Legends 2017 Race Recap

Legends Race Recap

I signed up for Legends 2017 pretty much as soon as the registration opened. Not because I was eager for the experience. Far from it actually. I was really pretty rundown and burnt out after my 2016 Legends attempt. BUT because they had done such an amazing job with the inaugural event, I was concerned it might sell out. So I registered more or less to secure a spot and knew I had plenty of time to decide *if* I was actually going to do it. I didn’t worry too much about the registration fee going to waste because if I didn’t do it, my hubby would take my place at the start line (bib transfer permitting).

I didn’t think or talk about Legends much over the next several months. And then suddenly it was December which meant if I was going to do it I needed to start thinking about it. And more than that, I needed to start actually training for it.  While I had maintained a decent level of conditioning, spending time on course was an important piece of preparedness for me. Don’t get me wrong. Several have completed the course without ever stepping foot on it before race day. But for me to feel confident at the start, time on course was essential. The self navigation piece doesn’t come easy for me. So the more I could practice navigating and familiarizing myself with the course, the better I would feel. Additionally because my 2016 DNF was primarily due to getting lost, I was probably hyper insecure about navigation.

I was able to get to the Ardeness several times for training runs. Some were solo. Some with other runners. And once for an organized night race called From Dusk Until Dawn that took place on a section of the Legend’s course.  Even though I was training, I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to actually start. I am not exactly sure why I remained on the fence. In part perhaps because I was intimidated by it. And in honesty I wrestled with desire/motivation. The amount of time spent the previous year running in cold, dark, wet conditions had taken its toll. When I looked back at pictures from the year prior I felt I looked pale, weak, and tired. I took this to heart and really revamped how I would train.

From a course recce
Course Recce with Sander
Course Recce

 

Course Recce

 

I embraced the quality over quantity approach and significantly reduced my weekly mileage. I also incorporated a ton of strength training/cross training in place of running. I upped my calorie intake and started tracking macros to ensure I was getting ample protein and calories. Additionally I made sleep/rest more of priority.

My husband kept bugging me asking me about Legends. He wanted to know if I was doing it. “Because if you’re not, I am”. He even offered to trade races with me. He had a race in Spain mid January that he knew caught my attention because it would be warm and sunny. My initial reply to his race trade proposition was “Heck yeah!”.  But then I almost immediately followed with “Wait! You can’t finish Legends before me.”  He smirked, “Well then I guess you better finish Legends”.  So there it was. I was doing Legends. But it was apparent to me that he also really wanted to do it. So I made childcare arrangements that would allow both of us to participate.

In January I only ran a total of 65 miles. This was in part due to summiting Kilimanjaro; as there was some tapering before and recovery after.  And no running at all during the 8 days I was in Tanzania. Obviously hiking is a valuable form of crosstraining, but I didn’t include those miles in my monthly total. February I ran 125miles even with a week long trip to Chicago thrown into the mix. I tapered the final week of February into the first week of March.

I found the differences in my race preparation versus my husband’s quite interesting and even a tad amusing. For example, when he showed me the sleeping bag I could use, I literally rolled it out, crawled into it and passed out for a solid two hours. Meanwhile he organized and packed all his running stuff, lined it up in front of me, and took a picture.

He made super calorie dense cookies for running fuel. I grabbed some pre made Lenny and Larry’s cookies.

He made these awesomely delicious and super energy boosting burritos. I packed a loaf of gluten free bread and some chocolate to make sandwiches. Yes. I am serious. Chocolate sandwiches.

He made a fancy spreadsheet for a pace chart. I used a sharpie and an index card to quickly jot down the 5 cut off times. All I had to do (in my mind) was stay ahead of cutoffs.

