Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

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Nature Girl
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Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby Nature Girl » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:42 pm

Warning: This race report is a tad long. In Haliburton I discovered that ultras and trail running aren’t just about you. So I’ve babbled a bit beyond 'my' race...

I had Friday off and spent the day getting ready for the race. I was running around town getting food, gels and the like. I also wanted to bring a special offering to offer the Forest Gods at the shrine: braided tobacco. After about 3 unsuccessful stops in the city I was determined to find some. I was convinced that I would have a **** race without it. After asking a few people around town, I had to drive out to Wahnapitae to Pow Wow Moccasins on 17. I finally found some after about 3 hours of searching. Now I knew I was going to have a good run.
Went to pick everybody up from work/daycare and headed home to get ready to go by about 5:45 pm. I decided maybe I should look at race rules before I left to confirm race start, etc. Then I read that the race kit pick up was on Friday between 6-8pm. I wouldn’t be arriving until well after 10pm so I had a little freak out and rushed out the door, not that it would make a difference. But I knew the 25Kers were picking up their kits in the a.m. so I thought someone should be there and that I wasn’t the only one arriving late in the evening. Turns out it was cool.
I made good time on the drive and traffic seemed to be heading North on 11, not South where I was headed. As I got closer to West Guilford there was a steady line of cars seemingly all heading to the same place: Haliburton Forest. It turns out that West Grey Runner was behind me (Ron, did you follow me when I missed the turn too?) I drove right by the sign. It was time for me to go to sleep.
I arrived at base camp at about 10:30. Parked, brushed my teeth and hopped in the back of the Subaru at about 11pm and tossed and turned for who knows how long. Eventually fell asleep and woke up a bit before my 4 am alarm. Looked out the windows but didn’t see anyone so I stayed there, trying to wake up for another 15 minutes. Got up and went outside to see if the cookhouse was open yet for coffee. Not quite. I heard what I thought were wolves howling the distance but I later found out there were 120 sled dogs on the property. I went to the bathroom and there was this beautiful deer standing right in front of the door. It saw me coming up but didn’t move for the longest time until I was about 10 feet away. When it started to walk away, there was another one behind it that I didn’t even see in the surrounding darkness. Very cool. As I went back up I saw someone else wandering around, the face was familiar so I introduced myself and it turned out to be West Grey Runner (great to meet you!). Went back and the cookhouse was open.
Got coffee and a bagel in the cookhouse and people slowly started to come in and gather for pre-race chat and coffee. I met Derrick (who looked like he had something on his mind....) and a few other people who were from Kingston, which was really nice because I’ve been feeling a bit homesick since our move to Sudbury. After I finished my bagel I went to the car to finish getting ready. I could not find my Ultra-Glide anywhere! On top of this there were a few things that I was doing which may have caused a few problems:
-Didn’t follow the 3 poop rule
-Had a bagel for breakfast. I never eat bagels for breakfast.
-Was wearing a new bra which I had just purchased the day before because all of my other ones chaffed like crazy. (Moving Comfort - It gave me absolutely no problems and worth every penny!)
-I had planned on taking a couple of Tylenol for preventative measures, but forgot.
-I didn’t bring my hat. I always wear my hat. In it;s place I had my RM buff!

Time had gotten away from me and I heard the bagpipes. So I quickly got everything on and headed to the start as they were doing the 100 miler roll call. At the start I saw Ron again, Kinga, Stephen, and Scott Garrett, a great guy who I had met during the training run. It was his first 100 miler. So we said a prayer, did the countdown and off we went in the darkness. It was all very surreal. I had been waiting for this for a long time and it still didn’t hit me that I was actually doing it (I think it’s just sinking in now).
I ran with Scott briefly but I knew I had to go real slow for this to be a good race for me. I ended up running with Kinga until aid station 2 when I started to feel my back getting really cold. Earlier I thought to myself, wow! my back sure is sweaty, but then I felt this coldness. I reached back and my hydration pack was dripping. I pull out the membrane and the water was just pouring out the side. F*ck! Luckily we had just passed the aid station. Helen took the membrane for me and gave me a water bottle. I kept the pack on because of my gels, etc. This little setback worried me a bit as I have never ran with a bottle in my hand, but turned out to be not so bad at all.

