Sunday, June 26, 2022

2022 Night Train 50K (32 Mile) Race Report

The race was such a blast! So much fun! The ultramarathon is less a race for PRs and prizes than it is a survival test for all who finish. For most people, an ultra can take well over 6 hours to complete. At some point in the race you wonder, "What in the world am I doing here?" But that's exactly what makes it so gratifying. You don't choose to run an ultra despite its difficulty but because of it. But when you do get through it, that justifies all the time and effort you put into it. 

An ultra doesn't begin at the starting line. It almost ends there. What you do in the race is determined largely by what you did in the months leading up to the race. I view the ultra as the Mount Everest of running. It's a goal that almost every runner dreams of accomplishing at least once. This was my third ultra and my best one by far. It was a victory lap at every step -- and I took 52,981 steps according to my Garmin watch! You can't fake an ultra. It is brutally honest. You get back during the race almost exactly what you invested earlier. It can make proud the humblest of us. And it humbles the proudest of us. There's almost no end to the distance a person can run with perseverance! 

I arrived at the parking lot around 5:00 for a 5:30 race start.

First order of business: Waiting in line to get your race bib.

Then the race director gave us some last minute instructions. 

Look at all these great people. 

I feel so honored to have raced with them. When I arrived at the starting line, the only thing I could think of was, "You are blessed to be here now." Here we are about a mile into the race. We are beginning to feel the heat. 

Thankfully, running over the bridge brought with it a nice breeze that cooled us down a bit. 

Eventually you make your way through downtown Farmville. 

By mile 5, runners have spread out. I followed this couple and their baby for most of the race. 

I'd love to post some more pics, but after the 16 mile turnaround, this is all I could see. 

As planned, I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face. 

The ultra racing population is large and growing larger each year. A sport that begets so much joy is a true and good one.