Tag Archives: north face endurance challenge

Belated Recap: North Face Endurance Challenge DC

On Saturday, I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon Relay and had so much fun. This was my first trail run ever and I absolutely loved it!

North Face puts on such a great race!

I ran on Team Heart Breakers – including Suze, Theresa and new friend Maryll, an awesomely fun group of girls who just wanted to have a good time.  And we did. We treated the day more like a picnic with a side of running than a stressful race.

With a view like this who could be stressed?

Algonkian Regional Park is just so pretty! The North Face put together a great area for runners to hang out during the day.  I’ve really never seen an area like this.  It was like an expo during the race.  There were some vendors, a bunch of giveaways, food… we weren’t bored at all while we waited our turns to run.

A glimpse of the festival area

Heart Breakers

I ran second for our team and we were one of the last teams.  It was really quiet and really peaceful running on the trails pretty much all alone.  My Shuffle died despite charging it all night and I’m actually kind of happy about it.  I really got to enjoy my surroundings and just run.  Let’s be honest, my usual hip-hop stripper music mix probably wasn’t totally appropriate given the gorgeous nature setting.

Despite starting alone,  I did see a lot of 50K/50M/Marathon runners finishing up and I tried to cheer for all of them.  I can’t imagine running that kind of distance and I was so impressed that everyone looked like they were really having a good time out there. So for the relay we started out running kind of around a golf course/soccer field part of the park and then made our way onto the real trails.  I loved it.  It was kind of an out and back, with the exception of the a tiny loop (at the top right of the picture below) where I got really confused and felt kind of lost.

The Relay Course

In general, I loved the course though I have nothing to compare it to as it was my first trail run.  I was so happy with how well marked everything was, with the course support (the volunteers were so great), with the aid stations.  There was really nothing about the course that I didn’t like – except that the final area leading to the finish line had no shade cover.  The sun was really beating down by the time I crossed!  Even so, that is such a tiny stretch of course that it hardly mattered.

As I was coming up on the finish a guy who was running the 50K ran up behind me and screamed “This is my sprint right now! Are we sprinting?!”  I laughed and said I was sprinting for me and he was doing great! He asked me to run it in with him and I did. It was so fun. I couldn’t imagine being so funny after running so long.

Coming into the Relay Exchange

All done!

After I handed off the timer to Maryll I wandered around to cool off.  I actually found some ice baths over by the bag drop that no one was using so I soaked my feet for awhile and that was painful awesome. I had some weird cramp in the arch of my left foot and that brought it way under control.  Our team ended up finishing in 4:39:38!  I’m beyond proud of us!

Of course, the day didn’t end here.  There was my awkward encounter with Dean Karnazesbefore we left the park.

This is how I geek out.

And of course a post race celebratory dinner at Sweetwater

Cheers!

All in all, the most fun race day I’ve ever had.  Thanks to team Heart Breakers and the North Face for an awesome time.  I can’t wait until next year!!!

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An Awkward and Hilarious Encounter with Dean Karnazes

Today, I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon Relay which was easily the funnest, best run race I’ve ever been to.  I will have a big recap tomorrow but I wanted to post tonight about my awkward and hilarious encounter with ultra-running great Dean Karnazes.

This is how I geek out.

So one of my teammates, Theresa, mentioned that Dean Karnazes was supposed to be at today’s race and she really wanted to meet him.  We kept an en eye out for him a little before we started the relay but no luck.  While Theresa was finishing up the relay (she was our anchor), the race officials started the kids’ race – featuring Dean.  He was great, hanging around with the kids and the cartoon characters that they brought out.  We found out he was going to be doing a meet & greet after with runners from around 3:30-5:00. Score.  Theresa and I would go, since our other 2 teammates didn’t know who he was (for shame!). Trust me, all of this back story is relevant.

So T finishes the relay and we pretty much head right over to get in the meet and greet line.  I’m starting to geek out big time.  We got up to meet Dean and this is how it went.

Me: Hi! I’ve been watching you since the kids’ race! That looked like fun! It’s so nice to meet you finally.

DK: *laughs* You’ve been watching me? That sounds kind of stalker like *laughing hard*

Me: Oh no! That’s not what I meant. Not continuously watching! That would be like an hour. I have no idea where you went between the kids race and this event. Really!

DK: *laughing* You are so funny.

Me: I followed your run across the US. It was so amazing!

DK: Than—-

Me: I still sound like a stalker! Sorry about that! I heard a rumor that you ran today too! That’s crazy!

DK: Oh, it was just a marathon. *laughs* <——- He’s a really big hearty friendly laugher.

Me: Your’e so funny! <—– I’m psychotic

DK: You’re so cute! You’re so excited.

Me: *awkward squawk* I hear we get to take a picture with you!

*picture taken* *bibs signed* *more awkwardly hilarious chatter*

 

This is how my life goes…I really do use all of those exclamation points in conversation. Theresa can vouch.  Really though, it was a great time.  He was a super nice, friendly guy. I was really impressed.

Race recap tomorrow! 🙂

 

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