Racing Nanny Goat is a little like watching a huge orchestrated horse race, the Kentucky Derby comes to mind only it is not horses with names like secretariat racing but two legged animals called Ultra runners and from the stalls the horses are watching the show...
|I needed to put my blinders on I could not believe I was watching 225 humans pretending to be race horses!!|
All joking aside Nanny Goat is the brain child of Steve and Annie Harvey two amazing race directors, their passion for producing a fun event such as Nanny Goat is over whelming and their chosen charity is Wounded Warriors Since it's inception the Nanny Goat has raised over $38,500 for the Wounder Warrior Project; they hope to hit at least $50,000 in 2013.
|With Steve at the end of running 50 miles.|
So you may be thinking what is the race all about it is really very simple, 225 runners get together on the Sexton Horse Ranch, a mile loop is out lined, passing through a barn which is were a timing mat is placed and race HQ, on leaving the barn the runners run in a loop, passing Ranch dogs napping in the middle of the path, horses are watching from the fields and the wild chickens are hiding out.
|Race Barn HQ|
On Friday afternoon the fun begins with runners camping out and claiming Stalls, a minimum of 5 runners to a stall, this was the 5th year and a record number of runners, after signing in and getting a cool Nanny Goat t shirt, tattoo & beer mug we had a magnetic wrist band and every time we passed the timing mat our name and number of miles would appear on the wall.
Race Re Cap
Steve had all the runners enter a pen!! Yup we were corralled like cattle into an open pen, Steve went over a few simple rules if you run 12 hours your time will reflect time and mileage if you run 12 hours and one minute you will be entered in the 24 hour run and then there is an option for 100 miles. the National Anthem was sang beautifully and we were off through the barn and out of the door the loop began.
My plan was simple to tread carefully as I was supposed to rest my foot from uphill running...and try to finish 50 laps which would be 50 miles and if possible do the last lap with Abigail my 5 year old grand daughter who would be here at 6pm.
After my first five miles I took a Hammer gel and my endurolytes, race cap supremes anti fatigue caps and Endurance amino. I had a self contained aid station but also loved that the race was sponsored by Hammer Nutrition and Heed and FIZZ was available too. After 10 miles I started sipping perpetuem and by the time I had finished the 50 miles I had also eaten 2 Hammer Chocolate Vegan Hammer bars and some almonds.
|Mile 32 and still smiling... the sun came out!|
Every mile I met a new running friend or I caught up with an old friend it really was not too bad and was great to see so many new and old faces! Every one had a story to share and was amazing to watch the top ultra runners keep on ticking off fast laps. One runner Leon Gray had literally been hit by a bus and managed to walk 26 miles considering he only made one mile last year that was an inspirational feat of perseverance.
|Leon Gray was hit by a bus his t shirt said what is your excuse!|
The whole 50 miles was an unbelievable experience, there was plenty of good food and water available and when the temperature began getting hot, Popsicle s appeared in the ice chests! Steve and Annie had all the bases covered, even hosing down the fine dirt and dust we runners were kicking up!
I sprayed my legs with Kool n Fit every few miles and slip slap slopped on the Ocean Potion, I kept my heart rate around 135/140 through out the whole event and very grateful my foot never caused problems.
At mile 42 I called my daughter in law they had not left yet so I decided to take my camera and take the next few miles at a more leisurely pace so I could run the last 50 with Abigail.
|The "Jester" ran his 500th mile at Nanny Goat he has done all 5 consecutive Nanny Goats!|
I have to say the highlight of my run would have to be seeing Abigail and have her company to run the last loop, and she gave me a run for my money!
|Abigail in her Hammer Nutrition t shirt in full stride!!!|
|Rainer and I at the finish with our medals|
|All smiles resting in my stable really shocked to be in 3rd place for 50 miles!|
|My ultra running buddy Paul Halliday|
|Tired feet and dusty feet!|
|Happy winner of a Polar FT7!|
After I had left the venue, runners kept on completing loops through the night to reach 24 hours, and some completing a 100 miles or more! they were tantalized by BBQ aromas of veggie burgers and tri tip, spaghetti and cup o noddles. Each runner received a beautiful medal that could be doubled as a magnet the 100 mile finishers received a Nanny Goat buckle.
I will be back next year hopefully to participate again in the Woodstock of Ultra running where real men run in Pink, rooters crow and horses watch in utter dis belief, the real story is the money raised for Wounded Warriors and the Sextons for letting the Ultra runners invade that one mile loop. A friendly race for children and dogs....next year Hammer will run too for his own medal.
|Hammer was sad not to run we will fix that for next year!|