Race morning came and I towed the line. It felt great.
Very shortly after the race started I was once again spotted in my Runwell jersey by Amie Murphy and one again the common denominator... Pam Rickard and our Runwell teammate Jaime McDonald. Amie had recently helped Jaime complete her first Ultra in NC.
They were awarded the MTC t-shirt for their effort. We along with her running partner, Michael, ran and chatted to the first aid station. Within those few short miles, I had made another new friend. Trail runners are so cool.
My wife and crew were waiting at the aid station for me. I felt so alive.
While at the aid station, I decided to run ahead on my own. The course was amazing and the weather was perfect.
The next 15-18 miles were like no other I have ever ran.
My wife and crew were working the aid stations like rock stars. However, around mile 20 something, my lack of training and inexperience caught up to me. I started to get severe cramping in my calves. The cramping was so severe that running was becoming next to impossible. With seven or so miles to go, I knew I was in trouble.
Just told myself make it to the next aid station. At the aid station everyone there was overly supportive. They assured me I was still way ahead of the cut off time and if I just kept moving a finish was guaranteed.
I truly believe my wife and those at that aid station wanted it more than I did so off I went. The pain in my calves came and went but when a cramp would hit it was so severe I became nauseated. That’s when the stomach issues started. I don’t remember exactly when but at some point Laurie and Peg Leg Weaver, the Outrun group mascot, came out onto the trail to check on me.
Running friends are the best friends! Laurie assured me the three of us were gonna bring it home.
About 500 yards from the finish there was Amie.
She was the first to congratulate me. Just had Laurie had guaranteed me her, Peg and I finished together.
To my amazement several folks who had finished ahead of me stuck around and waited to see me finish. I thought that was the coolest thing.
So there you have it folks. The story of my quest for Ultra. My hope and prayer for sharing this story is that just maybe someone somewhere will be inspired to start their own quest. As for me, the journey has just begun.
Until next time, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face and His favor shine upon you. God bless.
Chris Petruccio, Ultra Runner
Chris can be reached via his Facebook email at