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1st Annual Planet Adventure Winter Quarter/Half/Full Trail Marathon - RunMarathon

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Indianapolis, Indiana
United States
Planet Running
28F / -2C
Total Time = 7h 10m 26s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
  • 7h 10m 26s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 16m 26s  min/mile

After finishing the Frozen Sasquatch 50k January 7th I fell in love with trail running and decided I wanted more and needed more as ofter as I could find something close enough to home. Although my 50 mile run in April is a road run I need the training mileage. When I discovered this event I was so excited! How fun....a NIGHT TIME trail marathon and its only a 4 hour drive. I had received a headlamp from Santa for Christmas so what a great way to put it to use! I got up Saturday morning and headed to Indianapolis. For breakfast I ate my Go Lean Crunch with fruit and yogurt on top and around noon I stopped at a Subway and got a foot long turkey flat bread, eating half then and saved the other half for when I got to Indianapolis. Packet pickup was to begin and 4:30 and I arrived at the park at 4:00. The lady at the entrance told me I had to come back at 4:30 or pay to go into the park and I explained I really didnt have anywhere to go for a half hour can I just sit in my car there...she finally said go on in. When I got there there were a couple dozen cars and a few racers already there. I found a great parking place got my packet and grabbed a trail runner magazine they were giving away and wasnt going anywhere. I knew I would be late and I was fine sitting and hanging out for a couple hours so that when I did finish my car was right there. I read the magazine and got out and walked to the potty a couple times. They made an announcement that the trail had some water 1-2 inches deep in some places so those doing more then one lap should put extra shoes etc at the bag drop area. In my special needs bag I had a couple extra pair of socks, my road shoes, a UA face hoodie, my thin base layer gloves and my heavy gloves, a couple gel packets, hand warmers, toe warmers, 1 bite size payday and extra batteries for my headlamp. They started the quarter mile racers first at 6:00 - 230 people were doing the quarter race and 230 people finished it! At 6:10 they started the half marathon race- 197 started the half race and 228 finished the half? hmmmm guess some people changed their mind out there on the course LOL. At 6:20 the marathon started....I wasnt nervous or anxious I was just ready to check it out. I had never run with my headlamp on except to try it out for 15 minutes on the treadmill the other night so this was all new to me. It was still kinda dusk when we started at 6:20 however you did need your headlamp on. I wore my headpiece that covers my ears and my mittens with a hand warmer in each to start the race. (Thanks Trixie for that tip!) We headed down the road and immediately onto the trail head. It was a very narrow single track for about a mile, a couple areas you tried to take a good mental note since the next 3 laps were gonna be pretty dark and if you slipped down the hill to the left was the lake. I thought Indianapolis would be mostly flat but there were alot of ups and downs and wooden slippery stairs. Parts of the cliffs still had a dustly of snow which made it pretty slippery. On the first lap I almost slipped 3 times on this one downhill and the girls behind me said "lets just watch where she goes cause she is finding all the slippery spots" On the map the course is outlined in red. It was 6.55 miles each lap (my garmin said more like 6.88 miles) When we got to the area that looks like we are running on water it was actually a pressed gravel levee. The first lap here was the coolest and one of the most amazing sites I have ever seen. If you look at the map it almost makes a circle around the water-I had over 400 runners that started before me so they were working their way around the other side of the lake and when you looked out all you could see was lights. There were two aid stations in the woods and when I arrived at the first one I grabbed a little bit of water and saw some trail mix which didnt sound good and then saw these little cups that had tiny baked potatoes rolled in salt! Freakin genius! I'd never seen this before and I grabbed one and took a bite and couldn't wait to get to the next aid station! Between miles 5 and 6 is where they were referring to 1-2 inches of the trail being wet. I didnt expect for an entire mile to be ankle deep mud but it was kinda fun. The first and second lap other runners were around so you could try to see where they were stepping to find the least amount of mud and follow. At one area you had to pretty much go way off trail and crouch down under all the branches to keep from total submersion. I wanted to stay as dry as possible because I had to do this 4 times. It was so cold I really couldn't imagine trying to change my shoes and socks and I didnt want to have to change into my white road shoes! After the first lap I stopped at the bag check and ate a gel and filled my water bottle and off I went for lap 2. During this lap my eyes started to really mess with me. I was seeing total tunnel vision and it felt like my lower eyelids were closing on me. All I could see was directly what the light was showing and everything else was pitch black. I found myself taking my fingers and rubbing my lower eyelids as to wake them up or something? This was a strange feeling. I was passing quite a few half marathoners here and talked with a couple people, heard several saying they were suppose to do the full but are stopping after the second lap, head alot talking about not being able to see. When I got to the mud on the second lap I took a different approach...I wasnt going to concentrate too much I was going thru it towards the outer sides on my toes, I was giggling cause I would