Three weeks ago, on May 4, I ran the UTOP. It turned out to be 18.95 miles of intense trail running. We were SO lucky because the weather was amazing. It was breezy and mostly overcast. It was the start of the cooler season here and it came just in time! The race didn’t start until 8:30 but it was ok, because of the weather. A HUGE group of us met in the neighborhood at 6:15 to make the hour plus drive to the start.
The starting line had awesome energy, like most races do. We were all so excited and nervous too! I started the race with Jim who helped me figure out how to bypass people on very tiny trails and stayed with him until about 4 miles and then he was just too fast for me.
I ran solo and happy. I have no idea why, but I was just SO happy along this run. It was breathtakingly beautiful and I was just so glad to be alive doing this run. It was hard and hilly but I simply took my time, listened to my music, jumped over streams, avoided LOTS of cow patties, walked across a few logs (over streams), balanced on rice paddies, and took it all in. 4 hours, 30 minutes later I was done and I even felt like I could do more! It was the perfect first UTOP experience. Fingers crossed for similar weather and experiences next year!