Monday, September 15, 2014

Specialized Florida State Championship series # 1 - Tom Brown Park - Tallahassee, FL

Women Pro/Expert

3rd Place, all top three within seconds of each other crossing the finish line.

FSC#1 Tom Brown Park – Tallahassee

We are now on our drive back from the first Florida State Series Race for the 2014 Season so I have some time to reflect. Yes in Florida everything is a little bit off from the ordinary so when everyone else is about to end the bike season soon we are just starting.

BMX Track was fun for sure, however for safety reasons was not included this year in the race course.

Last few months since my last bike race went by pretty quick I must say; especially since I kept myself pretty occupied with XTERRA racing and training. That was my main summer focus and still I’m in the triathlon training zone in a way since next month I’m traveling to Maui, Hawaii for the XTERRA World Championships. So I can’t say I was particularly well prepared for my first mountain bike race. Swimming, biking, running and working full time the whole summer definitely takes a lot of time and toll on the specific bike training. Plus, summer in Florida is not really very appealing or cooperating as far as biking goes. Usually it is way too hot or it’s raining and lighting like crazy, there is no winning here, simply tough times.

But besides all of the above: 1) I was looking forward to seeing where I stand at that particular time of my season, 2) getting out again on the fast Tallahassee trail system and 3) to see all my amazing bike friends from all over the state.

This time around we were very lucky with the weather in a way since it just drizzled before we arrived to the park and trails stayed in really good and shape with some only loose corners on the second part of the course.

So Saturday we had an Individual Time trial. We were going off at 3 PM, but the loads of people on the starting line waiting for their turn extended my go off time to almost 4 PM. No kidding around, it was hot, really hot; some 93 degrees in the shade with very thick, moist, stagnant air! I knew those 3.7 miles of twisty single track were going to feel like hell.

Finally I got my turn and I was off. Nice sprint to the trail system on the grass and I was pushing through the tight switchbacks. Everything was going pretty well until (it is what happens when you go really fast!) a big ass tree just popped out of nowhere. I had no chance to get around in time so I had two choices, ram it full speed or grab my brakes, I chose the latter. Seconds later I found myself balancing on the front wheel in the air doing all acrobatics I could to don’t go over. My bike wiggled left and right, some sticks seemed to get into my spokes and were making ugly banging noises and I was still trying not to crash. Somehow I put my foot down, back wheel down and I was able to resume with hopes that my wheels are fine. Thankfully everything was good but I was only on 0.9 of the course and already lost valuable seconds. This part of the course is winding, with lots of roots, switchbacks and consistently takes us up and down in the deep forest cover. Finally I got out to the Gun Range trail and into the open grassy space with a long and windy climb. This one is a burner especially when you get to the top and my heart rate definitely showed it, the heat of the day and full sun added to the misery.

I was back to the trails again and was making a 180 turn up the hill and my whole bike just slid and decided to lay down on the left side. It was a soft fall and slow and nothing besides a few scratches on my leg happened but to restart the race up the hill from the fall takes some time. I’m thinking on those both instances I had to have lost at least 20-30 seconds but I was determined to keep on doing my best.

My final time did come out to some 17 min and 23 seconds only 12 seconds to the 3rd place. Knowing that without the falls possibly I could have got it makes me feel like I did put a good effort.

Between Saturday’s Time Trail and Sunday’s race we had a nice little break and got out to a really nice Pizza Place – Joe Mamma’s, where food is simply delicious with my XTERRA friend Brook and a bunch of local Tallahassee bikers. Everyone was in a great and positive spirit and ready to tackle the Cross Country course the next morning.

It did drizzle some more overnight, making the trails tacky but maybe a little greased up on some rooty sections. I was not going to repeat my mistakes from yesterday and was planning to ride smoothly and without incidences.

At the start my bike computer showed 85 degrees and it was only 8:30 AM. This was probably my biggest worry for today, the possibility of experiencing the agonizing pain from heat exhaustion. Everything else was just about riding my own race and see what I got without going overboard.

