This is the longest race report ever. Sort of like this race. : pbbt:
Number of miles: 13.2
Number of steps: 37,000 according to my Fitbit before it gave up and cried.
Number of peanut butter/jelly sandwiches: 3 total
Number of snakes I saw: 1:mutmad:
Number of bugs I ate: 4...One of those WITH the PB&J.
Number of times I cursed the ground Becky walks on: countless
Number of times since I finished that I said "I love Becky!!!": countless
Number of times I've completed a TA: 3
Number of times I will return: Until they scrape my body off the earth
This my absolute favorite trail race of my very short 6 year running adventure. It's in Summerville, GA which is a 3.5 hour drive from my front door to the incense filled doorway of the Coach Inn. If you like camping, go ahead and try to reserve some cabins now at the James A. "Sloppy" Floyd State Park. Otherwise, embrace the incense.
This year, things got a little interesting. In previous years, all the racers (I use that term lightly. I'm not racing anything but maybe a lizard or two) went around a lake, up Becky's Bluff and then along the trail ridge for a few miles and then we all came back down to the finish line. Half crazies ran a few miles at the top, Full crazies ran a bunch more miles at the top and claimed they enjoyed it.
BUT, this year, due to F-PAW (Federal Panties in A Wad), we couldn't run on federal land which included most of the top of the trail ridge. So Becky, in her mad genius skills, decided to try to re-route the whole darn shebang instead of cancelling. That's how trail runners roll....we get knocked downhill and come up smiling. We also have a polite way of telling people who mess with our trails to kiss it. The new route included 2 loops: Blue and Red. Half crazies ran each loop once. Full Certifiables ran both loops TWICE and that included hauling their cookies up Becky's Bluff TWICE. Yeah, I'm not one of those.
A one-time visit with the Bluff is plenty for me.
So, I ran it. I walked it. I stumbled over the fire break which was described as "gently rolling terrain". I got out my airplane arms and WHEEEEEEE!!! my way down and then grumbled and whined all the way up. Well, the airplane arms got to be too much of an effort after the first 2 hills of the fire break. Then I just grumbled a lot in both directions. And tripped. And had spastic fits complete with :girl-scream: when a kamikaze bug went in my ear. I bet the guy behind me got a chuckle out of that.
Then I finished the first loop and had to run RIGHT PAST MY CAR to get to loop 2. I could have reached out and touched it. It took a major gut check to keep going for another 6 miles. So, back around the lake. Asking the same question to the nice guy "Are you sure I go up?". Talking to the same people at the campground "Yes, I'm only on my second loop" and meeting the peanut butter girls at the Marble Mine.
Then.....the Bluff. It's every bit as bad as I remembered. No....it's worse. You know that saying "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity"? Yep. It applies here. I imagine it's like childbirth. If I really remembered how bad it is, I would never volunteer, much less PAY, to do it again.
I finally got to the top and there was Mullet Jesus. When you see him, you know you're going to make it.
The final 3 miles were a cake walk. I was just so glad to get down off that bluff.
Click the link above to read the whole thing with pictures and get the ending.
(spoiler:...I finished. It took forever. I will be back next year).: pbbt: