I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am for all of you. You’ve adopted this Austinite into such an amazing, warm family prior to this weekend, and that was just the beginning. This weekend really drove home how kind, encouraging, and supportive you all are. Where do I even begin?
First Stefan who was the key to me finishing and making the cutoff. I was really feeling low by the time I got to Damnation my second loop and had slowed quite a bit. My sister, Charlotte, was going to meet me at Park Road the third loop but I knew the state I was in, I needed someone to make me move my whole third loop or I wasn’t going to make the cutoffs. Stefan graciously offered to go with me from Damnation out until we got back. That only left me about 4 miles in the dark by myself and that was mostly jeep road. Stefan made all the difference in my finishing and I’m so grateful! Plus we had a lot of fun and enjoyed the comments about his hat and height.
Brian, thank you for finding me an extra layer. I expected it to warm up and ended up getting colder my second loop. Borrowing a long sleeve from someone 1.5 feet taller than you is the best layer ever! Thank you so much!
Damnation was so well run, thanks for the laughs, encouragement and warm food. Y’all did a fantastic job! I never used the Dogwood station because Jeanie and Helena had me all taken care of at the Rockhoppers tent but the hugs and champagne at the finish were great! Tony, thanks for getting some pics and evidence of my clumsiness.
Liza, you just amaze me. You did a great job of race directing this weekend and I know your encouraging spirit and funny “don’t poop on the trail!” warnings helped us all.
The finish of course was the best part, not only because I was done but because of the crazy finish line crowd who had stayed to see all the runners through. I felt very special having such a loud cheering section. I know all of you had worked hard all day long volunteering, running or both and that just shows the kind of people you are, staying around to cheer on the last runners when you could be enjoying a warm hotel room or sleeping bag. Dave, you ran a great race and it was an honor to get my DFL award from you.
So a few funny things from the day:
Dakota’s reaction to my bloody knees, “Wow! That is so cool. Hold on, I have to get a picture of this!”
I had many looks of painful winces and “ouch!” from runners coming towards me when they saw my knees. It was pretty fun to see all the reactions.
But, the funniest thing was the comments on Stefan’s height. He decided that with me next to him, the height difference looked exaggerated, plus that green hat made him over 7′. But, two different guys stopped dead in the middle of the trail, craned their necks to look up at him like he was one of the pine trees and said, “wow, you’re really tall!” I thought Stefan knew the first guy and it was a running joke or something because it was such a bold, dumbfounded reaction. But, then another person did this too. I was laughing the rest of the day.
I know I’ve missed some thank you’s in this but I will chalk that up to my glycogen deprivation. Thank you all for the love and support this weekend!