Childish Nonsense 2023 – Race Report by Levi Marriott
I looked at my training plan with grim determination. The large numbers staring back at me. The thought of my anniversary also pushed its way into my consciousness…. I needed a miracle, an event so fantastic that not only would it allow me to get my long run in, but also please my partner….. impossible I thought shaking my fists at the heavens, but then the rain stopped and the clouds broke letting the sun shine down upon the earth, revealing a gigantic beautiful rainbow. Then it hit me like a stroke of lightning, childish nonsense!!!
It’s perfect! Not only does it offer a unbelievable opportunity for me to get my miles in with maximum fun, but the supportive and positive atmosphere of the race would make my partner’s experience and spectating adventure fun as well. But alas the time had passed for registration. I took a gamble and emailed the race director about a late entry. The RD got back to me right away and sent me a special invitation. So already I was feeling VIP.
The morning of the race we pulled into the park. Excellent directions and signage made finding the check in a breeze. The volunteer was super nice and got me my number fast. There was a table for swag and I pulled out my money to buy a sticker and hat. I was told my money was no good there and was given it for free. This is the fastest way to my heart, I love swag. The whole branding they got going on is fun with a occult/Illuminati vibe. I stretched it out and mingled with some other racers while we waited for the start. The RD came out and gave us some last minute directions and a hype session. Then we were off.
It was a four mile loop. I love that format. Long enough to get your stride going but short enough that I don’t have to take nutrition. We hit some nice pavement and was able to stretch the bubble out. By the time we hit the single track we were spread apart and able to enjoy the race. I talked to some other fantastic racers and had a blast. There was a lady attempting her first 50 miler and was a honor to be able to run with her for awhile.
The single track was nice and windy, very run able, but varied enough to keep my interest. There was a turn going into the trail but there was a volunteer there to make sure we went the right way. Very nice! Then we hit a gentle hill on pavement and wound our way up into the trees. Once again there was a awesome volunteer to help guide our way. Then we traveled along some more single track that dipped down into a beautiful swamp. Then we climbed again to the top of a low hill and you could catch a glimpse of the aid station below. As you ran into the aid station they cheered you on and rang bells. The RD was sure to call me by name every loop and offer words of encouragement. It doesn’t sound like much but remembering my name was a nice touch.
The aid station was good with all the usual suspects. My partner was waiting for me each time and commented how nice and welcoming everyone was. I was only doing the 50k so I didn’t get to enjoy this race as much as some others. About halfway through my race the sky opened up and dumped rain on us. So maybe a 1/4 of the trail was slick, but everyone had a good time and didn’t let it damped their spirits. This was my third 50k of the year and I had a blast. As I shuffled the last 100 meters to the finish line I let the claps and the ringing of bells wash over me! They came and gave me my medal and a good job.
I was cold and wet so I didn’t get to hang around as much as I wanted to, but the smiles all around me warmed me up a little. I put my medal on and let my partner lead me to the car victorious. Overall this was a great race and atmosphere. Well marked route. I think there was a definite focus on having fun and being part of a group. I am not from the area and I felt like I was part of it all by the end. I would race this race again and would seek out any other races put on by this group! I say 8/10!!! Would recommend!
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