First, I must thank Ian Golden and the Red Newt Racing team for both supporting me and putting on the race. They did a great job!

Driving to this race Saturday morning, I was really excited. My dad was coming to the race.

To watch me run. To watch me in my element. For Father’s Day.

This is all I thought about before, during and after the race. The only thing I was going to do was try my best, whatever that meant. I was using this race to get a baseline for speed. I had not done specific training and that was very freeing.

Get ready for the story of pain.

The race started outside a barn across from a hayfield. It was quite picturesque and made even more so by the blow of Ian’s ram’s horn that started us off. 

Immediately I was chasing Katie O’Reagan and a few other men. Katie is a super fast elite who races often in Upstate NY. She also did CT, but the 50 mile option. Girl is badass.

My legs kind of stumbled at the start, but I eventually found my stride and started taking advantage of the slight downhill. I caught up to Katie and another guy as we started on the Black Diamond trail. I ran with the guy for the next 4 miles and get ok. I knew I was going to suffer, I just was hoping to hold on.

After mile 5, I looked at my watch for the first time and saw a sub-6 mile. For me and my lack of training at this point, I knew it was too fast and I was putting myself in a hole. I decided to consciously slow down and let the guy go.

Then, it started to get hot and we were exposed after coming off the trail and by the waterfront. I began to suffer mightily and just tried to keep going. It felt like I was slogging through 8 minute miles. I was just waiting for Katie to catch me so I wouldn’t have to worry about her catching me anymore. 

A whole other issue I had besides fitness was the heat affected my gut. I had to poop from mile 6 on. I tried as hard as I could to ignore it, but I was facing a code brown.

At the last aid station, mile 12, I actually stopped, drank Tailwind and asked to use the bathroom that I knew was in the children’s center behind them.

They said no.

So…I made my way down the road a bit, found a few bushes and…well…relieved myself. After that, I felt a bit better in the gut, but then got a cramp in my rib (yup, the bruised one) and spent the next half mile massaging it out. That last mile was rough. 

The home stretch is almost a mile where you can see there finish line, but it’s still so far away. All I thought about in that mile was how happy I was the my dad had come to see me. I was in a lot of pain, but he was at the finish line, so I knew everything would be ok.


(Photo credit: Jeff Holbrook)

I finished, he was there, it was the best!

After the race, we spent the morning getting brunch, talking and getting him fit for shoes. I cannot think of a better way to spend the day after a race.

Dad, I love you. I love how I get my quirky habits from you. Peanut butter on everything, let cereal get mushy and then add peanut butter, cooked carrots are better than raw and most meals can be improved with some sort of “crunch” topping (for him it’s cheeze-its and for me it’s corn nuts). Thank you for coming to my race. Thank you for spending the day with me. 

You are the best. I love you.

I run for Red Newt Racing, On Running, Rabbit ELITE, and Strong Hearts Vegan Power.

12 thoughts on “Gorges Ithaca Half 2017”

  1. I smiled so so big when I saw that your dad came to watch you; I’m so thankful you were able to finish and push through Ellie. And I love the lessons your dad taught you; the crunch factor on food is important! 🙂 <3

  2. This post makes me so happy, Ellie! I love that your dad came and watched you and spent the day with you. That must have been so special for you two 🙂

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