About 36 hours before the race start I woke up feeling awful! Horrible headache. Cough. Dripping snot. And lethargic. Ugh! What timing. BUT I remained optimistic in the body’s ability to heal itself rapidly. I blasted myself with all the natural/alternative remedies I could think of. But boy oh boy was I kicking myself for waiting until the last minute to pack. I was so jealous of my hubby having his ish all tidy and ready to go. I also had a lot of stuff to do to get ready to be away for the kids for a few days. I wanted things to go as smooth as possible for the sitter so tried to have laundry done. Fridge stocked. Kids packed for activities. House fairly clean. Beds with fresh linens. Etcetera. So as much as I wanted to rest those 36 hours I was rushing around trying to get everything ready.

 

When we arrived at the finish line we had a little bit of down time to rest before being shuttled to the start. Buzz was also feeling pretty lousy at that point. We set our alarms for one hour and laid down in a dark room. I still felt pretty crummy but I was putting on a happy face. Maybe if I acted fine, I would feel fine.

It was a total boost to see friends I hadn’t seen in a while. The start line was buzzing with energy and activity. All of us feeling excited that the day had finally arrived. I had 3 friends I was rooting VERY hard for.

Dennis Stoutjesdijk (Mr. Smiley in the Green)

Maarten Schon (wearing a hat knitted for him by the infamous Paula Ijzerman)

Sander Boom (Mr. Cool, Calm, and Collect. He’s totally faking it!)

All three had DNFd in 2016. And I knew how determined they were to finish this year. In 2016 I ran the entire race with Sander until checkpoint 3 where he stopped. We talked about this decision extensively and both agreed that we would not run together again this year. It was a friendly conversation full of insight and reflection. We knew there would likely be points along the course where we fell into pace organically and would enjoy that time together, but both felt we had the best chance of success if we were to independently focus on our own individual strengths, highs, and lows. Same plan ensued with my hubby. He would run his style. I would run mine. I actually went into the race thinking I wouldn’t necessarily attach to any runner. I would just allow things to unfold on their own assuming that would entail sharing sections with various runners and doing some sections solo.

Peter Swager, 2016 Legends Finisher completes a kit check.

 

Start to Checkpoint 1 (63 kilometers)

Race starts promptly at 6pm.

And we’re off!

 

I was very familiar with this section and knew exactly what to expect. The navigation of this part can be a bit tricky but I was able to just focus on moving forward and not really spend any additional energy on the navigation part. This section is also somewhat technical but I actually really like it. Some parts are runnable but most of it is climbing up and over rocks and/or fallen trees. There is also a fair amount of uphill in this section. Those elements combined with it being dark make this section feel a little slower going than most would like early on in a race when your mind and body are fresh.  But I was mentally prepared that it would likely take a good 10 to 11 hours to get to checkpoint one.

I fell into pace with Paula Ijzerman.

She has a seriously impressive race history, including the title of First and Only female Legends finisher at that point. I was happy to run with her. She’s super chatty and relaxed when she runs. I on the other hand still felt like crap and was not my usual perky self. I stayed pretty quiet. Plus the surrounding conversations were in Dutch. I usually try to listen and understand, but honestly I was tuning it all out. It was taking all of my energy just to move swiftly and not puke that I didn’t want to spend any extra energy on translating.

My ability to fake feeling good was waning. I was coughing and blowing my nose constantly. I passed one of the awesome volunteers Chloe at a surprise water refill station in La Roche. She asked me how I was feeling. I was honest; “I feel like shit. I’ve been trying not to throw up this whole time”. She looked at what I was wearing as I was dressed pretty light, “Aren’t you cold?” I replied, “No! I am soooo hot. I feel feverish actually”.

Given our pace I knew we would arrive at CP1 in ample time for rest. I developed a game plan in my head. As soon as we arrived I would take Advil and sleep for one hour. Then assess how I was feeling. I was more than comfortable going the next section alone. I knew it well, plus it would be daylight for most of it. Additionally it was a less technical section with some decent runnable parts. I didn’t communicate my plan to anyone. I literally arrived at the checkpoint, grabbed my sleeping bag and bivy, and quickly set it up behind the building where it was quiet and dark. I took an advil, set my phone alarm, and slept. I have the uncanny ability to sleep just about anywhere, any time. I can also go from an alert state to heavy sleep in no time at all. Sleep really is my super power. I don’t need much of it, but when I do sleep, I sleep hard. Quality over Quantity prevails.