I believe I was running with mostly 100 and 50 milers, which was really good to stay relatively ‘slow’. I stuck to the plan of walking up all of the hills running steady on the straightaways and givin’r on the down hills. Early on I passed these 3, really fit army dudes, one guy says nice shirt – we’re both wearng the cereal box blue Saucony shirt (my most favourite shirt of all time!). (Sure enough, one of the guys was doing 50k and zooms passed me later on. Twice!) At one point this one guy, looking out for me (did I have noob on my forhead?) told me to take it easy, but he thought I was doing 100.

I caught up to a woman, I looked down and she was wearing VFFs! I of course, had to start chatting with her about them. She told me previous to this the farthest she had gone in them was 15K! I saw her at the end and she said her race went really well and her feet and calves were feeling good. I love it when people go out and do stuff like this. I can totally relate! So I pass them and keep going strong.

I was playing leap frog with a few people, some I passed for good, others did the same for me. All of a sudden I hear a guy yell ‘Hey!’. So I yelled back “What’s up’, I catch up to him and he’s staring into the forest and tells me he’s hallucinating already, hehe. Eventually I pass him and just keep going. At aid station 4 I fill up my bottle and consider sticking another in my pack but decided against it because I was afraid it would bounce all over the place. I should have listened to myself because the distance between stations 4 and 5 seemed really long and I ran out of water, probably about a half hour or more before I could fill up again. I drink a lot of water and couldn’t take any gels without it.
Nearing the 25K mark I started to see a lot of the 50Kers heading back, including Ron. I wasn’t counting heads but it seemed like he was doing really well, looking strong with a big smile on his face. When I got to the turnaround, I was feeling really good and pumped for the second half. This was because on my way out, not once did I realise that what goes down must come up. This was good, because if I had started to think about the return trip that way I may have gotten a bit of negative garbage in my head. It would seem that being unprepared often plays to my advantage.
On the way back I slowed down a lot because of the uphill walks and the fatigue in my legs was setting in. Downhills (when there were any) weren't easy anymore. Every now and then I would think about how tired I was, but then I would take a gel and in a few minutes I would feel great again. The return trip is mostly a blur of walking uphill after uphill. And the last 20ishK was a bit lonely as all the 25Kers had passed and the 50/100 milers continued to their turnaround points. I was happy to reach the aid station 4 where they directed me to do another loop around Mcdonald Lake... they also told two others to keep going straight to the finish. So all that I was thinking about here was doing the loop and hearing those words from them that I could head to the finish. Did the loop, didn’t see another soul until I neared aid station 3. There was a kid on a bike who told me I was almost there. I could hear him behind me for a while and I was tempted to bribe him for his bike but decided against it.
Eventually reached aid station 4 again when someone says ‘Hey Christy!’. It was MiniT who recognised me. It was nice to hear someone say my name after being alone for so long but I was so focused on getting to that finish I didn't stay long. Had about 5 little cups of Coke (Absolutely thee BEST drink ever on the way back!). The volunteer made sure I was to go straight and not on the loop again. But he didn't have to worry, I knew where I had to go.
On the Forest road I plugged away at the never-ending up hills. In the distance I saw someone waving a big pink pom-pom. The Finish! I got into a weird Zombie mode and kept those legs moving, running until I crossed that pink tape on the ground. ‘That was f*cking awesome’ was all I could say. I think I could have kept going! My time was something like 7 hrs 21 min. I’m very happy it was under 8 but if I were to do it again, I know I could get under 7. I really played it conservative and am feeling a wee stiff today, but good and uninjured.
I knew the 50 milers would be finishing soon but I just had to eat and have a shower. I missed Adam Hill’s finish – which I believe was 8-ish hours. Saw Ken Moon finish second! An absolutely awesome runner who just started ultras last year. Then there’s Eric. Finished with a huge smile on his face. Thought he looked familiar as a maniac and introduced myself (watch out ladies, huge flirt. hehe). Saw RabidChipmunk finish – an absolute inspiration. Pure determination.
Hanging out at the finish line and campfire, chatting with the spectators and finishers was definitely a highlight of the weekend. Especially as it neared midnight, we were anticipating Derrick and the other 100 milers to come in. Glen, who was the first to come in surprised us. Nobody saw him coming because he had taken off his headlamp. So in he strolls and says "Runner coming in with no headlamp!"
Shortly after Derrick and Strider roll in looking so strong! We even got a bum show!
One of the greatest things about these races is the fact that you sit around and get the chance to hang out with the race director, the other racers and their families. Something that never or rarely happens at the big road races. How often do you get the chance to have a beer with elite runners and race directors (if you're not one of them).
Shortly after Derrick came in I went back to the car to try to sleep for a bit. I was exhausted but jittry, still feeling the effects of the caffeine from the gels I had been taking for the better part of the day. Eventually I fell asleep and woke up to my 4 am alarm that I had forgotten to turn off. I headed to the finish again to see more runners come in. Met JD there. Saw Ultraqueenga have an amazing finish (Rock star!), Viking (hope you were able to get off the chair!), and Scott, who I had mentioned earlier - an emotional finish I was very happy to see. Paced by Tim, they were a great team.
I think I’ve gone on enough here, but I seriously can’t say enough about what a great race this was. I haven’t been racing long but this one definitely tops them all. And I have no doubt none ever will. 50 miler, here I come!

