Wednesday, February 06, 2008
From the Race Front: KIRA MATUKAITIS
On last weekend's Rocky Raccoon Race in Huntsville, TX
What surprised you most about the race?
The fantastic aid stations that had real food late in the race---burritos, grilled ham and cheese, quesadillas, yum. I was also surprised by the new bridges that had been constructed between Dam Road and the last aid station; last year that section was extremely muddy and the new bridges made it much more runnable.
What advice helped you achieve your goal?
As always, it was Lisa's gentle reminders that seemed to pop into my head at the right times, "put your head down and let it hurt." I reminded myself that everyone was hurting at any given point and the fastest way to alleviate that discomfort was to keep moving. I was reminded that I "will recover." I remembered that for me, it truly does feel THAT good when you've worked THAT hard. It needs to be tough in order to be satisfying. In addition, I ran into Lisa and Ed on the course and mentioned that my quads hurt. To which Lisa replied, "Oh well, they're only quads." Fight on.
Did you meet any new friends on the course?
Yes! I met Larry King on the first loop and we ran into the main aid station together. It was great to talk with him and I was essentially chasing him the rest of the way. He smoked me on the last lap...great job. It was also great to see so many friends there.
Is there something you learned that you'll use in future races (good, bad, or ugly!)
"You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think," --Christopher Robin to Pooh
Any words of advice for others thinking about doing an ultra?
Same as above. There's nothing like that first finish line; the feeling cannot be manufactured or duplicated. It's magic.