  We have that race we do that just gives us something that kills us mentally and that’s where she was at.  I did all I could, stayed positive and ran her to the end!  Once across the line I made sure D knew to follow green and be careful! 
I help Kari get refueled as we waited for D to do our last leg.
I expected him to be around 1:30 so when it got close to that we left the main tent and waited.  It was so beautiful.  (I would have taken pictures but my phone had died at this point) snow had started falling ever so gently and the woods were so peaceful.  Then I saw him and started yelling!  D cruised by me toward the finish!
Almost done!
I don’t know what our total time was and I really don’t care.  I know that we all ran well, we had hurdles and made it through them.  We worked together to stay positive and cheered each other on as teammates do.  This was a first for all of us and yes before we left the park to head home we were already discussing The Huff 2015, I think I will just make sure to have some more trails under my belt before then!!
Have you ever done a trail race?
What would you have done in Kari’s situation?
Anyone coming to Indiana next year for this race?
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10 thoughts on “The Huff 50k Relay Recap!!!

  1. Yes it is!!! Crazy how no matter how many trails you run, you could have always ran more!!! I swear these people find some seriously crazy places to run but I can't find them to run at??? Its like being set up….every time!! lol!

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  2. If you are looking for another good trail run, Veep Races hosts the Waterfall run in Huntington. They have both a 5k and 10k! Great course, I did a race recap on it. It is posted under Races if you want to read a little bit about it!

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  3. Yessss! I have been waiting for you to post this recap! haha 😀

    Wow, that stinks that Kari added on two extra miles. On what sounds like a difficult trail adding on even just one mile would be a challenge, adding on two means she is just that much more awesome!

    Congrats to all three of you! Enjoy your belt buckle and know that I am super jealous that you have one 🙂

    Merry Christmas!

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  4. Thanks for sharing – I really enjoyed hearing what this race is like. I had looked into this one a couple of times. The closest race to trails I have done is the Spruce Scoot. I would like to do more trail running.

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