I woke up feeling amazingly better. I immediately knew I would continue on. I looked at my watch and decided I would give myself 45 minutes to eat, restock pack, change out batteries, and put on fresh socks. Right when I walked in the medic approached me and asked if he could take my temperature. Crap! “Please don’t have a fever” I begged my body!! I literally held my breath the whole time waiting for the thermometer reading and hoping the advil had worked to lower my temperature.  The medic said I was cleared to continue. Whew!

I hurriedly got myself ready to go and just as I was about to leave I realized I didn’t have my phone. Ugh. I spent about 10 minutes looking for it. Then one of the volunteers found it outside in the grass! Hooray! I gave him the biggest hug. I was walking out the door right as my hubby walked in. As soon as I saw him I knew he was dropping. He looked awful! A quick conversation confirmed it. We kissed goodbye and he told me he would meet me at the next checkpoint.

CP1 to CP2 (55 Kilometers)

Feeling much better and happy to move along on my own I tackle this next section with steady movement. The weather was good. The daylight was energizing. As the hours clicked by the better I felt. No real issues with navigating. No feeling like I was going to puke. I was able to eat and drink. In fact I was crazy hungry. I had not eaten much the previous section because of a sensitive tummy. Even at the checkpoint I had only had about 3oo calories of oatmeal for my breakfast. I knew I was seriously behind on calories. At one point I saw Dennis and Chris Van Beem on course. They are in a cheerful and giddy mood. They ask me how I’m doing. “I’m hungry!” “Well then eat silly girl”, Chris says.  “But I hate all the food I have with me”. Which was true at the moment. Nothing I had in my pack appealed to me. Chris digs in his pack and offers me a cliff bar. I appreciated his offer but said “I want a pizza. Did you pack one of those?”  He said call up Buzz and ask him to order you one. Haha! But then he got me thinking…Buzz had all those homemade burritos he no longer needed. I was definitely confiscating those! Motivated by thought of burritos, I called out to Chris and Dennis that I was going hustle on.

Crazy Cool Ultra Runner Chris Van Beem

 

About an hour outside of the checkpoint it started to rain. But I didn’t want to waste any time stopping to put on my raingear. My plan was to get to the checkpoint and sleep again for an hour. When I arrived Buzz was there and told me we were allowed to sleep inside because there truly wasn’t any safe space to sleep outside. It was right alongside the road. So I opted to sleep in the car. It would be quiet in there. I stripped down to my base layer, inhaled a burrito, crawled into my sleeping bag, and passed out. The timing was perfect too because this was the height of the rainstorm. It was coming down pretty good as I slept. Actually the sound of the raindrops on the roof of the car lulled me right to sleep.

An hour later woke up feeling recharged and ready to go!

Restocking my pack

 

Sexy rain pants
The 3 remaining females

 

CP2 to CP3 (33 Kilometers)

The next section was short but included a rather technical section through Ninglinspo. There would be several river crossings there. I was ok to go it alone, but Paula was ready to head out again at the same time as me so we decided to team up again. The other remaining female Willemijn and her running mate, Tom joined us as well. I had never met them before but instantly liked them both. I secretly referred to us as the Fantastic Four. Despite the continued rain fall, we moved really well together. Pace was compatible. As was running style. No stopping. Eat on the move. Adjust on the move. Pee and catch up. Zero navigation errors. We were hustling!

