Race Recap: Door County Fall 50 2014

What do you get when you cross 5 crazy runners, 3 bunches of banana’s, 2 dozen hard boiled eggs plus a cooler full of other food and water, 1 fueled up support vehicle, 50 miles of beautiful fall countryside and perfect weather?

You get the Door County Fall 50!  A 50 mile race from the northern tip of Door County, starting at Gills Rock, meandering down quiet tree covered roads, through several charming small towns, up and down crazy hills.

That is exactly what we did last weekend!  Darci, Robin and I were this time joined by Dena and Darin to enjoy the fall beauty of Door County.

Start line of the Door County Fall 50 – Gills Rock 

Way back in February, Dena put out a shout out to all of us at the gym to see if anyone was interested in tackling this race.  It didn’t take long for us to get a team together!  The day that registration opened, Dena got right on getting us registered, and it was a good thing that she did!  The relay portion of this race sold out in less than an hour!

 We left Green Bay well before the sun was even thinking about coming up and started this crazy adventure!  This is one of those events that you never know what you are going to get for weather… Late October in Door County could bring any thing from sunshine, rain, snow, clouds, wind… you name it, it could happen!  This year we were extremely lucky!  Although it was a little chilly in the morning, the entire day was filled with sunshine!  The wind off the lake was a bit chilly at times, but I will take that over snow or rain any day!

 Our team was started with the 9am wave and had an estimated finish time of 4:49pm – just under 8 hours.  We were on a mission.  We arrived in Gills Rock just before the 8 am wave of relay runners was taking off, so we had plenty of time to get ready. I was running the first leg so it was pre race fueling, and making final decisions on what I was going to actual wear for this first run of the day.  The crisp morning air was refreshing and I opted to stick with the capri’s and left my jacket on.   Once we got started, I realized quickly keeping my jacket was a wise choice – the breeze off the lake was cold!  But you won’t hear me complain – I’d rather have a cold breeze that 90 degree heat!

Before long I realized the 1st exchange point was right around the corner!  That 4.8 miles of rolling hills was done before I knew it!  The rest of the crew was ready and waiting at the exchange point and Robin was off and running!

We spent the next 8 hours going from one exchange point to the next, taking turns running the hills and winding roads of Door County!  There was nothing easy about this course.  If you were not going up hill, chances are you were going downhill.

Darin taking off in Sister Bay

 The exchange points were always filled with excitement.  Teams cheering each other on, strangers encouraging one another, crazy costumes and food (did someone say chocolate chip cookies?!?!?)  Since all of the solo runners started at 7am, they had a few hour headstart on us.  Yes there were about 150 brave souls that were running the entire 50 mile course solo!  I have the utmost respect for anyone that even attempts to run 50 miles in one day!  I was looking forward to seeing several friends on mine out on the course today, but that was going to have to wait until later!

One of the best parts of this race it checking out all of the other team names and costumes!  Through the day we saw chickens, the Flinstones, Super Mario Brothers, the Crew from the Wizard of Oz and more!  There was a group of ladies (2 teams) that were dressed as Chickens and we were chasing those chickens all day long!  At one point, we finally passed one of the chicken teams but that other team was just to quick!  If we had another half mile, Dena might have caught them at the end!

Scenery driving through Ephraim

If inspiration is what drives you, there is no shortage of that during this event!  It was very humbling to see those solo runners giving it everything to make it through those miles!  Think you are too old to do an event like this?  Never!  we passed several 60+ runners and at least one that 70+ runner!  These guys were not going to let a little thing like age slow them down!

There were also a few teams from myTEAM TRIUMPH out of the course!  Running a 50 mile race is one thing, but running it while pushing a Captain in a race stroller take dedication to a whole new level!  Matt and Andy guided Captain Joe through his 50 miles and if you can see from the below photo that there was no shortage of smiles coming out of Egg Harbor!  The other mTT team (Team Top Gun) consisted of a small army of angels (or in this case co-pilots) to carry Captain Jacob (ie Maverick) through his journey – all the way, wearing their flight suits!

Awesome work guys!

In the end we gave it everything that we had, we pushed ourselves up those hills, enjoyed the amazing fall colors of door county, shared some great laughs, ate A LOT (I hear those PB&J’s were pretty awesome at the half way point!).  We could not have asked for better weather – yes the wind was a bit cold at times, but I won’t complain – there was no snow!  It was another awesome day outside of the gym!

Official Time 8 Hours 1 Minute and a few seconds!  Next year, we WILL make it in under 8 hours!

What did you do this week to get outside?  Grab your friends and get outside – I know we enjoy it every time we do!

Thanks Team Renegade Runners for another awesome day!!

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