JFK 50 Mile Ultra -  Nov 19, 2005 - Boonsboro, MD

The  JFK 50  was my first ultra. I began training for this ultra in April 2005. I ran it in November 2005. When I began training for the JFK 50, I had completed 9 marathons, and several half-marathons and 5Ks. When I told my husband Jon I was going to train for the JFK, he said I was crazy and that I would never finish it. I was furious. I told him, "Like hell I won't. Just because you say I can't, I will show you I will."

With my headlamp strapped around my cold head, I fearlessly went into unfamiliar territory and came out the other side. The JFK 50 was a wonderful experience. I wasn’t nervous; just anxious and excited.

Running a 50 mile ultra was completely unfamiliar to me but a much needed personal challenge. After the first 14.4 miles mostly on the rocky and treacherous Appalachian Trail, the course was mostly flat. The last 8 miles were rolling hills through residential farm land. Really beautiful. The temperature at the start of the race in the dark at 5 am was 23 degrees. I wore three layers. They remained on my body until I arrived at our hotel, peeled them off, and took a shower.

There is no pacing at the JFK50. You're on your own or with a fellow ultrarunner or two behind you or ahead of you. I managed to tiptoe my way through leaf covered rocks and at sometimes rugged terrain on the Appalachian trail for the first 14 plus miles. I fell navigating a switchback. Then it was on to about 30 miles on a flat towpath along the Potomac River where I also managed to trip over a tree root and landed flat on my face but no harm. The last 8 miles were back in civilization and along rolling hills.

My goal was to finish my first 50 mile ultra in 13:59:00. How pleasantly surprised was I and how shocked was my husband Jon when I crossed the finish in 12:24:05  He couldn't believe his eyes when I crossed the finish line in the dark with a big smile before the 14 hour time limit. But my kids knew all along that mom, who ran while pregnant with them, would indeed finish her first ultra.

At the finish with my husband Jon. He couldn't believe I ran 50 miles! But he was proud of me.

I could not have done it without my children and crew Sebastian and Jonna.

Still standing the next morning with sore quads, bruised feet, and no blisters!