Sunday, December 11, 2011

Isle du Bois 50K Race Report

The first annual Isle du Bois trail race was held on December 10, 2011.  I truly can NOT even say enough for how much fun this race was and how superb Endurance Buzz Adventures did in putting on this event!  Perfect in every single way.  The weather was great for running but probably a bit cool for spectators and aid station volunteers.  27 degrees at 8:00 race start and I think it got up to about 48 through the day with abundant sunshine and a light breeze.  The RD, David Hanenburg, really put his personal stamp on this race with it's emphasis on being green and reducing environmental impact.  There was no race packet bag with junk inside which was nice.  We received bamboo t-shirts which are SO soft. I'm in love with the shirt!  It was a cup free race so everyone was told to bring their own water bottle or hydration system.  Love it!
Brance, Mike and I before the race

Dave and I got up at 4:20 am, threw our stuff in the car and was off for the 2 hour drive down to Pilot Point, TX for the race.  It's held on the beautiful Isle du Bois trails at Lake Ray Roberts which is located 55 miles north of downtown Dallas.  We arrived 30 minutes before race time, just enough time to pick up my bib and shirt, make a quick trip to the bathroom and set up my drop bag.  There was big spacious bathrooms with hot showers in the parking lot in front of the trail head..nice!!

The race started promptly at 8:00 am and I could tell from the start that things were just clicking and it was going to be a good day.  :)   The first loop was 1.2 miles on a paved path and then 10 miles on the single track wooded rocky trails.  At about 4.5 miles we came to Larry and Teresa's aid station which ROCKED! Hugs from both of them, hot broth, oranges, bananas, potato chips, peanut M&M's and pretzels.  I stayed a minute or two to eat and chat then was off to finish the first loop.  I finished that loop feeling great and better yet, not one fall yet!! I'm so clumsy and these trails, while not terribly hilly, are very technical and rocky in sections so my main goal for the race was to not fall and get hurt.  One lap down, two to go!

Larry and Teresa's aid station, a welcome sight

The wonderful Teresa, the RD of Cross Timbers Trail Run

Coming in from lap 1

Lap two felt good, no major aches or pains and I kept thinking to myself that this was one of the best days EVER.  :)  Doing what I love to do so much on such gorgeous trails with good weather and like minded people all around me.  I fell for the first time at 14 miles.  It was a soft landing and no harm done.  Then at 16 miles I fell again, another soft landing thank goodness.  At 19 miles I fell again and this time came down on my knee kind of hard but lucky for me I fell in the dirt and not on any rocks.  Finished up this loop still feeling good and without any major ouchies or pains, just some knee and calf soreness starting.  When I finished up this loop I noticed my Garmin said 22 miles so I knew that the course was going to be a little long and end up at about 33 miles.  Fine by me, I was having a blast!

Lap three was quite a bit slower than the previous two laps but I was having fun.  Came to Larry and Teresa's aid station one last time and gave them one last hug.  About 2 miles later I was running down a rocky downhill and stumbled.  I'm not sure exactly what happened but it happened so fast that I didn't have time to bring my arm up to break my fall.  Came down on my head and busted my lip and the side of my head on a rock or root.  As soon as I raised up I could tell it was bad...there was blood all over the ground and my clothes.  I reached up and felt of my teeth and they all seemed to be intact so I started running again.  I knew I was getting close to the finish and there was NO way I was not finishing after 7.5 hours of running!  I could feel a flap of skin hanging from my bottom lip and knew I'd probably need stitches so I called Dave to tell him what happened and to load up my drop bag and be ready to go when I got to the finish.  An interesting thing happened...I stopped feeling the calf and knee pain! It's like it just disappeared.  Maybe my mouth pain overrode the other pain or maybe it was adrenaline..not sure.  The last two miles were long but I moved as fast as I could and got there pretty quickly.  Finished just under 8 hours for 33 miles total according to Garmin.  There was a paramedic at the finish line that took a look and said yep, some stitches would be necessary.  He had already given Dave directions to an emergency medical center so we headed there immediately.  Was in and out really fast with 11 stitches, a tetanus shot and a lot of swelling.  The doctor said I'll have a noticeable scar but all I can think of is that it could of been a LOT worse with missing teeth or a busted head.
Headed out for the final lap
Crossing the finish line

Bloody bib...this ones a keeper

We stopped at Sonic for a chocolate shake and a grilled cheese which I ate by tearing into itty bitty pieces.  It tasted fantastic since I hadn't eaten anything solid all day and was soooo hungry and thirsty.  We made it home about 8:30 pm and I crashed early.  Today my mouth is sore (duh), swollen and my gums, chin and lips are black & blue.

As much as it sucked getting hurt, this race is SO much fun and so well organized that I would actually do it all over again.  It's that great!!!  A must-do and I will be back next year for sure.  That trail and I are bonded now..I have my IDB scar to prove it.  :)

*** Later update, went to the ER two days after the race because of headache, nausea and dizziness and confirmed that I have a concussion.  ( I still love this race! )


  1. Wow! Your poor lip! I admire your great attitude after that tumble. You're one tough trail running gal!

  2. Thanks Becks! Good luck at Cowtown!

    Paul, I don't know if it was tough or not, but I was so determined to finish after running that far/long. If this has happened early in the race I'm sure I wouldn't of finished. ; )

  3. Nice job of pushing through to the finish. Hopefully you'll heal completely.

  4. Nice RR! Thanks for all the pics! I love how they made the race green. I wish more would to that.
    Take care of yourself and get back out on the trails when you can. Now I will probably be thinking of you on my 50k this weekend, geez!!

  5. Wow, excellent race, thanks for sharing! I am so scared of trails because I'm always falling. I fall on my face on barely rocky trails near my house. Ugh. Anyway, if I were you I'd be proud of that scar - its your forever token of your awesome 50k distance. I look up to ultrarunners like you, hopefully someday I'll join the ranks.

  6. Impressive! Great job on finishing. You are hardcore! I'm sorry you got injured but you seemed to handle it like a champ! Congratulations! Sounds like an amazing race!