We went off, flying down the grassy descent once again. I thought I had a pretty good start and was jetting down but obviously I was not going fast enough since I got cut off on the left by one of the girls and got locked near the fence and had to give my position away. We went quickly to single track for a second and then through the rocky stream.

After that there was very long, almost 1.5 miles of double track that was aiming mostly uphill. I was able after a few attempts to make pass on one of the girls. But the two still in front of me seemed to work together on that section and were trading the leading positions which I completely didn’t mind. We were going fast for sure but at some point I figured they were not really pushing as hard as they could and I started to get annoyed in a way. So I sped up and moved to the right to make my pass, while all of the sudden one lady just veered to the right in front of me and I had to slow down to not crash into her.

I tried a few more times but it seemed each time I got to the speed, girls also accelerated so at least our overall speed increased and I just hung in there. Finally we went to the most fun single track on the edge of the mountain. I think it is called the Cadillac Trail and this is where Shelly totally disappeared. This section is so fun, technical at speed and reminds me at times of the Richmond course because of the ridge riding and the bridges along the way. In the few sections the trail splits and you can go either left or right and this is where you should remember your line of choice. All of it went almost as planned but on one of the splits I followed a lady and went the same direction I didn’t want to go and I didn’t practice that line but it ended up not being so bad. But on the other occasion she picked the easiest and smoother longer side when I went for the bumpy and rooty section and I was able to make up some good 15 meters or more that way. I was hoping to get out in front but unfortunately I got out right on her wheel.

Throughout the first full lap not much happened and I seemed to be sitting on some 10-15 seconds back. On the open field climb I could see a lady in front. However Shelly known for her blazing fast first lap was long gone. I finished the first lap with no incidences, grabbed a new water bottle and felt pretty good. I managed the climbs well the second time around and all the passing from the guys from different classes that was going on throughout the whole race. It had to be one of the nicest so far races in that matter since guys were incredibly polite and willing to work things out as far as passing goes. And all the cheering that was going on from the friends and onlookers was incredible; it really felt so good to have so much support from so many people.

My second lap went uneventful but it’s kind of a lame thing to say since there is so much going on every second. Paying attention to all the detail on the course was critical since light was in and out just filtering from the trees above. I loved toward the middle of the second half of the course the wall ride where so many people congregated and encouraged everyone to get up on that wall! It was fun and I was not going to disappoint anyone on that matter. I got on the wall and felt really good up there, even though it lasted only for few split seconds. And there was a grueling climb in the sun; this is when I got another nice complement from one of the riders telling me that I’m a great rider. It’s always awesome to hear kind words from fellow riders. And when I asked some guys if I could pass they say “oh yeah, you can pass Beata anytime you want”. It was just sweet.

We had some friends come out to watch my race and Travis who believed some years back that I’m capable of riding in Pro/Expert class had a chance to do a bottle hand off for me after cheering me greatly during my first lap. And I got to the third lap now and it was a time to consider bumping up the pace to catch up to girls ahead. 2nd place still had some 10-15 seconds but Shelly’s 1st lap 1.5 min gap on both of us turned to 40 seconds on the second. I had no clue where she was at that time, but I know I need to speed up for the 2nd. Slowly I was gaining ground throughout the whole lap, all the hundreds of roots and corners that we had to tackle were going by and my time to get the gap smaller was also shrinking. We were three quarters in and I got out on the big climb again. This is when 2nd place was right there in front. I felt like I was getting closer with each pedal stroke and when we got to the top she was right there getting to the next single-track. But while in the trees I really couldn’t tell how far she was for most of the time. The time was ticking and I was still going back and forth with some male riders costing some valuable seconds. We had to be in the final mile and the last switchback when I saw here in front with only two riders in between us. I passed the first guy and before I knew it we were making a sharp right turn and going on the climb out of the course next to BMX park and shortly after to that to the finishing shoot. I was shocked but right in front so close I had not only 2nd place but also Shelly just seconds away. With all the noise of people cheering I sprinted and got even closer but the push to the final climb and the finish line was just not enough to catch up and make a pass. Wonder what would have happened if course was just 100 meters longer…

We were all together 3 and 6 second apart crossing the line.

