My First Ultramarathon?! – Part 4 (The Beast)

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Aurora De Lucia grabbing on at the Hercules HoistPicking up from last time

All trifecta racers started with the Beast (the longest race). I was excited about this because we’d get a nice look at what’s to come (as the beast and the super shared a lot of the same course, and all three met back up at the end).

I’d also finally get an idea of how many miles we actually needed to accomplish in the day (though there was a long stretch of the beast where there were no mile markers – which was very nerve-wracking… but we all lived to see another day!).

We’ll get to all the timing, planning, and miles, and such in a minute, though. First, let’s talk about the Beast itself.

It started off easy enough – just going over and under a few pretty low obstacles. Then we climbed over some higher walls, but most had some kind of helpful hold where you could boost yourself up.

After the first few obstacles, there was a stretch of just running. As I mentioned, I was at the back of the elite heat. So, I just got to chill out in the back, calmly jogging all by myself.

As silly as it is, I was actually pretty pleased with the idea that I was even jogging. Usually I’m the worst (the worst!) at trail running. But alas, today, I had a long day ahead of me and wanted to jog when I could. So, I did.

Later in the race, I did learn that I should really consider getting trail running shoes, or tying my shoes tighter, or just generally doing something – as my shoes were totally get stuck in the mud all the time. I’m not totally sure if that’s a me thing or a shoe thing. All I know is it’s a thing.

Aurora at the Hercules Hoist during the Spartan trifecta-in-a-day

…a different facial expression at the Hercules Hoist, so you can take your pick of which one ya like. 😛

There were a couple of instances where one of my shoes came completely off. It was rough. And by that point, people had actually caught up to me. And some trails within the forest were very narrow. So I always felt in the way if I got stuck – which was extremely stressful.

But in true Spartan fashion, no one made me feel bad for being in the way, and someone even stopped to help get my shoe out of the mud. AROO, baby.

As we ran for miles in the woods, I started thinking, “I know obstacles are hard, but at this point, give me some mud or something – anything to get out of these trees!”

Maybe I need to learn more about nature, or somehow get better with an internal map/GPS. But once I’m in the middle of trees, it all looks and feels the same to me.

Some people feel trapped in concrete buildings, and love nature. I feel the opposite way – I could live in New York forever, but I can only survive among trees for a little while. Where am I? Are there animals around? There are no quick escape routes, as there are in big, beautiful, concrete cities!

Anyway, we eventually made it out of the forest, and I’ll pick up here next time.

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