Isle du Bois.. Island of the Trees. A perfect name for this beautiful location in north Texas. Isle du Bois State Park
is located 10 miles east of Sanger, TX and is on the southern shores of Ray Roberts Lake
I earned my IDB tattoo last year in the 50K, (read about it here
) - so this year was all about being deliberate and careful and keeping falling to a minimum so I ran the 18K. Isle du Bois has some great single track with beautiful views of Ray Roberts Lake. I can honestly say I enjoyed every single second of running! There are no steep long climbs, it is tame in the way of elevation. The tricky part of running IDB is the footing. Lots of rocks. Big rocks, baby rocks, pointy rocks and round rocks. And just when you think you've come out of a rocky section, there are some roots to keep you alert. Have I said yet that I LOVE this trail?!? It's one of my favorites. This year had some great weather - A chilly and overcast 40 degree start, with highs in the 60's and lots of beautiful sunshine later in the morning.
Endurance Buzz Adventures
puts on Isle du Bois and does a fantastic job. As always, they give you the option when registering for the race on receiving a shirt or paying less of a race fee and not getting the shirt. My suggestion to anyone - GET THE SHIRT! These are awesome, highly coveted bamboo tasc performance
shirts. And this year we even got long-sleeved. Love my shirt!
My lovely trail girls (Nancy, Beth, Peggy and Melissa) picked me up in Norman at 4am for the drive down to Pilot Point, TX and we had a little trail runner train of cars with Matt and Cindy in one car and David Sooter in another all following each other. It's only two hours from Norman and a straight shot down I-35. We arrived early enough to score a close parking place near the start/finish. After picking up and admiring our shirt, we hung around the heaters and talked to all of our Texas trail running friends that we only get to see a few times of year at races. I truly love the trail running community, just good people. :)
|Mel, Peg and I before the race|
|Beth, Peg, Brance, me and Mel|
|Rex Pace and his beautiful family before the race|
We had some time to kill so we sat in the car to stay warm. Soon enough it was time for the 50K'ers to be on their way. Their race started at 7:30 am and the 18K started at 8:00 am. After sending Nancy, Rex and Cindy on their way we got ready for our race to start. Peggy, Beth, Melissa and I all kept pretty close together during the first few miles and I loved getting to joke around with them. Usually we spread out almost immediately in a race so it was fun and felt more like a training run to have them nearby.
|On the trail. Deep concentration! :)|
This race flew by for me and I think it's because my brain was so occupied with choosing my footing wisely that the miles tick away fast. I love this trail but had forgotten some of the sections from last year, so it was like rediscovering an old friend. I leapt, climbed and hopped over and around rocks for 2 hours and 17 minutes and actually felt sad when I saw the finish up ahead. The RD, David Hanenburg, stands at the finish line and gives every single runner a pat on the back and their finisher award personally. (just one of the many things that make him and his races great) I was so excited to tell him and show him that I was intact so I ran across the finish and said "look, no blood!" :) What a relief. I think I have now beat that scary little demon down that had me scared of running this course again after what happened last year. David gave me my finisher award which was some local honey from Nature Nate's
The great part about running the shorter race? Hanging around in lawn chairs eating delicious vegetarian soft tacos, chips and salsa and cheering in all of the inspiring ultra runners. David, Nancy and Cindy all did awesome in their 50K and it was so much fun snapping pictures and cheering them in. All of us that made the drive down from Oklahoma had a great race and so much fun and I do think it will be an annual event for us.
|David Sooter finishing his 50K|
|Oklahoma girl, Lori Enlow winning the 50K womens race!|
|Nancy Shidler about to start her 3rd and final loop|
|Nancy finishing her 50K strong|