How do these things happen? After my 100 miler at Rocky last year, I decided that since I had met my goal (sub 24), I would take a break from 100's, and only run races that I could finish without running through the night in 2014. Well, that was before I got the message from Jeff Beck, RD Extraordinaire, asking me to be a part of the Forge Racing Team for the first year of the ThunderRock 100 in Tennessee. You see, one thing you have to understand about me for any of this to make sense is that I NEVER pass up an opportunity to do something cool, and I am not afraid of failure which makes it easier to jump on board when something asinine like this is proposed. Don't get me wrong - I am not a fan of failure. I actually dislike it very much and work really hard to decrease that possibility, but I am not afraid of it. I would much rather look back on my life and say, "Well, I tried" rather than "I wonder what would have happened if...".
So, when I got the message from Jeff about TR late last year, it didn't take long for me to say yes. Did I completely understand the task laid before me? No. Did it matter? No. What I did know is that I would be part of a team with two outstanding ultra runners, AD Marshall and Ed Melancon, and I was honored to be considered. I have said it for years - the decision to do the thing is often harder than the actual doing of the thing. Once I make up my mind, the task is complete. The rest is just details.
Then, last month, the race director (RD) of TR put up the elevation profile:
So, with Rocky Raccoon 50 miler behind me (race report to come), I am officially in training mode for this bad boy. I have an A-List pacer, Lane Gremillion, who has agreed to get me to the finish line, and I am very excited to meet this challenge head on. How bad can it be? I just have to get through the low spot that is named after Copperhead snakes because there are bunches of them there and get across the river at mile 81 that is "chest to neck deep", then it will be an easy 4 mile vertical climb then a gradual descent to the finish line. Yep. Still makes me laugh. Stupid makes for GREAT stories.
Happy Running Y'all!