North Face Endurance Challenge #27

Race Report

North Face Endurance Run



After completing Dances with Dirt, I hooked my aunt into trail running. I got her to agree to do the North Face Endurance Challenge with me. I’ve never done a marathon so late in the day, so I have to admit this made me a teeny nervous. This race started at 9 am and according to the forecast it was a high of 81 degrees. Not having participated in the past I was not sure if this was a sunny or shaded course. My nerves started on over drive. I had about an hour drive to the course so it was nice to not need to wake up so early. 



The day beforehand I picked up our packets and go everything all set. On the way to work  on Friday I became overwhelmed with emotions, wow #27! I started to really accomplished and proud but honestly I felt really fortunate and thankful. I honestly could never have done this on my own. From my family members who help childcare help overnight and early mornings, and plan their road trips around my running schedule. To my friend swho I though I was helping out by running with but really they helped me. To all my clients who deal with my bad squat form the day after the race. To everyone who chimes in on Facebook and ask me how more do I have left. To the people who connected with me on Instagram. Wow I really am a fortunate lucky women! 


I tied the starting line with my aunt at the 9 am start time which was very late for a marathon to start most marathons start around 7 am. I don’t know if this is where my mentality of this race started to shift or if it was the first sun patch. Well we weren’t paying enough attention and we accidentally went of with the Wave 1 group, oops! We headed out into the race and it felt pretty great the first two aid stations came and went fast. Then the 5.3 miles between aid station #2 and #3 my mentality shifted this felt like a brutal grind. I considered dropping out at mile 11 but my aunt cheered and paced  me on. Plus I ran into a running buddy Casey! She asked how I was doing to which I replied horrible. She talked with someone else and told them this girl would finish the race and she was right. I would finish the race.


My aunt and I headed back into the course. Things felt a little bit better. I felt good for another two miles. So now I’m 13.3 miles in the race. Going through all these prairie spots made me feel like I was dead meat on a desert and a vulture was going to come eat me. We stayed around the same group of people we would chit chat a little hear and there. This helped me make it through until about mile 19. Everything after that didn’t feel very good. I made it to the last aid station 1.8 left to go and I was almost in tears. Luckily I saw another friend Troy volunteering and it was a pick me up. Plus I ran into an Oiselle bird Lauren and see her strong running gave me a push. I could finish this race.  


We passed a lady who told us we had two turns and we could see the finish. So we made our two turns and the finish line was in sight. However the 0.5 mile the finish line was in sight and it felt encouraging but at the same time like a long haul in. Finally we made it we came across the finish line.  


I’m not sure I’ve felt worst during a marathon. I’m extremely passionate about running long distance.  I’m unsure of why the race was so bad. It felt like a grind the whole time. But I tried to keep finding the positives and then I would end up coming across more sand or another prairie patch. It was like another slap in the face. So lesson learned I won’t sign up for marathons with a 8 am start time. Some of the positive about this race was it was beautiful wooded race for parts of it. North face had some cool perks and a nice set up. They had out large orange bean bag chairs, food trucks and ice baths. I’m not sure I would come back to this course unless they had a 7 am start time, but maybe I would try out a 50k or 50 miler, because those start at an earlier time. How do you pick up the pieces after a bad race? 

My next race up is the Brewers Mini Marathon, just hoping for cooler temps.