Thinking of Big Bend

About a year ago, plans were announced to bring back a popular ultramarathon in Big Bend National Park. I knew immediately that I wanted to do this race; I also knew immediately that I wanted to make a big deal out of it.

I got my husband on board with the idea of going out for the race. I emailed my dad, my uncle, my cousin, and a few other friends to let them know about the race. My dad extended the invitation to several of his running friends in Dallas, a few of whom he has been running with for 30 years. With very little effort, we had a fantastic community of people committed to spending the weekend at Big Bend.

Race Directors decided that they would stage a 50K, 25K, and 10 mile race through the wilds of West Texas, with race proceeds supporting Friends of Big Bend. The race would be held over Martin Luther King, Jr weekend, so that runners, support crews, and volunteers would have plenty of time to travel to and from the remote park. Each of the members of our community going out for the race chose his/her preferred race distance, and entries were completed. We even all managed to get lodging right in the park at Chisos Basin. All of our plans came together splendidly.

Fast forward to July 2010, when I made a phone call to my parents to let them know I had good news and bad news. I had to tell them that we wouldn’t be making the much-anticipated trip to Big Bend after all. With our third child’s due date of January 24th, there was no way I’d be allowed to travel out for the race (much less run, walk, or waddle through it). And as my training through the fall tapered off, I knew that all of the other runners were really ramping up for the race.

So now, race weekend is here! But I am not in Big Bend. My thoughts are with my parents, relatives, and long-time running friends who are arriving in the park this morning to prepare for tomorrow’s race. May your good training result in an enjoyable race. Keep your eyes open to the wonders of Mother Nature even as your body fatigues.

And if I’m in an ultramarathon of my own type tomorrow, I promise to do the same.

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