But then I noticed Paula struggling a bit. She was slowing down and I could tell something was going on. “Are you ok?” She replied, “I’m really cold”. I offered her my extra shirt or rain poncho but she declined. We stopped so she could layer up some more and I decided I would as well. It was only getting colder and colder and since our pace was slowing, I knew the body could cold really fast. Even with the extra layers Paula was still having a hard time staying warm. She’s a very smart and experienced runner so she knew something was off. “What can we do for you?” I asked her. “I just want to sleep but that’s not possible”. Conversation ensued. I didn’t know exactly what solutions were being discussed because they were speaking Dutch but the consensus was we would take a short rest. Had I known I may have suggested otherwise. Stopping movement, especially in an exposed area, can cause body temps to drop even more. Paula curled up on the ground under a tree. Willemijn set her phone timer. I looked at Paula. I was worried. I was about to pull out my bivy to cover her, when I noticed Willemijn taking hers out. She covered Paula with it. I developed a lot of respect for Willemijn in how she cared for Paula. She was very nurturing yet matter of fact about it. She knew Paula’s ability to think clearly for herself was fading, so Willemijn was very directive in telling Paula what to do. What literally seemed like minutes later the phone alarm beeped. We regrouped and started moving again.

Pace was much slower than Paula is usually capable of. Her energy was waning fast. She was depleted. Her body unable to regulate itself anymore. She talked of hypothermia. I could see this was heading that direction quickly. I tried to look at my GPS to see if there was a town nearby. Maybe we could find some shelter? A pub? A little motel? Somewhere warm she could rest a bit. Maybe even access to a hot drink or soup?  We stopped. More discussion. All in Dutch. Reviewing map. Decisions made. I was trying to listen and decode but didn’t understand. Being in that situation is hard. I feel like a child. I can’t contribute meaningfully into discussions.

The map showed we would be crossing a road soon which would be a good spot to contact headquarters as we would be accessible by car. We moved as quickly as we could to the road. My self-appointed task would be to find us shelter. I really wanted to get Paula out of the rain and into a warm place. While they contacted headquarters I walked around looking for a warm spot.  A barn/shed looked promising. We wrapped Paula up and huddled in there. I pulled out my own emergency blanket and wrapped it around me. Lack of movement means a cold body and I wanted to keep myself as warm as possible. I texted hubby to let him know why we had stopped. We didn’t know how long it would take for Paula to be picked up. Buzz replied “Sander is going to be near there soon. You could connect with him if all 3 of you aren’t planning on waiting with Paula”.  He was right. It wasn’t necessary for all 3 of us to wait. But I chose to. And likely would with any runner. But Paula isn’t just any runner. She is my friend and I care about her. I wanted to know she was safe and sound with the medic before I could move on. Thankfully they arrived faster than anticipated!

Pretty much the only picture I took on course.

 

We quickly got moving again, one runner less. But we fell into a good solid rhythm very fast. It was apparent the two of them run together often. They were an incredible team and had a well develop system on how to move along together in a very efficient manner. I was hoping I wasn’t too much of a third wheel because I really enjoyed their style and was hoping to continue to hang with them. They had not slept at all at that point so their plan was 90 minutes of sleep at CP3. Perfect! That’s exactly what I wanted to do to. We agreed on a CP3 departure time and went about our business independently. I opted first for sleep, then for food. They did the reverse.

 

Checking my very fancy pace chart 😉

 

Buzz had evolved into an unofficial volunteer at that point and was helping various runners at checkpoints. The bonus of that for me was that although no crewing was allowed, he technically *could* help me because he was acting as a resource for all runners. When I arrived at checkpoints I could hand him my pack and he knew exactly what to do with no communication necessary. This helped expedite and maximize checkpoints for me.

Legends Trail 2017 female runners arriving and leaving CP3

The remaining female runners in the 2017 edition of the Legends Trail arrive at check point 3 at 151 kilometers on the course on Sunday morning at 3:00 AM.After some sleep they head back out into the dark at 5:25 AM on their way to check point 4.

Posted by Legends Trails on Saturday, March 4, 2017

 

Sleep. Food. Ready to rock and roll!

