It was February 25, it started out as a cold frigid morning @ the antelope canyon 50 mile race. I thought I was prepared with my shoes & gaitors… I found later, I was wrong. I swear, after this race- NO MORE SAND!!
There’s no way I can put into words how frustrating this sand was to me. I have completed Los Pinos 50k twice, & that’s a different suffering. This one, Antelope Canyon- was death march suffering. I started off with gaitors, the gaitors ended up being thrown out in disgust after mile 10 ish. There were 10 aid stations, each aid station I had to sit down & literally take off my shoes & socks.
I later found out that I had the wrong shoes for this race & the sand was entering the front of my shoes. So if I didn’t stop to take out the sand, it would just get packed into the front of my shoe, so it felt like my toes kept hitting a wall. Imagine- going thru 50 miles & literally having to stop for about 5 minutes a minimum of 10 times. (I had to stop in between aid stations towards the end) This wasn’t to eat or hydrate.. THIS WAS TO EMPTY MY SHOES & SOCKS OF FLIPPIN SAND! That is an extra hour of nonsense added to the many hours it already takes to complete these miles. Luckily one of my friends was there also running, to stick it out with me & try to keep me as positive as possible. It was about mile 32 when my legs, my feet, & my brain was about done.
These races can be total mind games & it 100% was messing with my flow by having to stop so much. I remember sitting down about mile 32 for the 100th (felt like 100th, but at this point, probably the 8th) time to empty my flippin shoes & socks. I remember sitting there putting my hands in my head, starting to cry & actually saying I don’t think I can do this, I don’t think I can finish. This is NOT fun & is it worth it?!? I just sat there for a few minutes contemplating while my friend (Alicia) was consoling me.
I decided to get up & keep going. As it got darker & back to being cold again.. I continued to truck along. Cursing & just angry along the way. I remember Alicia being very positive, but I on the other hand just kept cursing back! Probably starting around mile 35, there were maybe only 3-4 runners behind us. So, by that time it seemed like we were all alone & there were some markers that were down, so to add to all this, we made a few wrong turns. I didn’t think my feet were going to move any more, but alas- I come to the finish & finished my first 50 mile race. In the end, NO MORE F*CKING SAND!!!!
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