On the day before the race (February 12th) it was cloudy, cold, rainy, dark from no moon, and just plain ugly. I was very nervous that I had signed up for the worst day to run 50 miles through a cold version of hell on Earth. My muscles were growing tighter by the minute, and butterflies had been taking control of my stomach for hours prior to the race briefing at 6:00pm the day before the event. This was to be my first time running a 50 mile endurance race along the trails of Florahome, Florida where there had once been a rail road track converted to trails for walking/running. (I understand that over the next year or so they are going to pave them over and make it a bike course.)
The race briefing was short and sweet. Watch out for alligators, panthers, bears, dogs, and even the “Bardin Booger”. (A local tale of a big foot like creature that roams the woods around the town of Bardin at the turn around point in the run.) Oh, and when crossing one of the three trestles (bridges) don’t step off of the newly laid down planks because the old wood of the bridge itself will crumble. (That makes me feel much better since the new planks are nailed to the old dead wood that can crumble! I guess it was safe enough though because no one fell through.)
Afterwards I had a quick meal of ribs, baked potato, mac and cheese, texas toast, then off to bed where I actually managed to sleep fairly well.