CP3 to CP4 (52 Kilometers)

Honestly most of this section is not too memorable for me. Except I had an exceptional burst of energy as we headed out! There was a nice long steady downhill section. Very runnable! We ran it well! Tom in the lead. I was right behind him. It felt soooo good to run! Euphoric almost. Elevate the heart rate. Warm the body. Get everything circulating. Plus it was a total confidence booster. We started to catch up with other runners. They saw us moving and grooving. The energy was contagious. We picked up some runners along the way. It was fun to have new personalities in the mix. Sander joined us for a bit and I was super happy to see him. Truthfully I missed him on course. So many of my memories in the Ardennes include him. But our decision to run Legends 2017 independent from one another was proving to be a good choice. We were both moving strong and at a much faster pace than the previous year.

A surprise tent with soup awaited us at the bottom of a hill. And Buzz was there! He handed out cups of soup to us. Best soup I ever had! Super nourishing and hearty. Plus the salt was sooo welcomed. I was doing a much better job with calorie intake now. Energy level remained steady.

I knew we had some good climbs ahead of us. I communicated that we really needed to run all the downs and flats as much as possible in order to make up for the time we would loose on the climbs. They agreed and we moved in a pleasant rhythm with little chit chat. Tom and Willemijn are rockstar ultra trail runners. I joked that they were the rockband and I was their groupie.

Whenever you move as a team in an ultra you want to feel that each team mate has something to contribute. I started to question what I was contributing. Tom was a strong leader and kept us moving at an awesome pace. Willemijn kicks serious ass in navigating and kept us 100% on course with virtually no mistakes. That’s huge for both time efficiency and overall morale. Getting lost is frustrating and produces a lot of negative energy. Staying on course and knowing each step is getting you closer to the finish totally energizing. Well crap! What was I offering? I was hopeful that my optimism, cheerful nature, and humor were a valuable enough contribution at that point. And I would keep an eye out for opportunities to have a more meaningful role.

Marek Vis, Legend finisher from 2016 greeted us outside of CP4. I knew I would see him there and had been looking forward to it for hours. His 2016 finisher photo had been stored in my consciousness for a whole year. It was a powerful image. Full of raw emotion depicting the hardship and victory that is Legends.

Marek and Hans at the Legends 2016 Finish Line

 

Marek has a wonderful calming presence about him. He radiates with genuine warmth and kindness. He offered us hot water for our feet and food for our bellies.

The dynamic duo of Marek and Maarten.

 

The medic asked how I was feeling; inquiring if I had any pain or discomfort. I replied that just my nose hurt. He laughed, “Well that’s a first”. But seriously it was soooo raw from constantly blowing and wiping it. I took off my shoes and he inspected my feet. He was surprised at how healthy they looked. No blistering or issues of any kind. We made a plan to spend one hour at the checkpoint. No sleeping. Just eating, restocking, and head out. I kept my pack super light. Dumping as much weight as possible and carrying very little calories with me. I wanted to be as agile as possible.

I also was super happy to see 2016 Legends Finisher Hans Coolen. The guy is such a goofball and guaranteed to brighten your spirit! He made me laugh dangling his medal in front of me….teasing and taunting in a playful manner.

 

 

CP4 to the Finish (47 Kilometers)

I knew this section pretty well. There would be some obstacles ahead for sure. We were going on the third night of very little sleep. We would be navigating in the dark. Also it had been raining for a while and the trail was starting to get really muddy and flooded in sections. About an hour in I started to feel some anxiety. I knew this was in part to sleep deprivation. I kept reminding myself to stay calm. I engaged in lots of self-talk throughout this section. All you have to do is the same exact thing you’ve been doing for the past 48 hours. MOVE your body. One foot in front of the other. You’ve been doing that for 36 years actually so you’re a pro at this. Just keep moving forward.

I decided to put a voice to some of my anxiety. Maybe expressing it out loud would help release it? I told them I was feeling a little nervous about what was ahead of us. They listened. I felt heard. They didn’t attempt any “rah rah” pep talk. Which I was actually thankful for. It honestly would have felt cheap or displaced if they had. We were headed into a rough final stretch. Better to acknowledge it openly. This is something I really appreciate about Dutch culture actually. No false sense of optimism or sugar coating. Call it like it is. “Yeap. It’s gonna be hella hard”. And there was no guarantee yet that we would finish.

