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November 28 2012 / Emily

Umstead: Redux

Today I signed up to run my second Umstead Trail Marathon, on March 2, 2013.

I have only repeated a handful of races: Moonlight Madness 5k (2011, 2012), Salem Lake Trail Races (30k 2009, 2011; 10k 2008), Thunder Road (half 2009; marathon 2010), Turkey Strut 5k (2008, 2009), and Ultimate Runner (2011, 2012).  The 5ks were mostly out of convenience, and I’m not sure I count Thunder Road as a repeat since it wasn’t the same race distance.  Salem Lake 30k generally falls at a very good time in fall marathon training, and it’s a rather unique distance.  And Ultimate Runner is certainly its own beast, worthy of repeats.

But for my marathon running life, I have goals of running in many if not all 50 states.  Yet I keep coming back to local NC races.  Sure, it’s convenient that they are close, but Umstead was one of the best races I have done, even while it thoroughly kicked my ass.  I still hope to travel out of state to some races in 2013, but perhaps I will leave that to summer or fall.  Or the few I have eyes on in later parts of spring.  😉

Registration opened this morning at 8am, a time and date which has been holding a place on my calendar for many months now.  I left my place extra early to give myself time to get to work and be settled at my desk for 8:00.  Was cruising along just fine for 5-6 miles until I hit pea soup.  What was up with this fog?  Mega fog.  This was not present at home!  Everything slowed down a bit, then as we progressed it slowed a lot.  I was losing time.  Started trying to pull up the active.com registration on my phone, and wasn’t able to sign into my active account.  This led me to typing my name, email address and birthday into the little phone keypad screen while driving slowly along approaching a fog-inspired accident ahead that was slowing everything up.

I realized this was stupid and dangerous and put my phone away, making peace that Umstead would be sold out by the time I got to the office.  Oh well.  I figured it would be just like Uwharrie anyway, and I’d get signed up and all jazzed, only to be sorely disappointed later.  But when I got to work and had my computer booted up by about 8:15, registration was still open!

By 8:18, I was registered.  Hooray!  The race filled their 200 spots in about three hours.

My race report from 2012 ended with these lines:  It might have been that moment I decided I wanted to come back next year and tackle the damn thing again.  It was a rough race.  I felt defeated and slow.  My friends ask me how it went, and I truthfully answer “it was bad.”  But that fades quickly.  Trails are a different beast, and Umstead is a fight I want to get into again.  Maybe next time I’ll defeat Umstead instead of just finishing.”  And you know what, Umstead?… it is on.

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One Comment

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  1. Darrel Wells / Nov 29 2012 8:09 AM

    Emily, Congratulations! I didn’t register, because our son is out of school that weekend for 4 days, so we’ll likely go skiing. I may go to Tobacco Road, instead.

    I really want to run Umstead someday, though, because I’m craving that pint glass!

    DW

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