Chupacabras, Escaped Inmates and Ho's! Oh My! El Scorcho 50k Race Report

El Scorcho!  

Where do I even start?! This was my first Ultramarathon (50k) and I can't imagine any run being more fun (or crazy!) than this one.  When the race director sends you a pre-race e-mail that says "If you didn't train, El Scorcho will mess you up," you know you're in for an awesome night.

First- It starts at midnight.

Second- You run 10 loops around a 5k course

Third-  The spectators are even more crazy than the runners!




I was so lucky to have two of my close friends, Lesley and Karen running with me. Lesley is a 50k veteran, but it was her first time at El Scorcho. Karen was a 50k first-timer, but did the El Scorcho 25k last year.  As for me, it was my first time for both. So, I was lucky to have them because they at least knew what the heck they were doing.

As always, my wonderful mom came out to support me. I am the luckiest. Seriously. I made sure that she was set-up with the comfiest, reclining camping chair we had, a little side table and about all of the treats you could imagine. I even bought her a couple of trash magazines so she could catch me up on the latest on Tom & Katie and what's really going on behind the scenes of the Bachelor. Emily is trying to hook up with Roberto? What?

Ok. Enough of that. Back to the race. I handed out my Aquaphor samples to a lot of very happy people. Holy moly! Ultra runners love Aquaphor!  And there's a good reason.  With the distance, the heat and humidity, we were all using it in just about every place imaginable.  Feet, arms, thighs, around the sports bra, here.. there.. everywhere.  I even met up with Danielle from Team Marathon Bars- one of my Active Ambassadors teammates.

So, now that everyone is properly lubed up, the countdown begins and we are off. The weather was perfect. Mid 70's with a slight breeze. The humidity was high, but I really was expecting worse conditions. I couldn't have asked for better.  I tried to take a picture of the very scenic Downtown Fort Worth skyline that we passed by 10x, but this was the best that I could get.

The aid stations and the volunteers were incredible! Seriously! They were so enthusiastic, El Scorcho must have provided them with Red Bulls. They were having so much fun and were so supportive the entire night, I tried to smile the entire race! I thanked them, thanked them again and then thanked them even more. I felt bad if I wasn't smiling, because they were just so great.

The course is pretty flat with one small hill.  No problem on the first couple laps, but when you realize you're going to hit it 10x, then it starts not being a "small" hill anymore.  There are parts of the course that are pretty dark. Most likely because it was a New Moon out.. and no, it wasn't Twilight, although a little Team Edward/ Jacob interaction would have been a big bonus. Speaking of hallucinations, let me bring you up to speed on the title of this blog.

Best. Sign. Ever.
Chupacabra's-  Ms. Karen. Cracked me up the entire run. Any time there was an animal, any kind of movement in the distance... or heck, even a runner up ahead with no light on the back of him/her.. she would yell out Chupacabra! How I didn't pee my pants laughing, I don't know. Maybe I did and just passed it off as excessive sweat. It was pretty funny. At one point there was a little kitten running by and I told her we better run for our lives!

Ho's-  So, we're on our second lap and going through a grassy section and this girl yells out "Watch out for the Ho".. which in fact she said "Hole", but it was too late and I already stumbled into it before realizing what she said. Then Karen started laughing and said, I though she said "Ho" and I busted up saying I did too... so the rest of the night we would yell out warnings of "Ho's up ahead". Funny now? Maybe not so much, but when you're delirious at 3am in the morning, running.. it's freakin' hysterical.

Escaped Convict- On our last loop, after Loop 8, Karen and I mutually agreed it was time for music. Not that we didn't enjoy talking to eachother, but it was time for some Eminem to tell me to never give up and keep trying and all that motivational stuff to pound out the pain that I was feeling in my quads and my feet.  So, last loop.. we have just come out of the dark woods part, when we pass a guy in an orange prison jumpsuit.  No joke. Karen does this slow turnaround with a big "WTF" look on her face and I just motion for her to keep running. I catch up to her and we start contemplating what we should do. Mind you at this point, neither of us could do simple math or even say the word, 'contemplating', but there wasn't much we could do.  I definitely wasn't going to stop and ask if he needed directions back to the jail.
All done!
Ultramarathoners!!

Turns out he was one of the spectators who was dressing up in costumes and had one too many Jello-O shots (See! I told you that the spectators were the freakin' best!) Apparently he went to find a bathroom, passed out on a picnic table and then got lost!  It was the big mystery on the El Scorcho Facebook page. Crazy!

So, overall, it was a good race and a great experience for my first 50k. Other than my quads and my feet being sore, I felt fine. The second to last loop was probably my worst lap in terms of how I was feeling and there is definitely room for future improvement. Oh yes, as much as I wasn't ready to admit that after we finished the race... there will be more. Just like I said I was "one and done" with Ironman.  Bwhahahah.. whatever. I can't even believe myself. This endurance lifestyle is just too addictive.

One thing I do have to work on is fueling. Despite having every snack imaginable at my mom's "aid station" I had a total of 2 Gu's, 34oz of Gatorade and about 2x that in water. That's it. And, I wasn't even hungry after the race.  I just can't eat while racing anymore and it's going to be a problem at some point. I mean, there are people that have 20 Gu's strapped to them for a 5k.  Okay, that's probably overkill, but I'm sure my body would appreciate a little more subsistence while running that far. Then again, I only had 1 Gu for the entire marathon portion of  Ironman Texas. Honestly, I should weigh 30lbs less- so not fair.

Dirty!!
Before, I finish... I have to commend the race directors! They did such an amazing job at organizing this race- keeping everyone safe and it was such a fun environment. Thank you! 

Now back to Ironman training for me! 53 more days until REV3 Cedar Point!      


12 comments:

Haley said...

Great job! The 50miler will be so fun! Yes, you should eat more.the ultra aid-station buffets of chips, coke, burgers, potatoes, candy: awesome!

Jeff Irvin said...

Congrats Shannon!

Sounds like you guys had a great time - I gotta come up for El Scorcho next year!

How the heck can you not eat at an ultra? The aid stations are the best - I gain like 5lbs during these things?

Tri4Success said...

Chupacabras chasing ho's --- what's not to like? Congrats on your first ultra. Sounds like you handled it with relative ease.

Jason said...

The convict needed a gun to chase down the Chupacabra's and keep his Ho's in line......

thefirecat said...

I ran into that ho about five times, myself.

Colleen said...

Shannon, it seriously seems like you had too much fun out there! :)

Congrats girl... you are amazing!

TriBoomer said...

Congratulations on your big finish. Wish I could have been there to cheer you on or, better yet, run with you.

Cheers!

Stay tuned...

Mandi Roach said...

Great blog -- you're amazing!

karen nelson said...

Good achievement! Nice to know that you had fun before and after the race.The race directors and volunteers do play a major role in making the race amazing.

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Matthew Smith said...

Congrats on a great race! That looked like a ton of fun! I follow Colleen's blog (Irondiva) and found yours through hers. I'm your newest follower! Have a great weekend.

Matt
go-smitty-go.blogspot.com

Hostpph said...

With only the e-mail. I bet that a lot of people were afraid about it. It sounds quite hard to run on.

Sandy said...

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