Whispering Pines 12 hour race report
This race report is for sure long over due! Since my return from this race my life is solely focused on my athletes, my family, and my training…. Not necesarrily in that order ;-)
The appeal of this 12 hour timed event ultra was that it was VERY “old school.” There was no registration fee. The race director asked that we donate what we could to the park in Inverness. Race registrations were also only taken via the mail, like snail mail letters. This race was not on ultra sign up. No bells and whistles. I LOVE IT.
The race was in Inverness, Florida. The loops were 4.8ish miles each on Florida trails. The weather was in the 70-80s and really pleasant. FYI: a “timed event Ultramaraton” is when the race has no specified distance. You run for the designated time and see how far you can get.
I flew into Tampa and got settled. One of the best parts about this trip was I was able to connect with 2 of my favorite athletes. I coach many athletes that are not local. I have been working with John and Jen for 3+ years and we had never met in person. I was also able to meet an endurance athlete long time friend Dave. John was running the race too. But, being able to see John and Dave on the course and at aid stations warmed my soul. There is nothing like a friendly race when you start to hurt. And in ultras pain is always present in some form.
This course was beautiful but a bit confusing. I am not the best navigator…. Yeah. I’m not ashamed to say a few times I got turned around and had to correct course. It was a bit validating that I was not alone in this, and had company with my fellow ultra runners.
This was the first race back since my cycling crash in June of 2017. This was not lost on me. When I was stuck in the hospital bed healing for months I would stare out the sindow and imagine myself running on trails again. I truly did not care about my performance in this race. I just wanted to give it what I had. And I did just that. I was the 2nd woman overall and 7th overall runner.
I finished with severe shoulder pain that stems from severe impingment issues from the crash. I did not speak of this pain until I finished. Fortuantely, one of the runners I had met on the course was a massage therapist. He massaged my shoulder and back and I had some relief.
Another highlight, after the race John, Dave, and I all went to dinner. I am a very picky and healthy eater in “real life.” However, post race I always have a chocolate shake and French fries. Dave and John told me they didn’t believe it until they actually saw me consume this.
I loved this race. The race director and volunteers were amazing! Some weird/cool experiences that I must share: