I figured that I could just go and keep my pal Zona, and her friend Carla, entertained with my witty banter. We'd drive out, get a nice hotel room, have some dinner, enjoy 16 miles x 3 of the Finger Lakes region, drink some beers, camp out under the night sky. What could possibly go wrong?
This would be Zona and Carla's first ultra experience, and my second. The 2010 JFK 50 was my first near death experience.
It was Carla's idea to do FL50 ever since she read about it in some book, I think it was called Dante's Inferno. I'm sure the brochure had many great things to say about this ultra, and I'm almost certain that all of it were lies!!
The FL50 is often touted as the perfect ultra for beginners: Three 16 mile loops, well stocked aid-stations, great atmosphere, and scenery to die for. I should have read that last part more carefully before signing up, or as EJ would say, check out the elevation profile before signing up.
Speaking of which, this was what the three of us, and about 100 other hearty souls, had to look forward to. Keep in mind that the image below is just one loop of a three looped course. Who the hell thinks of these things?
(3754 ft of climbing = 42 Heartbreak Hills)
Zona and I made the pleasant 4 hour drive in 6+ hours (Zona was driving) to our destination just west of Ithaca where we were staying for the night. Fortunately for us Zona had just finished RD'ing her "Race for Justice", so we had plenty of water for the trip. Well, Zona had plenty of water for the trip. Let's just say that this girl can really drink!
In hindsight, this very efficient hydration system Zona developed most likely saved her on race day when the temps started inching closer to 90 degrees...in the shade....with no shoes on....backwards....in the snow.
The hotel that we were staying at was also hosting a bunch of Phish Heads who were there to have a gay old time, at our expense, at the nearby Phish concert (yep, they're still around, unfortunately).
We had a nice dinner at a local eatery before crawling into bed early. I fell asleep to the sound of chairs breaking and the smell of freshly cut marijuana.
Tomorrow would be a day we'll never soon forget. I couldn't wait.