(oh crap, this blog didn't send originally).
After a night of visualization exercises (Look! I'm runing so smooth and easy, and the pick-up bus is nowhere in sight!), i set off w/ the gang. We ran though the streets of a historic town, then into the mountains following a river down a canyon. Idyllic for anyone tired of BJ or SH's congested streets. i felt completely triumphant when i arrived at the 20 and 30 k marks, feeling i'd earned my rest. (I'd been instructed by professionals the day before to run as long as i could before switching to walking, so as not to lose the pace). The plan was to walk the last 10 km. And my legs were pretty much done for the day. so i'm walking along when this Guizhou woman comes along, running in traditional Guizhou costume, replete with jinging bells. She tells me to start running again. No, i just want to walk to the end. She insists. She says they're going to close some gate at 1:30, and if i don't make it past, i'll get disqualified. She's adamant. i painfully ignore my thighs and join her in a shuffling pace. My legs are feeling pains that they've never felt before, and i had temporary imobilzing foot pains that i had no idea what they were, wondering if i should stretch them, and having no idea how to do so.
We were both suffering, actually. and she was feeling pissy about it, because she'd been caught by the bus the year before and was super pissed off that she'd gotten forced on. So we stuck together the last 10 km. She said, Let's run the last km. Maybe the last 200m, I said. If there's people cheering.
We clocked in at 5hrs, 40m, which was enough to keep us out of range of the approaching wolf. But by race participant standards, we were pretty darn slow. I was given a bagged lunch, and told to go directly onto the bus and eat it there. So much for celebrating or stretching.