I got choked up right at the end. I was in the middle of telling a volunteer-friend, who is a new runner, what happens when you finish your first ultra. You are transformed from a weak person to a powerful one. There is nothing in life that feels insurmountable any longer, not once you've willingly wrestled with demons that big. When you know what you are capable of, you can take charge of your life. That's what running ultras did for me, and this is how I choose to repay my debt.
It was an incredible day again this year. Yes, some records fell - all the female age group records were smashed to pieces, as well as the male vet record. There was a lot of inspiring stories at the front of the pack, but what always gets me is the inspiration found in the back. First half marathons, first marathons, first 50k and distance PRs for virtually everyone who participated. Many first time ultra runners have so much to be proud of and it was an honor that they chose to unleash their awesomness at our race.
The wildlife on the half mile course provided a welcome distraction, and the weather, while a bit humid and rainy, seemed to suit the runners quite well. The volunteers have to be recognized for their hard work wrestling with soaking wet tents, but most importantly for the cheering and encouraging they did for each runner, even making an effort to learn all of their names. I don't do too much on race day other than surround myself with great people, who really deserve all the credit.
The inaugural running of Mind The Ducks 12 Hour was so incredible, I thought there was no way we could top it, but we did. It's not about pleasant weather or crazy finishing times, it's about the memories made and lives changed and with twice as many competitors, we bested ourselves.