What a finish, I wish I got it and seems like I would if the course had been slightly longer but all and all I had a very good race. After all last season the leading girls were nowhere to be found after the first lap and with all my efforts and fast 2nd and 3rd laps it was still not enough.

Today we paraded to the finish all together and I had the fastest 3rd lap of all the ladies and of all my laps too. I’m proud to share the podium with such an amazing rider like Shelly who is dominating Florida biking scene for so many years. I’m also content with the finish as a good start of my bike season.

Overall the trip went really well and I was so happy to see some of my friend which I didn’t see for such a long time with one of them being my Cupkaze Super Zee! Also when I’m racing I think of our good friend Wally who we love to ride with and who is missing racing with us greatly. I hope he will be able to get out on the trails soon…

My Pax like usual was a ninja photographer and super bike mechanic and everything you can think of coordinator. At one point he sneaked himself behind the wooden wall and snapped some cool pictures of us riding it. We had my husband’s mom joining us on this trip also and she was our little off the course support and cheer group.

I’m looking forward now to my next race and hope even more strong and talented ladies will come out and joins us on this challenge.

I hope I represented my sponsors well and am forever grateful for all the amazing support that I’m receiving.

Big Thanks goes to: Syntace, Magura, Stan’s Notubes, Schwalbe, ESI Grips, Clif, Xpedo, Trainer Road, Garden of Life, Pro Gold Lubricants, Kuat Racks, Light & Motion, KT Tape, Cycleops and New for 2014 - Specialized, Louis Garneau, Selle Italia, KMC Chains and Rotor Bike Components!

Until next time!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mission - Maui, World Championship of XTERRA


Something that started out just a few years back as an innocent idea to race in my first sprint triathlon turned overtime into so much more. I fell in love with the sport and the challenge. Now almost every weekend you can see me out on the trails mountain biking, trail running, swimming or doing triathlon races. This sport became my deep passion and gave me a purpose in life.

I’m here to prove to myself and others that anything is possible when you set your mind onto something there are no limits. To hopefully inspire women out there to get out of their comfort zone and chase their dreams, to live the passion that they all have in them. I don’t believe in putting things away for later but rather in charging life with full force to get the most out of each day. I’m trying to live life to the fullest as much as reality allows me.

When I got my first chance at the XTERRA World Championships in 2012 I didn’t care how I was going to get there, it was such a deep dream of mine that I just knew I had to be there. That year I placed 9th in the World in my Age Group and crossed the finish line with tears in my eyes. I turned my dream into reality so quickly.

Since then I placed in the top three in most of the XTERRA events that I completed. And just recently I won a UAST Off-Road National Championship title in Richmond Virginia and was the 2nd Overall Amateur Woman surpassing a few Professional Women times. With this result and also with finishing 2nd in the XTERRA Southeast Championship in Pelham, Alabama I qualified two times for the 2014 XTERRA World Championship in Maui, Hi.

I was waiting for this moment for two whole years, to come back and challenge myself once more on this difficult and demanding course with high hopes of surpassing my previous result and race at the World level. We will be racing in the heat and full sun for over three long hours with a 1 mile rough water swim, 20 mile grueling bike course with 3300 feet of elevation gain and ending with a 6 mile, 1.092 foot elevation change run that takes everything that was there left out of you. It will be a tough and testing day for all 800 best racers from around the World.

I’m trying to accomplish this while working full time, training and racing a lot. My life has become a race, training, and an event all in one. I would love one day to be able to focus completely on racing...

For now however Maui is my main goal at the moment and I’m trying not to look any further beyond it.

Hopefully one day I will be able to give back to the community in more ways and inspire and encourage people to become the best that they can. For now I am doing it through my racing and blogging and hope that it does reach others and pushes them to become better themselves and have full and meaningful lives.

