I shattered the course record by almost 8 minutes on my way to a first place finish in my first ultramarathon, the Thru The Leaves 50k. 31.2 miles of gnarly trails, 3,486 feet of climbing, and I think I found my niche. There’s something romantic and almost transcendent about facing a steep climb deep in the woods at mile 30. Not to mention how friendly the ultra running community is, I felt welcomed with open arms.
I ran with some great guys and very strong mountain-ultra-trail runners for the first part of the race (Mark Ott and John Alsip). I broke away around mile 9 by surging on a long climb and crashed down the hill to open up a gap. I was concerned about making a move so early because I knew there were some very accomplished ultra runners in this race (including Runner-Up Josh Sanders) and that they would finish strong, but I kept hammering on the hills and hung on for the win and a new course record.
I want to say thank you to the race director and all the staff and volunteers for Move-it Fitness LLC! They put on an excellent race!
I also have to thank my beautiful fiancé for being part of my crew and being so supportive during my training, as well as my dad and stepmom for crewing. This was truly a life-changing experience and I'm eager to pursue my ultra career and see how far my legs can take me.