Blasting Bears and Running Ultras

The thing with ultra marathons, like many things in life, is that there is no real “perfect” time to do one. No matter what, you’re going to feel anxious at the new undertaking but eventually you just have to say “Fuck it” and go for it.

That’s how I found myself on the trails of Thurmond Lake outside of Augusta, Georgia on a beautiful Sunday morning. The ultra was advertised as a 50k+. The “+” was because the organizers were feeling spontaneous when making the route so it turned out to be a fairly random distance of 58k-ish.

Running is a niche sport in itself, and ultra running is even more of a niche within that niche. Maybe that’s why I have been so attracted to trying it. If I’m going to be a weird runner girl, I want to be the weirdest running girl I can be.

Showing up at the venue I didn’t know what to expect, but this is what I got:

Did I mention the name of the race? The Bear Blaster 50k+. I have no idea what the story is behind the name, but the tagline for the event was “Excessive distance. Probably no shirt. Probably no bear.”

So us runners were finally all assembled and off we went. I won’t bore you with too many details, but I ran, ate some gels, drank some water, stopped to pee, and ran some more. It’s a good thing I find myself infinitely amusing because I was by myself pretty much the entire time.

Eventually I realized I was going to be able to finish the whole distance. Sweet! This was also about the same time I was getting a bit delirious and bored (somewhere around mile 32 I think). In an effort to keep up morale, I had myself a little dance party on the deserted trail. I imagine it looked something like this:

After FINALLY finishing, I was greeted to a smattering of applause by the organizers and two dudes who finished ahead of me, including my buddy Eric who also gifted me with a spicy Blenheim Ginger Ale which is the only drink in the world I like more than beer but it can be sometimes hard to find.

Also upon finishing, I received a coveted Bear Blaster 50k+ sticker:

Apparently, and I’m just guessing here because I’m a girl and also never encountered a bear, but if you are a male and happen to find yourself in a bear situation, you can defeat said bear by blasting giant blobs of jizz at it. Again, just a guess.

So, I’m now an ultra runner. I’m registered for another one on April 7th in Dalton, GA and hopefully I can be more confident going in to it because it will likely be more competitive and I really like winning at things.

Also, I woke up on Monday morning with my right foot looking like this:

That’s totally normal, right?

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