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Double Lake Washington Loop - Virtual 100

April 18, 2020

Aravaipa Strong

Context is important.  We have been home for a little over a month due to Covid 19 corona virus.  School closed on March 11 and I have never run so many miles per week for over four weeks (67, 82, 70, 88).  So naturally I was looking to run something as I had missed two hundreds that I was scheduled to run. All in person races have been cancelled for late March, April and May.  Along came Aravaipa to save the day with Aravaipa Strong Virtual Race.  I signed up to support one of my favorite running companies and to give myself a challenge, running a hundred without it counting.

Amy and Sue wanted in on the fun.  My husband Chris and my brother Keith would help us out.  Even Aurora made top ramen for tired hungry runners in the middle of the night. So it was a family event.

The plan was to run something local and there is a bike route around Lake Washington which is 50 miles, so we opted to do it twice with Sue joining us for the second loop.  It is a pretty loop with a few hills but only one big hill, 1.5 miles up Juanita Drive. So for a typical hundred it had a little less than 4000 ft gain which is flat.  The loop is pretty as you get to see the lake often and people who live on the lake have nice houses with great landscaping and the trees oh the trees were in bloom and flowers were abundant.  Amy took lots of pictures.  The clouds in the evening were especially impressive with lots of cool colors and shapes.

This virtual hundred was quite a nice experience.  I only had one really bad section from 50-60 miles where I didn’t feel too good.  We were pushing pretty hard for the first fifty miles and as soon as I let myself back off a bit around 60 miles I felt better.  Thank you to Sue who gave me permission  to run my own race.  It is the simple things people say that can really impact your day.  My brother had a nice little aid station at 65 miles and even made homemade banana muffins.  What a great guy.

Chris met us at several key locations and was an excellent supporter in his first hundred.  We saw him at 22, 38, 50, 78, 88, and 95 miles.  This was good spacing as we looked forward to seeing him and all the food that he had in the vehicle.  Amy made some great cinnamon nut bread that was to die for and Chris brought us pizza at 50 from Pagliacis, yum.  Some people may be able to run a hundred without support but we likely would not have been able to get this done without Chris and his support.  Thank you my love, my best friend, my number one.

For the second 50 miles we switched to more walking and running and were still moving well. At some point we noticed that we could be under 24 hours if we kept our pace and so we did.  Amy took the opportunity to finish strong, Aravaipa Strong during the last five miles while Sue and I tried to figure out what the birds were saying as they chirped.  If you listen closely you can hear some specific birds saying the same things over and over, kind of like us runners, just keep swimming, or keep going, one foot in front of the other, over and over and you will get there.

It was a beautiful run with friends staying physically distant from others as required.  There may have been a hug or two but no one will admit to that.  Glad to have cray cray friends who do things to keep the cray cray at bay during these truly strange times we are having.  Be well everyone.

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