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As the rest of the country is strapping on their snow shoes, nordic skis and baklavas we are still running shirtless down here in Florida. We had a freakish heat wave blow through which made this end-of-December 50-miler hot and uncomfortable.<br><br>
I knew it would be a tough day when my girlfriend and I hopped in the car at 3am and it was already 71-degrees and VERY humid. We drove out to Florida's rural west coast for the 5am start of the 50-miler. There was also a 50K, half marathon, and 5K which all had differrent start times throughout the morning.<br><br>
The course consisted of 5 out-and-backs of 10 (actually 10.5) miles each all on pancake flat double track trails. The trails were mostly soft forrest floor with a few sopts of sugar sand to keep things interesting.<br><br>
The race itself was pretty uneventful with only the heat and humidity making things difficult (80+ degrees with 70+% humidity). My GF and I ran the entire race together with the exception of her sprinting the last 2-miles to beat me by 7-minutes (a restroom was calling her name, but you really didn't need to know that)...I decided to hang back and watch the birds (yeah, that's my excuse). She wound up taking first female and I took first male 34 and under...OK, I was the ONLY male 34 and under.<br><br>
The best thing about this race was the finisher's prizes. This is a pretty low key race that is done as a charity, so the RDs try to keep a tight budget. All of the race schwag was hand made which I LOVE because it's unique and we all have enough t-shirts and medals. All of the runners received camoulflage hats (after all, this IS rural Florida) and all the finishers received hand sewn bags with hand painted race logos. The finisher's "medal" was a hand painted Shrinky-Dink (yeah, remember them, they're still around). First time 50-milers received bags that read LYV...Lost Your Virginity.<br><br>
Definitely a very well run race with some of the nicest voluneteers (all 4 of them) that you could imagine.
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