Thursday, September 10, 2009


A few weeks ago my running partner and most excellent friend, Susan, announced that her father's friend was planning to drive to Raleigh, NC the weekend of the Umstead race and that he would be happy to drive the two of us there and back if we wanted to run.

So the idea of running Umstead entered my consciousness. Umstead is a relatively easy 100 mile race. It is run on a wide trail with little rolling hills dotted here and there. It is a loop course: eight 12.5 mile loops. The race actually advertises itself as a mild 100. In the words of the RD: "(Umstead) will allow those runners who have difficulty finishing 100 miles in 24 hours or just finishing 100 miles the opportunity to do so when severe topography, heat, and getting lost are removed as major obstacles."


The race is in March. Running an easy 100 in March would be a great way to start off next year's season, and a wonderful kick in the ass for winter training.

The only glitch: the race filled in 18 minutes last year. What were the odds that Susan and I would both get in? Not good, obviously.

We were on the phone yesterday (Registration DAY) at 11:50 a.m., both nervous, both a little freaked.
Umstead registration opened at noon. I had just whizzed the kids home from Nell's horse riding lesson, which had run a little late. They were all clamoring for lunch. While I talked to Susan, planning our registration strategy, I slapped together two peanut-butter-jellies and a grilled cheese. I sat down at the computer at 11:59 and logged onto

To my great surprise, I got right onto the Umstead sign-up page. I filled it out and pushed REGISTER NOW. Damn! I forgot to say whether I wanted a shirt or a hat. Filled that in. Damn! Forgot to give my shirt size. Damn! Damn! Time's a wastin'!

Finally the darn prompter asked me for my credit card information. I hit all the correct numbers (small miracle) and bing-bang-boom, I was in!

I called Susan: "I'm in!"

She yelled into the phone: "I'm in!"


My confirmation email arrived a few minutes later. Hell's bells! I could not believe my good fortune. I felt like I'd just won the lottery.

I learned today that the race filled in 5 minutes, 25 seconds.

But Susan's email confirmation from never came. Nervous time. I wasn't going to North Carolina without her. Was she in the race or wasn't she? Susan spent a tense afternoon emailing and the RD. Back and forth, back and forth it went. Late in the day, RD Blake Norwood emailed Susan to say she was in. Hooray! Hooray!

So we have our winter work cut our for us. Can't wait to get started!


  1. Easy 100?

    Please see jumbo shrimp, deafening silence, honest lawyer.

  2. Helen, don't listen to anything William Barkley says. He's a whack-o. I mean........obviously.

  3. Hot damn, that's awesome, Pam!!


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