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My First 50 Miler

Kodiak 50 Miler was a race I would never forget. Feeling nervous and anxious, I didn't know what to expect, but I knew it was going to be a long day. Race started at 4 A.M. with at least 250+ toeing the starting line. I started in the back of the pack and eventually worked my way up to the middle of the pack by mile 13. By this point, my legs were feeling soar with all the technical terrain and small climbs. I must of kicked like a dozen rocks in the dark before the sunrise. I hit mile 20 pretty fast and at that time I felt strong. I called my wife to let her know what mile I was at so she can start crewing me for the rest of the race. I made my way up to the biggest climb of the race, Sugar loaf, which reaches above 10,000 elevation. As I started the climb, that's when the race really started for me. My legs felt like jello due to the steepness and terrain of the climb.

Around mile 26-27, I felt defeated. I sat on a boulder staring at the ridge knowing I had another mile to the top. The view was gorgeous, but my mind was telling me something completely different. I got up, said a prayer and made the journey to reach the summit. I made it to the top 20-30 minutes later and there was no disappointment at all. I ate a quick bite and started my way down. As I was making the decent down, I step on a bad rock and my knee went the opposite away. There was so much pain at that moment, but I knew I had to keep going. I finally made it to the aid station at the bottom of the mountain and my wife was there our family. It felt great to see familiar faces and all of a sudden I was back in the race motivated. I filled my bottles, ate some fruit and went off.

The next aid station was 5.5 miles away, which felt much longer than that. Running was difficult due to the injury I suffered coming down the mountain. I pushed through with a run walk and made the cutoff . It's near 10 hours and I still had 12 miles left till the race was over. My legs were thrashed. I kept telling myself positive affirmations to keep me going. Only 2 more aid stations stand between me and the finish line. Running was impossible for me, so I had to power hike the last of the miles. Around mile 40, I really started to give up, my legs weren't moving, soarness kicked in my hams, but a group of runners helped me get out of my low. We made the 4 mile decent down a fire road in the nasty hot humid weather. We were struggling and most runners ran out of water. I had to share whatever I had remaining to help keep all of us going. Seven Oaks was our last and final climb and boy it was a gnarly climb. Single track all the way with amount of gain in a short three miles. That probably took me an hour or more just to get up the top. As I start to reach the top, I heard voices and see the last aid station. I hurried up the mountain, drenched myself in so much water and sat down for 10-15 minutes at the aid station. Only a few miles more till I reach the finish line and I would be done.

Nightfall was coming upon us and soon enough I would need my head lamp. I ran and walked as fast as I could before the official last cutoff of 16 hours. As I made my way down the last hundred feet, I heard my wife scream " GO BRANDON!" and I looked over at her smiling and crossed the finish line. I was so happy that I completed the race and couldn't wait to get to our cabin to finally eat and relax! I was soar, exhausted, and starving. I was not in the mood to go out to eat and my wife ordered take out from Thelma's Family Restaurant and oh man did she order a fest for me! We got to the cabin and I ate pizza, fries, grilled cheese, chicken fingers, and wings! After that I took a nice CBD bath balm salt infused bath and passed out. This was a race I would never forget!!

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