Last year for Christmas, Sam asked for his present to be the entry fee to a race. Not just any race, but the LongHaul100, a one-hundred-mile-race.
Saturday morning, we woke up early and packed our bags for the day. I had lots of snacks for Mae, extra clothes, food, and water for Sam, and that was it. (We quickly realized that we were majorly under-packed, but thankfully we had some help along the way!
Getting ready for the start!
Sam began running at 7 am, and after he started, Mae and I walked a mile away to the center of the racecourse. This race was perfect for spectators because the course was set up somewhat like a cloverleaf. There were three loops off of the center section that were three, five, and two miles, so for every ten miles that Sam ran, we were able to see him three times.
A few hours after the start, my sister-in-law and nephew came to watch as well, bringing a stroller and more snacks and water.
Later my brother brought several friends from college, and they brought us two chairs and more water, which were huge lifesavers! Most of the other crews set up to aid and support runners had tents, cots, chairs, tables, and huge spreads of food. When we first arrived we had a couple of backpacks and some food.
We played with the babies and visited with other spectators while Sam ran and ran and ran. Every so often he would ask for a particular food, but most of the time he just wasn’t hungry because he was running and it was pretty warm.
Later that afternoon, Sam’s parents came (bringing more food, water, and another stroller!), and Sam’s dad was ready to run several miles with him as soon as he hit mile 60. All the participants in the race were allowed to have pacers run with them, but not until mile 60.
It was right about that time that the babies started getting sleepy, and mosquitos began coming out. I was so torn between staying with Sam and getting Mae home and to bed, but Sam encouraged me to go back and do what I needed to for Mae. The plan was for me to sleep a couple of hours with Mae, then drive back out to the course with my brother-in-law that night to see Sam finish.
I fell asleep putting Mae to bed, but not before I set my alarm for 1:00 am to get up for Sam. The next thing I knew, Sam was in the room with us. I was so confused. Did I sleep through my alarm and miss the finish?
I must have asked him how he got there, and he told me he quit. At mile 76 he decided that it was enough. He felt good enough to walk it out to the finish, but he just didn’t want to. He just wanted to go to sleep!
Thankfully a friend had been there with him at the course when he decided to quit, and he was able to drive him home.
That night Sam said he would never attempt a 100 miler again and that anyone who did them was crazy. I think 76 miles is a HUGE accomplishment, and I am so proud of him.
It only took until Monday for him to start talking about trying one again, though…