There’s something particularly romantic about the JFK 50 Miler, though I can’t quite pin it down. Little of the race has changed over the years, largely due to the fact that the race doesn’t need to be changed. The Appalachian Trail is rocky, unforgiving, and demands your attention. The C&O Towpath is as uneventful as it is beautiful: there, among the caves and hills surrounding the Potomac River, I found a sense of calm and comfort amidst the monotony provided by running until it’s unbearable, walking, and then running again. The last eight miles weave up and down through farms that could be any rural swath of America. And there at the finish were hundreds of my closest friends ready to greet me, give me a medal, and then congratulate me with the understanding that someday I’ll be back.
I wrote about my first ultramarathon over at the Stride Nation. Hope y’all will drop by and give it a gander.