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Three Days at the Fair Races

May 8 - May 14, 2023

Three days at the fair is a multi day race in Augusta, New Jersey on the Sussex county fairgrounds.  The course is a one mile loop with mostly pavement and a short section of dirt.  There are weddings and horse events happening while the runners do their thang.  I knew I would come back to this race as I had met many wonderful people.  The McNulty family puts on a heck of a race and takes great care of the athletes while telling fabulous stories to keep us entertained and even putting timing chips on inanimate objects to see how many laps silly runners with take a mannequin leg on.

Great to reconnect with friends we met two years ago.  People at the fair are very friendly and supportive.
This year I decided not to do the six day and instead complete two races to earn two hundred mile finishes in the 48 hour and the 72 hour. (#59 and 60)

Here we go, warm already as I start the race in a tank top
Half marathon in 2:32
Marathon in 6 hours
Took break, got a little too hot, needed to cool off in rv ac, fun chat with Jess and Jess
The ladies with J names (Jess, Jill and Jess) decided that it would be important to be in the shade off course during the heat of the day for the rest of the week. So we did.

Got my groove back, run some, walk some, repeat.  50 miles in 12:30.

Two vege burgers, so far, yum
Lots of liquid calories in the heat
Not that hot but felt hot because always so cold in Seattle and the course is completely exposed with radiating heat from the pavement.

Good first night doing 3.5 to 4 miles per hour with 10-15 min breaks to put my feet up

At 98 miles, likely to hit 100 miles at 30 hours, kinda slow but it’s hot and I’m old. Taking breaks to keep my legs fresh so I can run later.
Remember to bring your own ice and buy otter pops to donate to race as we will need a lot when it is hot.
Mess Jullen got 106 in the 24 hour. She flew by me during the 70-100 miles, such a strong second half runner.

The only issue with doing multiple races is that you have to put a big number up and people who start later in the week know your number so they can go after it.   Not a good strategy if you want to win or place but we are more interested in challenging ourselves with multiple hundreds or hundred plus.

Philly Jess L finally has got her groove on, she had a rough day one with all sorts of issues but in a six day, one bad day does not end your race.  We will see how the week unfolds.

48 hour stats:
84 miles day one
57 miles day two
141 total, not my best total for a 48 hour but darn good considering I’m older
100 miles in 30:07

Happy to have a day off in between races to sleep, eat and put my feet up. I decided that I would try two races instead of a straight six day as I wanted to come home feeling good and not wrecked.  The day off was great as I got to socialize with friends and heckle runners from the side line.

72 hour stats:
70 miles day one
42 miles day two, five hour nap, only sleep I had for 72  hour race
60 miles day three
172 Total
Not my highest mileage for a 72 hour race but darn good for the second race of the week.  My total miles in five days, 313, wow, that’s a 500K.
100 miles in 39:07

In the 72 hour race my original plan was just to take er easy and do 35 miles a day, maybe front load with 40 miles on day one.  Then I remembered for a 100 to count for the 100x100 you have to complete it in 48 hours or less. Well shucks I guess I have to run.  My new plan was 60 day one, 40 day two and play around on day three. Plans change. I felt good on day one and 70 miles it was.  This put me in the mix of other competitors.  Day two the heat came on fierce and even with my low mileage I was still in the mix of competition.  I thought it would be fun to place.  

Another runner had started early and finished so we knew the number we had to beat to consider placing, 163.  Two other gals Cindy and Hui and I met up at the mat early evening of third day and made a pact that we were all going to chase that number, which we did. Cindy got there first, then Hui and then me.  I had to work hard all night long.  I only went to the RV once to put on warm clothes when it got cold.  I would run walk six to ten miles and then sit in a lay back chair to put my feet up for ten minutes, then repeat. It was a tough night of me talking myself into doing this even though I knew I had already met my goal of two hundreds.  But I can’t throw away a chance to place as they don’t come often and I am getting older so I went for it.  When I got the number I promptly went to the RV for a nap.  I looked at the results online and all three of us were at 163 and all of us were napping.

I set an alarm for 90 minutes.  I thought this would allow me to sleep, but I just couldn’t or maybe I did. It sure didn’t feel like sleep but I was horizontal and that felt like a good rest.

Got up, got ready. Jess L encouraged me.  I told her I was going to play and get what I could in the last three hours as I knew the younger runners would be able to run faster than me. My goal was to chase them and make them earn it as I was just happy to place.  On the first lap out of the RV I met up with Cindy who had led the race since the beginning and she was moving so slowly.  She said congrats as I passed her as she couldn’t keep up with me.  Now for the first time in 69 hours I was in the lead.  It is stressful leading a race.  So I walked scared, ran a little and finished.  Glad I didn’t have to do that the whole race like she did when she was in first place.

Lessons learned this race
I usually go out at the start of a race and run fast until I am spent not paying attention to strategy. Because of the heat it was good to be patient and wait till night when it was cool to run.  Difficult for me as I am not that patient, but for this race patience was the key.  Also, hanging out behind the leaders was fun, again I patiently waited for my opportunity. All good stuff.

I am still in awe with what happened. I can’t really believe it.  I know that the big contenders were not present this year at 3DATF but that is okay. A win is a win, even two.  I worked really hard for the second one and my knees are taking to me, in fact they were yelling at me a lot during the race and now after.  I hope no permanent damage.  My arthritis in my foot scared me a little as it looks alien compared to my other foot.I really should go see the foot doctor but his plan is likely surgery and I’m just not ready for that.  I’m having too much fun with my new strong body from lifting weights.  However I will say it now and always, ultras are really run with your mind.  You gotta have goals and you gotta talk yourself into accomplishing those goals.  That is all mental.

I am so grateful for the support from Linda, John, Mandy and Bryce.  Their positive attitude and ribbing/teasing kept me going. Truly great humans.
Fabulous to walk and talk some with Scotty, Helen and Fran.  I’m in awe of you ladies, keep on keeping on.
Amy, thanks for taking my call and doing the math mid race when my brain didn’t work as I needed that.
Thank you Philly Jess for being you and such a wonderful host. I felt well cared for and supported.  I know you didn’t have the race you wanted this year but know that you were definitely part of my success.
Mess Jullen, the vegan food you got for me helped me immensely and of course your belief in me. Thank you my friend.

Appreciate all the kind words from friends and the BIRC.  Here’s to a rapid recovery.  However, Patience will be key to that as well.


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