As we were leaving CP4, Marek had called out to keep an eye open for a surprise Checkpoint 4.1. I was so happy he told me that. It became a super handy motivator. I kept thinking about the warm coffee that might be awaiting us there. Sleepiness was settling in. My eyes were heavy and wanted to close. I remembered what Sander had told me about sleep cycles. I told myself “Just get through this sleep cycle. It will end soon. Then a burst of energy will follow.”  I welcomed the more technical sections because they gave me something to focus on. To keep me alert. I also played little games with my candy. I had a bunch of random gummies. I put them in pocket and would play a guessing game. I would feel them and try to guess what kind they were. Just giving my senses something to feel and my brain something to do helped. Then I would chew each one slowly; trying to be mindful of the taste and texture in my mouth. I would count how many chews it would take me to finish each one. These are the bizzare strategies you develop in distance running. Every ultra runner has their own unique and refined coping mechanisms. The mental aspect of ultra running is as important to train and develop as the physical aspect.  Mind and body are equally challenged.

Surprise checkpoint 4.1 couldn’t have been more amazing! At the top of a steep climb, at the highest point in all of Belgium there was a large tent in the middle of seemingly nowhere. Complete with party lights and upbeat music! I swear it felt like a mirage in the desert.

Come and enjoy our Legend Preparty🎊💥At CP4.1

Posted by Ingo Van de Bergh on Sunday, March 5, 2017

 

We stepped inside the tent. It was warm. The volunteers greeted us with high spirits and big smiles. It gave me a much needed energy boost. They had hot drinks for us. Heck, they had chocolate eclairs for us! Which was amazing although I stupidly declined because I had just eaten a good 300 calories of trail mix. Calorie intake is a delicate balance for me during ultras. Too much at once, especially that far into a race, can lead to really uncomfortable digestive issues.

Shortly after we left there I checked in with Willemijn. Having spent the past 30 hours or so together I already had a good sense of her movement pattern and could detect that something was off. She said she was cold. I said “Let’s keep moving at a fast pace to try to stay warm. We are in a very exposed section with the wind. I will check in with you again in about 20 minutes”. We had less than 20k left at that point

The rain did not let up, despite the forecast predicting otherwise. Mud. Rivers. Rotting bridges. Deep Mud. Fallen trees. Swamps. Section of trail that had not been maintained for decades, overgrown with thorns. More mud. This last section is tough.

Willemijn continued to be cold. We stopped so she could layer up some more. I did as well. I used everything in my pack. I had on 2 heavy wool base layer tops. A down jacket. A rain jacket. A windbreaker. Fleece lined pants. And rain pants. This combo worked to keep me warm. Even with frequent stops to check in with Willemijn my temperature was ok. When we would stop, I would move or bounce in place to keep everything circulating as much as possible.

Somewhere along the way my burrito must have fallen out of my pack. Grrr! That was a bulk of my fuel for this section. I went through all the food in my pack. This concerned me a little because our pace had slowed significantly and I could see this section was going to take longer than originally predicted. We still had about 3 to 4 hours ahead of us to reach the finish line. Shoot! I hope I didn’t F up by not packing more calories. I told myself to relax. It would be ok. You have enough reserves. And you are moving on adrenalin at this point anyway. Eagerness to finish would become my fuel.

I was super sleepy again. I developed a system of “sleep hiking”. I told myself I could close my eyes for no more than 2 seconds at a time. I would close my eyes and count to two. Then open them. This little mantra running through my head. “One…two…Open your eyes! One…two…Open your eyes!” I literally said this over and over and over again.  Somehow the rhythm of it transferred into my body moving rhythmically.

Truthfully I was worried about Willemijn. I sensed she felt a bit panicked about how cold her body was getting. Energetically I kept sending warmth and peace her way. With each exhale I imagined her being surrounded by heat. It’s hard to explain the connection that happens between individuals when they share hours and hours physically exerting themselves together. The spirits intertwine and you become entrenched in each other’s essence for that duration. Tom was rock solid. He continued to provide strong leadership in both pace and navigation.  I kept a close watch on Willemijn. Chatting with her every now and then to keep her alert.

