Seamus O’Possum 30k Trail Footrace Recap

Sole Sisters!
Photo credit to Ran Cidgoat (Doug).

From start to finish, this was another top-notch race. Race packet pick-up was Friday night or Saturday before the race. I had volunteered to help at the packet pick-up Friday night and then when the location was changed to Staas Brewing Company, well, that just made it perfect! We sat around enjoying a Stass brew and chatting with everyone that came into pick-up their stuff. The trail/ultra running community is simply the kindest, most humble and friendly group of people you may ever meet. I enjoyed making more friends before the race.

This is the most under-trained I have ever been for a race, so I knew going into Saturday there would be more walking than I typically would do during a 30k. I had corresponded with Mark (one of the awesome race directors) a few times prior to the race mentioning that I wasn’t sure I was up for the race this year based on everything else going on in my life. He convinced me to try it and I’m glad I listened. Also, Katie wouldn’t hear of me not going, she said “I’ll be by your side. We have all day and I have nowhere else to be.”

No expectations for this race combined with the tasty beer from Staas and I had my best pre-race night sleep I think I’ve ever had. Hmmm… I may be onto something here.

Race morning came and the temperature was warmer than I had originally thought so I changed my mind about clothing (again) and headed up to Delaware State Park, home of the Possum Races. Parking was easy as usual and we were able to sit in our warm cars until we heard Mark yelling for everyone to start making their way to the starting “area”. We received our race instructions, were told to come back with stories to share at Stass for the post-race party, then Mark said “ok, go!”Across the grass and up the hill to the Levee wall, we were able to see a gorgeous sunrise while we started our journey.

Photo taken by Chad Heald, used with permission of Possum Races
Taken from the starting area.

Both levee photos taken by Chad Heald, used with permission of Possum Races.

We ran, we chatted, we slogged through the mud. We LAUGHED! I don’t think I have laughed so much or so hard in a long time. We had so much fun during this race.
The mud was ridiculous at some points. Several times we almost lost shoes due to the strong mud sucking going on. We laughed some more. It must have been between miles 7.5 and 11.5 (an out and back section) that we passed a guy and he said “I heard you guys coming. You’re having so much fun. THAT’s the way to do it”. We couldn’t agree more!
Me, Katie and Angie coming into the first Aid Station
Photo taken by Chad Heald used with permission of Possum Races
Running/walking/slogging more, we chatted about life, kids, running, goals, summer vacation. We talked about the grown-up stuff in life that no one likes to discuss but is part of life….health problems, sick family members, issues in child rearing.
Our selfie at the turn-around/book point.
Somewhere around the 10-11 mile point, I stepped wrong in the deep mud and felt something pop in the upper thigh/glute area. Ouch. Well, I wasn’t stopping now. I found out what the finisher award was and I knew I wanted one. Plus, I knew even if I had to walk the whole thing, I would cross that finish line. We ran some, we walked when my leg didn’t want to cooperate. We tried to get through the mud.
You know you have a good friend, when heading up the last couple hills on a bum leg, you feel a hand on your back. I told Angie “I’m fine”. Her response, “I know, I just want to be sure you don’t hurt anything else”. See? Good friend!
Due to the mud and my “sore arse”, it took us a lot longer than we had even anticipated, but we beat the race cut-off. We finally headed down the hill from the levee to the finish line. And what do we hear but our dear friend, Andrea, cheering for us. Instead of heading to Staas, she waited in the cold wind for us to finish.
I think at this point I actually said “FINALLY!”
Photo property of Possum Races.

At this point, we were covered in mud most of the way up our calves, shoes were caked in mud. Time to change and head to Staas!

We walked into Staas and smelled food! Post race food consisted of soups, chili, homemade breads and muffins. Thank you to the wonderful volunteers that fed us hungry runners! Thank you Staas for the fantastic Possum Ale. Being able to eat, drink, talk, laugh, trade stories with fellow runners and friends was the perfect way to end the day. The trail running community, the ultra running community and most of all, Team Possum has reminded me of how much I enjoy running and especially trail running.

Staas Brewing even made a Seamus O’Possum Irish Red Ale in honor of the event!
Go out, have a great time and tell stories about it afterward. Oh, and run a bunch of miles in there, too.
Enjoying my Possum Ale in my new Team Possum sweatshirt.
Thanks, Angie, for taking the picture!

Team Possum, you all are awesome! Thank you for allowing me to be a member of this amazing community, for all the new friends and time spent with “old” friends. I’m looking forward to many, many more miles with you all.

***Special thanks to Mark, Chad and all the volunteers that made this race such a fantastic experience.

***Special thanks to Katie and Angie for sticking by me. For your company, your friendship and your listening ear, always.
***Extra Special thanks to my husband, Jeff, for holding down the fort at home while I’m on long training runs and race day. I appreciate you every day!
Enjoy life my friends, one mile at a time!

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