My First Ultramarathon?! – Part 3 (Arrival & Surprise!)

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Aurora De Lucia layering in the car before the race

layering up in the car before the start of the race

Picking up from last time

So, I brought my tons of stuff up to Cumberland Ohio. Spartan recommends to get there 2 hours early. At my last one, I saw that was definitely a fabulous idea. So, I dutifully complied.

They hadn’t actually transferred my race entry yet, but they’d given me an email promising they’d do it the day of. So, I started the morning (before the sun came up) in line at Race Day Registration – where I was hit with some possibly scary news.

Some people were saying the Beast course was 16 miles long. Uh, what? I said I thought it was supposed to be around 12.

See, online, Spartan says the Beast is 12+, Super is 8+, and Sprint is 3+. I thought 12+ means 12 point something, but they don’t give it exactly as it may be slightly different based on where they are. But oh no. On this day, I learned the + just means plus whatever they want.

It was still in the air in the morning what all the race lengths were. No one seemed to know for sure. I was getting different answers depending on what group I stood with talking about it. The only thing all the groups had in common was that everyone was talking about it. How far were we going to go today?

Once I got up to the table to do race day registration, the man up there asked me if I’d like to run the Beast elite. At first, I thought, “uh, no way. The elite corral is going to be all these super svelte amazing-looking people. And I’m gonna be the one pudgy one in the back feeling all out of place.”

But then I thought, “Elite starts 15 minutes early. Since I have no idea how many miles I’m doing today, forget it. Let’s just go elite, Holmes!”

So, I signed up in the elite field.

After that, I went back in the car to put on my bib and timing chip in the warmest place available. After the sun came on, and I put on more layers, it was time to leave the precious warm safety of the car.

I turned my bag into bag check. The trifecta racers had to check in at bag check between each race to get their bibs for the next one. There was a special lane just for us, and they let us set our own bags so we knew where they were and could trade things out between races.

Once in the corral, I did stand in the back, ’cause I didn’t want any real elite people to be affected by my slowness. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how not incredibly out of place I looked in that corral. *gives nodding approval to self*

I heard the whole “We are Spartans” speech before we got on out of there… And go!

This is where we’ll pick up next time.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?