Run Woodstock was a hippie-themed weekend of peace, love, music, tie-dye, camping, and running at Hell Creek Ranch in Pinckney, MI.
In addition to 5k/10k, 5 mile, full/half marathon, 50k/50 mile, and 100k/100 mile races, there were also optional activities such as hiking, hula hooping, yoga, and even 'natural' (sans clothing) runs.
FAST provides grants and fellowship programs to encourage research aimed at finding a cure for Angelman Syndrome. The organization also provides education and advocacy services.
In honor of the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics, the Angel Runners coined the term 'F.A.S.T. Island' in reference to our camping area.
Dawn and Jason's angel, Reece, even joined us for the Run Woodstock weekend, along with his sister, Bella.
Sarah and I had signed up for the Freak 50k. Dawn, Jason, Jay, Krishna, and Jimmy's girlfriend Sarah, were pacers for the 100 miler. My friend, Kelsey, had a Run Woodstock Weekend Pass so she could participate in the 5k/10k and the 5 miler.
I stopped by the Run Woodstock Trading Blankets. Runners had left race shirts, magazines, sports nutrition, some homemade baked goods, and even a hydration belt. I ended up grabbing a Mulligan's Metric Marathon shirt in exchange for some snack bars.
At 7:30 pm, Sarah and I threw on our headlamps and headed out for the Far Out 5k. We were hoping to be able to run 3 races in the course of the weekend.
Click here for full-sized map
Sarah and I set our alarms for a 5 am wake-up call for the 6 am Freak 50k and Peace, Love, and 50 Mile race start.
The 50k course followed a 16 mile loop with aid stations every 4 miles. A portion of our loop overlapped the Hallucination 100 route so we would be able to see Jimmy and Timothy out on the course.
Since this was the first time Sarah and I were going beyond the marathon distance, our plan was straightforward and conservative.
Since we had the option to return to camp at the halfway point, we didn't bother with dropbags out on the course.
The morning was cool but humid so I immediately started sweating profusely. Every few hours, I popped a couple of Succeed S! Electrolyte Caps.
The porta-potties were well stocked and maintained. It was a pleasant surprise to enter a fresh, nearly empty porta-potty late in the day.
Signs with bold lettering were also thoughtfully placed along the course. Forks in the road were marked along with big stop signs preventing you from going in the wrong direction.
Some parts of the trail were hard packed single track while other portions were sandy. The loose sand aggravated my Achilles tendon bursitis so I opted to walk those sections.
Between the wooded sections, there were short segments over gravel roads.
We encountered a number of mountain bikers on the gravel road who were participating in mountain biking race that crossed our course. We marveled at the faulty logistics.
As the leaves brushed my legs, I silently hoped that my cute lime green Zensah compression sleeves would protect me from any potential poison oak.
The course was also along an equestrian trail so there was an abundance of horse manure.
When we got back to camp, I quickly chugged a glorious Dr. Pepper and ate a handful of pretzels.
Out on our second loop, we sought temporary refuge from a brief downpour under the 'Grace' Aid Station tent at Mile 20.
Exhaustion set in for both of us at the same time. I glanced at Mr. Orange Garmin and realized we were just short of a marathon at 26.1 miles.
The sun was just beginning to set as the F.A.S.T. Island crew cheered us on at the Finish Line of our very first 50k.
We received our peace symbol finisher medals with the tie-dye ribbons and Sarah received a miniature hippie Volkswagon van for placing fifth in her Age Group.
From the finish line, I uploaded a picture of me standing proudly with my peace sign medal to my Facebook timeline and texted a copy to family and friends.
Sarah and I learned Jimmy was out on his final loop with pacers Dawn and Sarah.
I showered in the camp facilities, changed out of my muddy sweat-soaked clothing, and had some dinner before it was time cheer Kelsey at the Trippin’ 10k.
This was Kelsey's first post foot surgery race so I was thrilled to see her finish strong in the top 10.
We were bursting with pride when we saw Jimmy and pacer Sarah approach. We screamed and ran alongside them to the Finish Line.
For completing the Hallucination 100, Jimmy received a peace sign medal, a Hallucination 100 running hat, and a belt buckle.
We accompanied our 100 mile Angel Runner finisher back to F.A.S.T. Island and gathered around the warmth of the bonfire.
Sarah and I completed our first ultra distance race. Pacer Jay, Jimmy, and Timothy ran further than they'd ever run before. Pacer Jason ran 16.6 miles in the middle of the night for the first time. Pacer Sarah did her first trail run. Pacer Dawn did her first night trail run. Kelsey completed her first post-surgery race. And pacer Krishna tie-dyed and ate his first s'more.
While Kelsey raced, we packed up F.A.S.T. Island.
I want to thank the F.A.S.T. Island Angel Runners from the bottom of my heart for an unforgettable weekend of peace, love, music, tie-dye, camping, and running.