On June 22, 2013 I ran in the Dizzy Goat 3, 6, and 12 hour trail race. I signed up for the 6 hour.
I arrived at Schramm State Park around noon for my 1:00 p.m. start. Cade was already there volunteering. He was out there for 12 hours volunteering, what a trooper!
I set up my chair in a shady spot and started getting myself together. I put my shoes on, lubed up to prevent chafing, ate a few pre-race snacks, filled my amphipod hand held water bottle, and meandered over to check in. At check in I was given a pink bracelet for the first lap. There was a short pre-race briefing and we were on our way.
The Dizzy Goat was a series of 3.25 mile loops. Odd numbered loops were clockwise and even numbered loops were counter clockwise. The pink bracelet was to remind me to follow pink flags for the odd laps. I was given a green bracelet to wear for every odd lap. Nice touch, GOATZ.
I took off jogging easily with the other 6 hour starters. My shoe came untied so I stopped and then was pretty much alone in the back. That’s ok, that’s where I usually am.
Cade was positioned about 1/2 mile from the start/finish where the runners split left for odd loops and right for even loops. He gave me a quick “yahoo!” and off I trotted into the woods.
Lap One- I LOVE TRAIL RUNNING!
I hadn’t run trails at all this year prior to the race. Lap one reminded me how much love trail running. I love the trees,the undulating terrain, jumping over logs, skipping down hills, walking up hills. I got to the end of the lap, switched out my bracelet, and ate some tasty treats at the aid station. I think I had a pickle and some potato chips.
Lap Two- Huh, this seems mostly downhill…
There was one huge hill that we went up on the green laps. It is lovingly referred to as “what the hill??” I saw people walking down it backwards several times throughout the day. It is really steep! This lap I was looking for landmarks- bridge 1, bridge 2, suspension bridge, water stop, tall grass… I felt good. This lap was easy. It seemed mostly downhill.
Lap 3- Where did all of this uphill come from?!?
Lap three was challenging. I could remember landmarks, but it just seemed to take forever. My feet were starting to get a bit stiff. I walked a lot.
Lap – Ugh…why am I doing this? I’m melting!!
It was hot. Really hot. I ditched my shirt at some point. I started putting ice in my bra at every opportunity. And in my hat. I started drinking Sprite at the aid station for the extra calories. I sat for a bit and ate gummy bears and goldfish. I definitely liked the green loops more than the pink loops. I was happy to have more downhill and for some reason the loops seemed shorter.
Lap 5- This is pretty awesome!
I really was enjoying the concept of the race. Even though I’m not super speedy, I was never alone. There were always people coming and going from each direction. I said and heard “good job” more that day than any other day for sure. By lap 5 I knew the landmarks of the course and could look forward to the next one coming and it seemed to go by quickly.
Lap 6- almost done!
I knew that if I pushed it I could get in 7 laps… but I decided I was plenty happy with 6. I took my time and enjoyed the last lap. I kept filling my bra with ice to stay cool. I jumped over the last log, went down the final hill to where Cade was stationed and ran down the finish chute. I got cheers from the GOATz as I came in and collected my medal.
I completed 6 laps or 19.5 miles. Not too shabby!
After I cooled down a bit and changed into dry clothes I ate some pizza and drank some beer- the perfect post race delight.
I loved this race. It was well organized. The volunteers rocked. The aid station was well stocked. The water stop was well placed on the course and had plenty of ice.
I will definitely do this one again!
My chair station:
Looking from my chair towards the aid station:
My Super Cool Dizzy Goat medal:
This Saturday, June 22, 2013, I will be participating in the Dizzy Goat 3, 6, and 12 hour run. This inaugural event is put on by the Greater Omaha Trail Runnerz (GOATZ). More information on the Dizzy Goat and the GOATZ in general can be found here.
Cade will be volunteering for the day and only I will be running. He waited too long to get signed up and it was sold out by the time he decided to go for it. Sad.
Here’s the concept: The Dizzy Goat is a timed loop run. There is a 3.25 mile loop at the hilly and beautiful Schramm Park State Recreation Area. Each participant runs the loop as many times as he or she can/wants to in the designated time. There are two ways to earn a medal as a Dizzy Goat runner. The first way is to run the equivalent of one loop per hour for the given time period. I am running the 6 hour, so to earn a medal I would have to run 19.5 miles. If I was feeling super speedy and got to 19.5 miles in say, 4 hours, then I could stop and collect my medal. Or, I could keep going and rack up some more mileage. I am not super speedy so I don’t expect this to be the case but you never know. The second way to earn a medal is to stay on course (except for aid station stops, potty breaks, etc.) for the entire time period you’ve signed up for. I can definitely keep moving for 6 hours. I will earn my medal in one way or another.
Another cool thing about this race is that they’ve made the start times such that all runners will be finishing at the same time. The 12 hour runners start at 7:00 a.m. The 6 hour runners (that’s me!) start at 1:00 p.m. The 3 hour runners start at 4:00 p.m. Everyone finishes at 7:00 p.m. The only thing I don’t like about racing is getting up so blasted early. A 1:00 p.m. start sounds like heaven to me.
Going in to a race like this I really have no goals other than to stay out there the whole time. I have no idea how far I will go and I don’t really care. I’m just in it to have a great time with some awesome people. Trail runners, especially ultra trail runners, are a special breed of folks. They are nice, supportive, fun, encouraging, and have a little screw loose to do these awesome runs. That’s just fine by me.
I’m really looking forward to some time on the trails on Saturday. And the beer at the finish line.