Maniacs met:
West Grey Runner, RabidChipmunk and MINI-T, Ultraqueenga and The Viking, Spaff, _ Eric_, JD and I believe I briefly talked to domparadis (if you’re reading this - blue shirt? friends of the Steve's?).
Not bad for a race of 192 runners!
Last edited by Nature Girl on Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Hi. My name is NG and I want to run Haliburton.

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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby ultraslacker » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:55 pm

awesome! I'm glad you had such a great race!!

when are you doing 50 miles???
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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby Jo-Jo » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:00 pm

Wonderful race report!
I'm so happy this was such a great experience...I think this is just the beginning for you!
Well done :D
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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby MINITEE » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:20 pm

Girl, you did so well. You looked awesome coming into the aid station to boot!

As for hanging out for the night to watch the extra-crazy runners, inspiring isn't it? That's been my favorite part of being lucky enough to hang with the ultra crew a bit this summer. Everyone is accepted into the "family" regardless of their speed, distance or name. You just automatically belong.

And you wandering around for the rest of the night & day in your barefeet! AWESOME! :D
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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:44 pm

congratulations!!! sounds like quite the experience - great stuff!
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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby Strider » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:50 pm

Yup the Family - one of the secret reasons people love Ultras....shhhh

Hey I saw you come it, just as you ran past me into the shoot I recognized your buff, and then you were gone. Missed meeting you.

Welcome to the special place - glad too see you have already pulled up a chair - now sit back and enjoy the Ultra World - Congratulations on a great great race. I'll be there again next year - this time doing the 50 miler too.
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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby kpoire » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:26 pm

Great report, great racin'. Congrats on your first 50k

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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby ratherBrunning » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:38 pm

What a great report--congratulations!! :D :D
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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby VeloCarrie » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:29 pm

I was so looking forward to reading your report. Congratulations! Very inspiring. I hope I get there one day!
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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby Nature Girl » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:48 pm

ultraslacker wrote:awesome! I'm glad you had such a great race!!

when are you doing 50 miles???


Thanks.

I have no idea. I don't think there are many races left in the season. I think I'd like to do this in Hali. We'll see :wink: .
Hi. My name is NG and I want to run Haliburton.

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Re: Haliburton: 50K cherry... Popped!