slip and slide but it was pretty fun! I found when I started to try to find a route I would think to much and go and chose the wrong way. At this time I too started thinking about calling it a night at the half marathon, I would try to rationalize saying all I had on training schedule today was 16 and you had 10 tomorrow so call it at 13 and run 13 tomorrow - but I am not that person that sets out to do something and not finish unless there is a medical reason. So off I went on lap 3- by this time I knew I wasnt going to be done in 5:30 hours I was already a little over 3 hours and had 2 more laps to go and they were going to be much slower. My knee started to bother me on the downhills and especially on the 3 big stairways we had to go down. I found myself going down like an old lady - one step at a time and it was sideways to alleviate some of the pain. During this lap I only saw a couple people and my mind started telling me once again to stop at lap 3....20 miles is enough for today, but then I told myself no you gotta finish what you started and if you have to walk the last lap then you walk it. The only times I had really walked were up some of the hills and my down some, there were so many stumps and roots on some of the downhills you had to watch you step and my knee was giving me fits on these downhills I wasnt going to chance stumbling over. It was starting to get colder so I took my bandana and tied it around my face like a bandit. You could hear the geese and I never realized geese to go to sleep when it gets dark. When I got to the levee a baby black bear or a giant raccoon ran out in front of me....Im thinking it was probably a raccoon. When I came thru on lap 3 I was psyched back up again...ONE MORE TIME! I stopped at the special needs table and I put on my under armour head mask and then my ear thing over top of it, it was getting windier and cooler and I thought I would probably have to walk more on this lap. I also grabbed my bite size payday and it was delish! At this point I could no longer use the headlamp on my head, I couldnt see, the tunnel vision had become so intense I actually thought if I dont take this thing off my eyes may stay this way forever! I took the headlamp off and wrapped it around my wrist, holding the battery pack in my fist and had the light on my knuckles. This was wonderful! I had to chance from hand to hand on occasion but the new movement of the light took care of the tunnel vision within the fist half mile. I found myself doing a nice little shuffle, feet close to the ground but moving faster then a walk pace. I kept this up and even up some of the hills. I did a run walk around the levee area because that gravel really played with my mind....I didnt like that area at all. The only pleasant memory of that area was lap one and seeing the glow of lights in the distance. I found myself looking for another light anywhere but didnt see any. I knew I had passed people and when I got to the aid stations I thanked them for waiting on me and I said I dont know if anyone is behind me or now but I know I had passed some folks, they told me a couple had DNF'ed and quite a few dropped down to the half. I kept trucking and when I got to the mud mile some areas that were very squishy before had gotten so cold and went a couple hours without being tracked on so they were freezing. This was nice to keep you a little dryer but again mentally and physically exhausting trying to be so cautious of your every step so that you didnt fall or twist and ankle. I got to the end of the trail and headed down the small hill and the volunteers and race people were all clapping and such, it was nice to be finished! When I did finish I told them thanks for waiting for me as well, they gave me my finisher award which was awesome. They actually used a piece of wood from the trail. I grabbed my special needs bag and grabbed a banana a half of peanut butter sandwich and nutter butter! The race announcer came and introduced himself to me and some of the lady volunteers, one said "you are number 26! we've heard about you. All the aid stations have said you were the most congenial person with the best attitude!" That made me feel good, I always have a great time out their trying to push my body. There are ups and downs in all trials of life and I try to make the best of every situation. My finish time was 7:10:26 quite longer then I ever imagined but I finished and I finished with a smile! 73 people started out on the full marathon and only 40 finished the full. 2 of those took a DNF and the other 31 dropped to the half. My split times were lap 1 1:34:21 lap 2 1:36:53 lap 3 1:59:15 and lap 4 1:59:55. The total darkness and only being able to see directly in front of you was a surreal experience. When you are running in the dark on a road at least you have the street lights or lights from cars and houses, out on the trail you dont have anything. I love new adventures and am always searching for a new challenge but as of right now I still do not have any desire to run another trail night time marathon! The farthest I think I would ever want to go again on a night time trail marathon would be a 25K. This could change especially if one day I decide to take on Leadville 100 or Western States :-)
Post race

Last updated: 2012-01-08 12:00 AM
07:10:26 | 26.2 miles | 16m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2012-01-30 10:42 AM

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Subject: 1st Annual Planet Adventure Winter Quarter/Half/Full Trail Marathon

2012-01-30 1:29 PM
in reply to: #4018520

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Subject: RE: 1st Annual Planet Adventure Winter Quarter/Half/Full Trail Marathon
2012-02-01 1:24 AM
in reply to: #4018520

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Santa Clarita
Subject: RE: 1st Annual Planet Adventure Winter Quarter/Half/Full Trail Marathon
That was quite an adventure ! Well Done !
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