[BEGIN BACKDATED RACE REPORT:
Ultra #4 / Overall #13
Isle du Bois (“Island of trees”) (EnduranceBuzz) 55k
Ray Roberts State Park / Pilot Point, TX
Isle du Bois = “Island of Trees” is a pretty accurate name for this race. Being in December, with the “chill of an early fall” (that’s a song by George Strait if y’all don’t know already :), the race prided itself in the change in the colors of the foliage that have just recently fallen. This race is organized by EnduraceBuzz adventures and consisted of a 18k (1 loop), 36k (2 loops), and 55k (3 loops).
On these ultras, time isn’t as important. BUT, this was the one trail race that I have actually “raced” (versus taken it for more recreational purposes). Part of the reason may have been out of fear that the cutoff was 9 hours for 55k, but it was an excuse for me to go fast. Although it had been only 2 weeks since Wild Hare, and my left foot had been intermittently bothering me still.
The weather can’t be more gorgeous than this day. The morning started off cool and cloudy (although a little humid), but by mid morning, the skies cleared up.
The trail had some short but moderately steep climbs and descents and took us by the shores of Lake Ray Roberts… plenty of pine trees.
There were lots of freshly fallen leaves which meant gorgeous orange covered grounds, BUT that also meant a hiding of trail hazards, including tripping on loose rocks, and not being able to see smaller roots and stubs (those are the ones that get you!!).
Altogether I fell a total of 3 times, had about 4-5 sites with scraping injuries (including a bloody knee), a gigantic blister on the right small toe. Traded all that for a best pace ever on an ultra – pulling a negative split on the last loop with an overall finish of 6 hours and 55 minutes!!
There was no “medal” medal, but they gave out a little hand crafted piece of clay with the race name on it, AND a bottle of local grown honey… I hurted (and did so for the next several days), but I think it was worth it at the end…
END OF BACKDATED RACE REPORT – 5/21/17]