Postby Nature Girl » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:54 pm

Trail Child Carrie wrote:I was so looking forward to reading your report. Congratulations! Very inspiring. I hope I get there one day!
Image


You will, I'm sure of it!
Hi. My name is NG and I want to run Haliburton.

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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby Nature Girl » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:01 pm

Thanks everyone!!!

It really was a blast.

Strider: Woohoo! 50 miler!!!

eta: I just thought how my title may have been a tad inappropriate. Running with the wrong crowd is bringing out the vulgarity in me :oops: :lol: .
Hi. My name is NG and I want to run Haliburton.

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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby Jo-Jo » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:09 pm

Nature Girl wrote:Thanks everyone!!!

It really was a blast.

Strider: Woohoo! 50 miler!!!

eta: I just thought how my title may have been a tad inappropriate. Running with the wrong crowd is bringing out the vulgarity in me :oops: :lol: .


Thanks for editing your title...I consider myself pretty liberal...but this is a family forum :D :D

And yes...you're hanging out with a pretty rough and crude crowd now :roll: :wink: :wink:
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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby West Grey Runner » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:19 pm

Christy it was really nice to meet you in the early morning hours. After reading your report I was really sad that I wasn’t able to stick around. I really appreciated reading about what went on after I left! Thanks for absolutely awesome report, it really captures the moment.

I have a suspicion that you may have been behind me on Friday Night! There was about a half dozen or so folks following me on 180 , about 4 of them followed me onto 17 and one followed me into the Haliburton Forest!

Like you I am planning a return to HF next year for the 50 miler!

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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby Nature Girl » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:01 am

West Grey Runner wrote:Christy it was really nice to meet you in the early morning hours. After reading your report I was really sad that I wasn’t able to stick around. I really appreciated reading about what went on after I left! Thanks for absolutely awesome report, it really captures the moment.

I have a suspicion that you may have been behind me on Friday Night! There was about a half dozen or so folks following me on 180 , about 4 of them followed me onto 17 and one followed me into the Haliburton Forest!

Like you I am planning a return to HF next year for the 50 miler!


Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!
Hi. My name is NG and I want to run Haliburton.

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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby spaff » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:32 am

Congratulations on a great race Christy. You did awesome. Loved the report. It certainly captures the unique and special feeling you get of running in the Forest. Haliburton has a very special place in the hearts of runners who have raced there. Enjoy reliving the race and planning what's next. It was nice meeting you. Sorry, if my head was a little fuzzy while talking.
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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby Doonst » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:18 pm

Great report, sounds almost like fun! Congrats on completing. More than ever I want to get up to that one!
next up:


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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby La » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:26 pm

Congrats, NG! Well done!

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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby Darth Tater » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:40 pm

Very nice report - sounds like you had a fabulous time! I almost felt like I was there.

Congrats, and I look forward to your 50 mile report!
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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby Maryka » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:04 pm

Great report Nature Girl and congratulations on a successful finish. Glad to hear you'll be doing the 50 miler next year. There is just something about that forest that makes you want to spend more time in it!

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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby UltraQueenga » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:03 pm

Congrats, Nature Girl! Nicely done! You should be proud of your 50k and especially of the place where you chose to run it.
The passion and determination you run with will carry you well beyond the 50k distance, I have no doubt about it.
It was nice to see you, run with you and chit-chat on the run.
Your cheering was most encouraging and welcome, even though I looked too tired to reflect that.
Ultrarunner again

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Re: Haliburton: I will love you forever and always

Postby Nature Girl » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:50 am

UltraQueenga wrote:Congrats, Nature Girl! Nicely done! You should be proud of your 50k and especially of the place where you chose to run it.
The passion and determination you run with will carry you well beyond the 50k distance, I have no doubt about it.
It was nice to see you, run with you and chit-chat on the run.
Your cheering was most encouraging and welcome, even though I looked too tired to reflect that.


Thank-you Kinga. That means alot.
Hi. My name is NG and I want to run Haliburton.


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