What’d I do for Valentine’s Day? My husband signed me up for a 50K relay race! He was sweet enough to name our team “I <3 MY WIFE” — extra brownie points for that. We got up at 4:30am this past Valentine’s Day morning to race.

The race was the Pembertion Trail 50K at the McDowell Mountain Preserve. The race was set up as both a 50K (solo runners) or a relay team of two runners doing the 50K distance. Chuck, being the long distance guy now, decided that he would run the relay, but do the two loops, (each about 15.4 miles) — running the first solo and the second one with me.

After his first loop, I ambled back to the Jeep to take a 90 minute power nap before getting ready for his second loop (my only loop). I barely got to the starting line with my hydration pack, a chair, and a sweatshirt, and he was already trotting in, ready to start loop two! I hustled to get my pack situated and off we went.

He went pretty fast on his first loop, and by the third mile of loop two (18.5-ish miles for him, 3 for me), his tummy began protesting the “experimentation” from going a bit fast and eating a variety of snacks at the aid stations. But, true to ultrarunner form, he buckled down and toughed it out.

Since he’s never done “only” a marathon distance, Chuck takes “Marathon Selfies” on every ultra event he’s run. So this time, his 26.2 (my 11 or so miles), we got to take a selfie together.

Chuck's Marathon Selfie

Chuck’s Marathon Selfie

It was a super fun race, and at the end there was a huge potluck with chili, sandwiches, and cold drinks! True to trail runner form, I crossed the finish line and immediately headed straight for the food. I wolfed down two turkey croissant sandwiches and a savored a bowl of chili with chips. Great day at the races! We might have to do this one again next year.