If you haven't heard about the Marine Ultra Runners Club of America (MURCA), we are a group of Marines located worldwide who run ultramarathons. We raise funds and spread awareness for Veteran non-profits, support each other through the good times and the bad, and share the highs and lows of ultrarunning.
This was the third year for the MURCA V50k, and I've done it the past two years so I knew I'd be doing it this year too. When I was on UltraSignup I asked Jacob if he wanted to join me, and to my surprise, he said yes!!! I think he felt comfortable with the distance because it's a virtual race, so he didn't feel pressured. If you've never done one before, here's how a virtual works: you have a time frame to get it done, you pick the date, time, and location of your race, cover the distance on your own, and submit your time. When we signed up the deadline to complete it was 30 June (it is now 31 July due to COVID-19), so we planned for a Saturday in May when the weather seemed perfect for being outside for 31+ miles, I found the perfect route, and everything was set!
Then we drove to AZ for Lainee's (virtual) high school graduation and I invited Lainee to come back to Cali with us, which meant she would be with us when we'd planned for the 50k, so at that point we had two choices: ask Lainee to join us for the 50k, or postpone it until mid June, when again, the weather forecast seemed good. Without even thinking about it (nor knowing the distance she was committing to) Lainee agreed to do it with us and our decision was made! We were tackling the MURCA V50k together!
I thought maybe we did this all wrong. We sat in a vehicle for about 8 hours the day before while driving home from AZ, ate the worst food possible on the road trip, barely drank any water, got hardly any sleep the night before, and none of us trained for it. But it worked! WE DID IT! Between running and walking, laughing and crying, eating and drinking, sitting and resting, and starting and stopping, we covered 31.44 miles on Saturday, 23 May 2020, for the MURCA V50k, in 8 hrs, 40 min, and 33 seconds on a loop route that I came up with a couple months ago.
The morning was cool and perfect, then it got hot and sunny, but it was never unbearable. We took breaks when needed and were mostly on our own, but stayed together the majority of the time - although Lainee is much faster so she was often ahead of us. I've done a few ultras before, but Jacob's longest distance was a 10k race and Lainee's a 12 mile hike, and now they're ultramarathoners!!! I am so proud of them!!! Even though our feet hurt afterwards, we were physically okay - thank God! - and we didn't have to call Delia to pick us up (she was our contingency plan!).
I always feel happy to get my MURCA V50k done and help raise funds for The Warriors Keep, but today was even better with my two loves by my side - SMILES FOR MILES!!! This race was in honor of Bob "Iceman" Coolidge, who was a fellow MURCAn and is missed by all of us in the ultrarunning community.
What an awesome accomplishment for all of us! So glad it's done and I'm super thankful for Jess being there to see us at the end and capture the finish line video and photos! We're somehow staying active during this COVID-19 craziness one mile at a time! And of course, here's a video recap of our adventure - enjoy!
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