Soggy Bottom 40 Mile Race Recap

Last Friday the four of us with Gretchen headed down from Kansas City to Springfield for the Soggy Bottom race.  I think one of us had actually researched the race, we'll call her Amy.  The rest of us were all "looks a little hilly."  After dropping our stuff off at Sue's house( who so kindly let all 4 of stay for free in her super cute house.)  and sending Gretchen off with her Grandma we made our way to Sparta for dinner and packet pickup.  We were a little late due to traffic but stuffed ourselves with pasta and picked up our shirts and bib numbers.  Then got out of there because it was freezing.

The next morning we were so excited or something like that to get things started.  It was chilly but was supposed to warm up to the low 60's later on.  It was a small race.  I think about 28 started the 40 miler.  Then before us there was a relay race and a 100 miler, 8 or 10 people started that one.  After us there was a 4 mile race and a 10 mile race the next morning.  They were really trying to cover all distances.

The course map looked fairly unreadable and made no sense to me but then most maps make no sense to me.  After finishing the race I drew my own elevation profile. I think it's fairly accurate.  During the course of the race many of the directional arrows had fallen down.  On the opposite side was a big X with danger written on it.  This was a bit confusing.  A couple of times you were left wondering which way the arrow should be pointing.  The course miles ran close together in some spots so it was easy to get lost and find yourself on a different part of the course.  I think almost everyone got lost at some point, some more than others.  I got lost once.  It was a 20 mile looped course so the second time around they had more tape up to keep everyone on course.

The race was held in a ATV/mountain bike park  so the race was kinda ridiculous.  There were some hills then there were some steep hills then there were some steeper hills. Then some more steep hills but the last mile was flat.  There was a considerable amount of hiking because running wouldn't have worked.  Some parts were runable and I really appreciated it when that happened.  My legs didn't love hiking up the hills but they never really got that tired when running opportunities came up.

When I was down to just under 4 miles left.  I came upon a live armadillo, never seeing a live one up close I was kinda excited.  Stopped for pictures and was all jazzed up for the last few massive hill climbs.  I was in a runable area so I picked up the pace then of course tripped and fell with a huge thud on the ground.  It gave me a couple of bruises and a small gash on my arm but otherwise all good.  So I carried on. I felt good running in at the end.

Once done I found the race directors in the finish line area to tell them I had missed 1.5 of the course.  They said a lot of people did and they were running back out the 1.5 to make up for it but my call on whether or not I wanted to do that.  Weird but I was like ya I don't want to run short so I went back out to make up the mileage.
After I finished Leia(the only sane one of our group who left the race after getting lost multiple times) broke into our beer stash and hung around till Alissa and Amy ran it in.  Shout out to Dennis who might have a few years on us but still finished strong!  Only 15 of the 28ish people who started the race finished.  It was billed as having 8,000 feet of elevation gain but the people who wore watches were all registering 10,000 feet.  Now that it is over I find this particularly awesome.  I'm feeling like my training is going well and I'm in good shape for the Never Summer 100k in Colorado which has 14,000 feet of gain and should be a much prettier course.  My only real concern is getting lost and eating by a bear but other than that I'm solid. This was the first year for the race so I'm sure they will work the kinks out with the course for next year.  It wasn't a particularly pretty or runable course and I like more running though this was a nice challenge for me.

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