September 23, 2014

Run For The Horses 50 (the tale of the hubby's ultra)

Someday life may settle down, but I hope not soon and I plan to enjoy the ride as much as possible until then.

Saturday was the Run for the Horses 30/50 at Biltmore. It was originally supposed to be Gem's 50 mile debut and would have been glorious except for those darn gremlins in life that screw up all your plans. thing after another led up to the decision for Gem and I to stand down and send the hubby alone.

He left Friday afternoon to sign in, eat pasta and enjoy ridecamp. He met up with S who was riding the 30 on Saturday and her hubby (crewing for her) and settled in for a fun evening under the stars.

The original ride/run plans had the runners out on trail at 0530 and doing a different first loop than the horses. I'm not sure why things changed, but new plans were announced at the ride meeting and he would start at 0630 and everyone would do the same trails. The 50 riders would go out half an hour later and then the LD runners/riders after that. I think S said she started at 0830.

Saturday late morning I packed up W and heading up to try to find the hubby and hopefully see him finish. As I was driving around the estate to get to ridecamp, who happened to be running alongside the road? Hubby! He stopped to say hello and said he had about 13 more miles to go. Unfortunately, the aid stations were out of food and low on water and he was getting a little worried about that but otherwise was enjoying the trails, horses and views.

S was still out on trail, but would come in happy and sound about 20 minutes later. She had a great ride on her mare and was all smiles which is the best you can hope for.

W and I milled around the vetting area then headed to camp to grab snacks and then back to vetting where the hubby would cross his finish line. It is really, really hard to entertain W at ridecamp. Basically it is a big open field full of horses and dogs he can't touch, trailers he can't explore and water he really isn't allowed to mess with. He gets frustrated, cranky, bored, tired and hungry. I managed to keep him occupied with the water hose at the finish line since we were not seeing any horses coming in at that time. He was soaking wet, but having fun.

Eventually even that wore thin so I called the hubby to see where he was. I really try hard to never bother him while he is out running, but I needed to know how long he would be to judge if we could stick around or not. Turns out he was just exiting the woods and was in sight! I rushed over to the finish and snagged some great pictures of him crossing the finish line 50 miles and 10:31 later :) He finished 4 of 7 and was thrilled with that, his self management throughout and the trails.

He isn't as wordy as I am about these things, so I don't have many details of the actual run. I know he had a running partner for the first 20 miles, but then was on his own. He got stung by bees 4 times during the run all on his left leg. Those welts were massive on Sunday!

How was it running with horses out there? Pretty great apparently. He enjoyed having them around and it made him feel really awesome when he passed riders ;) He only ran into one really rude rider who treated him like crap and one group who were really nervous but super nice. The rest rode beside him, behind or in front and chatted about the ride/run and had a good time. The elevation gain wasn't terrible (or the worst he had done) but the hills were long enough to really tire out the legs.

I do find it interesting to hear his take on the trails. He was really pleased with the markers (he managed to get lost once but quickly realized it and turned around) which were abundant and the footing which he described as near perfect. I overhead quite a few riders complain about the roots and rocks and footing prior to him coming in, so hearing how great he thought they were was interesting.

I was very proud of him and he got a really great finishers medal at the end. I helped break down his tent and clean up while he grabbed a shower in S's trailer and then we headed back home. It was a really fun day and I am super glad he got to run.


  1. It is so very cool that both you and the hubs participate in endurance sports!

    1. He tried being my Ride and Tie partner but Gem hates him, so his riding portion was not very fun. I keep trying to get him to try again.

  2. How cool! Loved hearing things from a different perspective on endurance racing.