Headquarters was aware that she was struggling. A volunteer would randomly surprise us with a warming bottle for her that she could put under her shirt. They gave her hot tea. And gave us a thermos of hot water to carry with us on the trail. There were a few times during this last 20k that I started to doubt our ability to finish. Our ability. Not mine, but OUR. We had become a legit team.

Having said that I think it’s important for me to overtly share the following. Separating, while obviously an option, did not present itself as a possibility for me. And in NO WAY do I think Willemijn slowed down our finish. AT ALL! Her excellent navigational skills had helped us gain a ton of time (and peace of mind) earlier and I am beyond grateful to her for that. That’s what happens when you join forces and the “fit” is right. You share and benefit from each other’s strengths. You create a potent dynamic. A synergy. It was an unspoken agreement between us.  The three of us were committed to crossing that finish line together.

When we had 6k left, I looked at Willemijn. She looked defeated. I did the calculations and said “We are moving along. We have 6k left. If we can hold the pace we did this past hour, we can be done in under 90minutes. We can do this! You will be cold but we won’t let anything happen to you”.

Something sparked and we all received a simultaneous energy boost. It’s time to finish what we started. Let’s go! We ran whenever we could. Splashing through huge flooded sections. It was almost a thrill. Instead of being emotional like I usually get when a finish is just around the corner, I was pure focus. Move. Move. Move!

We could hear the finish line. Tom instructs me to take his poles and hold his hand. He had visualized us crossing the finish line this way and it was happening!! We crossed the finish and immediately turned into one another. Hugging. Crying. Rejoicing. We did it!!!

I looked up to see Buzz front and center. He gave me a long strong hug. We didn’t even exchange any words. Just held each onto each other.

The rest of the details seem unimportant. I shed wet clothes. Ate. Connected with Sander finally! He had finished about 30 minutes before me. I was so happy for him!!! Maarten had finished earlier and Dennis would finish soon after! We all had our revenge on the course!

I thanked the RDs and volunteers. Announced I was never ever doing that ish again. Showered. And we hopped in the car to go back home. To see our children. I missed them and was really looking forward to seeing them.

I dozed on and off during the car ride. But mostly I was too excited to sleep. Finally closing that chapter of my Legends Journey felt really blissful.

*I was told a finish didn’t count unless you finished with blisters, lol. I managed to keep my feet 100% blister free. These pics were take one hour post race. My feet looked pretty much exactly the same as they looked when I started, which is no small feat. (You can roll your eyes. That was so cheesy!)

I wanted to share what products I used as  it may help future Legend’s runners prepare. No affiliation of any sort with the following products, just a satisfied customer.

Random Race Stats:

  • 58 starters / 6 females
  • 29 finishers / 2 females
  • Youngest finisher; 26 years old
  • Oldest finisher; 60 years old
  • 84 VOLUNTEERS!
  • 58hours and 45minutes from start to finish
  • 3.5 hours of sleep during the race
  • And ridiculous amount of peanut butter cups consumed on course

As for being sick, I think I must have had like a 48 hour bug. Because it started approximately 36 hours prior to the start and I felt better about 12 hours into race.  I wasn’t ever quite 100% during the race. Energy was lower than usual and I was coughing and blowing my nose the whole time. The cold damp air really aggravated my cough and by the end I was hacking pretty hard. I lost my voice the next day; sounded a bit like Marge Simpson. 🙂

And lastly a BIG FAT THANK YOU to…

  • The best race directors Stef and Tim!
  • All the amazing volunteers, all 84 of them played an important roll in Legends 2017!
  • Joost and Astrid for their social media coverage
  • All the participants for their camaraderie and support of each other
  • Our kick ass babysitter who cared for our kids all weekend long
  • And to my Burrito Boy Buzz! Love you! XO

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