About three years ago a now good friend of mine got me into Ultra-running. (Thoughts and information about my own running will probably be the central topics for many of my posts going further fyi but not today) This week I had the pleasure of convincing 3 of my good friends to Sign up for the Hinte Anderson Trail 50k!. I have never run this race but given it's 22 year history, the lack of serious elevation gain/loss, and the location I thought this would be a great race for a first timer. I sent out multiple emails, facebook message, and texts to probably 20 people I thought might be interested in making an impulsive decision that, upon completion of the race, they would never regret. Some responded with the normal excuses, some legitimate and some not, and a few other seemed very interested. Usually when I start talking about signing up for races with people they are initially onboard but as the date approaches they slowly back away. Having done this myself in the past I can't hold it against them for too long :-). The interesting thing about this particular race is that it's own growing popularity, and the increased attention Ultra-running has been receiving over that last few years, meant that it would probably fill out it's 500 available spots very quickly. So the wafflers wouldn't be able to waffle very long if they wanted avoid the wait list.
And so Monday Sept. 26th came and at 9pm registration opened on ultrasignup.com. I had invited those who I thought were interested to come over to my house so we could all sign up together, discuss trail shoes, and other different things associated with running/training for one's first Ultra. I wasn't sure who would shoes up but at about 9:20 Dave Simon, and Wayne Peiffer: two soccer players I have had the pleasure to coach for the last 4 years, walked through the door. These two brave souls were about to make a commitment that I don't think they will ever regret. Not only were these two signing up in my living room but unbeknownst to us Scott Fogarty, the head coach of the PBU men's soccer team, was also signing up.
Over the next hour or so both of these guys signed up and we sat around talking about equipment, managing our training, and texting the chickens who didn't sign up to get on board! I think they would both agree that overall even just the act of signing up was a lot of fun. It reminded me why I enjoy running, and coaching so much. There's something about being out on the trail running with friends that in incredibly rewarding and enriching. I have gotten to know these guys over the last four years and now I'm excited to say that we will get to spend much more time together once there soccer careers are over. Our time on the trail talking and pushing each-other over the next 6 months will no doubt be a wonderful experience. What's even more exciting though is thinking about lining up with them on March 24th to spend the next 6hrs or so racing through the Hinte Anderson Trails, and picking up our finishing awards together. I know that for me crossing the finish line of my first Ultra: The 2010 Holiday Lake 50k++, was a defining moment in my life. I don't know if it will be the same for them but I am certain it will certainly be a day they never forget.