Suffering at it's Finest-2020 Tick 57.5 Mile Trail Raceby Dawn Lisenby on 04/02/21
Suffering to merely say I endured suffering does not motivate me anymore after 10 years of running ultras. Nor does finish line bling, albeit I do like my buckles. For me to put myself through the pain and discomfort that is part and parcel of running ultras I have to be inspired by; the adventure of the unexpected, a beautiful course, and the opportunity to spend the day with my ultra family.
The Tick 57.5 miler checked all those boxes. It certainly was an “adventure” moving for long stretches in 99-103 degree heat index without crew access. I have run many hot races but never in this kind of heat without the ability to manage it via ice, water etc. The longest were two back to back 10 mile sections; the last in full sun prairie from mile 30-40 that I would never fully recover from. From that point on it was relentless forward progress, while distracting myself with the beauty around me and trying my best to keep my stomach from rebelling through the remaining 17 miles, man was I wishing it was a 50 miler at that point.
From the pics you can see the splendor of this course. My favorite sighting was a beautiful owl. He flew right across the trail and perched in the tree to pose for me. I stood there staring at his awesomeness, while he stared right back. I told him, “okay you are worth this suffering”. He looked like he was saying back, “you have issues”.
Helping to also alleviate my misery were the moments I got to run with others taking on the challenges of the day. Andrew, Joshua, Bryan, and the ladies Kirsten, Jean and Andrea, all who inspired me so much. Andrea I will suffer and move with you any day. My best miles on the day were with you. Congrats on your win! You more than earned and deserved it. But what truly kept me going despite my body’s pleas to stop, and true my minds unwillingness to give in, was my soul sista and stellar crew. I knew I could not do this without her by my side and I was right. She went above and beyond to take care of me during, and after the race when I was very sick. She even took quite a few ticks for the team!
MelissaI love you and can’t wait to be the best crew for you and our celebratory dinner.
Thanks to my sponsors for your superior products. I had ZERO foot issues due to Trail Toes and Salming Trail 5, these shoes are the BEST. Everyone told me I smelled and looked good all day, which I attribute to my amazing sports apparel INKNBURN. And my Tomboy keeps my skin happy despite all that SUN.
Lastly. Rich and Jen thank you for putting on this race, you have a gem! I love the concept of your races and is what I have always aspired to with mine; to keep it simple, small, and offer a challenging race on a beautiful course. I can’t wait for your next one! Oh wait, I did retire about 5 times those last ten miles in the dark.
To end on a positive note, my body felt strong all day with no physical problems presenting themselves despite all those miles on a trail. I think 16.25 hours of suffering made for VERY good ACFL 200 training!