Any contribution to my Goal and this Journey would be greatly appreciated!

Read about all my adventures at

Aloha, Beata

DTR Full Moon Endurance Challenge / 10 Miler - HOBE SOUND – FL

DTR Full Moon Endurance Challenge - 10 Miler

3rd Female Overall out of 400 competitors.

Gear used:
SALOMON: FAST WING TEE WENDURANCE 3/4 TIGHT W, EXO CALF, SENSE PRO W Shoes, and S-LAB SENSE HYDRO SET. Also L&M Vis 360 Run light, Suunto Ambit2 watch, Pocketfinder Personal GPS LocatorOakley RadarLock Edge glasses with clear lensesClif Shot Gels and Garden of Life Nutrition.

Here is a Map of my race that my husband was able to track me in real-time at 2 minute intervals as I had my Pocketfinder tucked in my back pocket. This is an hourly report that you view online or on your phone and take a look at speed and elevation at any waypoint. Pax always knew where I was during the race Thanks to this Great device. Get yours at and take the worries out of wondering where your loved ones are.

It was not an ordinary run, actually nothing that would resemble running in any way we would know it.

First of all it was dark, completely dark, we were deep in the Florida flat woods and had a light from a full moon beaming down on us. But not any moon – A SuperMoon. The whole terrain had been sitting under water for days therefore those 10 grueling miles felt rather like 20. We were running, walking, wading most of the time thought deep soft mud, knee high water that often would get up to the hip and sometimes even waist deep. There were wet bridges and crazy scary water crossings with blinking lights and arrows when we were maneuvering through the swamps and enchanted forest. I felt like I was in some theme park during Halloween night at those sections but most of the time it was rather just me and the dark forest. All of it while being a hot and steamy Florida summer night was fully on. It was completely dark and the sounds of the swamps were unreal, the exhaustion and heat were overwhelming. We were soaked from all the water, moisture in the air and the sweat.

It was not any longer about who is the best or fastest runner. There were plenty of those today among us. It was about who was ready to keep going into the unknown and fight the elements, who wanted to proceed with adventure when things got tough, and mostly, who was willing and not afraid to suffer.

All geared up and ready to go!

We had so many fit, young and not so young, eager and just tough people tonight out there that I just could not believe my eyes; we were there in hundreds.

To come out in top 3 in this tough crowd was way more that I would have expected. It was mentally and physically challenging and exhausting therefore making this finish even more special and appreciated. I will not forget those hundreds of while lights and the sounds of the deep water underneath me for a long time...

I just wanted to give a Big Applause to those who didn't give up and finally crossed the finish line after two and a half long hours in the dark swamps. It was inspiring. Also the DTR crew did a tremendous job marking the trail system, having volunteers in key sections, fully staffed aid stations and of course the food, drinks, music, lights, awards and a fire pit in the gathering area.

Huge thanks to my husband Pax for being a mosquito ninja and our photographer for those long dark hours! And of course for being my mental support during this adventure.

Hope everyone had as great of a time as I did.

On to the Full Report


Swamp Run – Full Moon Challenge 10 mi

So here we just arrived after a little longer drive than expected in Jonathan Dickenson Park.
It’s still bright out but the sun is sitting already very low. I noticed right away two things, for once the terrain on both sides of the road leading us to the race site was in standing water, secondly this place was packed. Some 400 people were scattered and were finishing their preparations, grabbing lights, stretching legs, doing some jogging or catching up with friends. I saw a great number of really fit looking ladies out there and right from the start decided that I’m just going to have fun and will proceed with my adventure in that mindset.

Just before race start...

We also saw a friendly deer just walking out from the shrubbery to the middle of the street and completely not minding the cars around him.

I didn’t have much time for anything, but I made sure I was head to toe dressed “anti-mosquito style” and topped the outfit off with bug spray.

Quick packet pickup, bathroom stop and we were ready to rock. National anthem was Angelic as the person singing it and energy on the start line was really high. The camera guy was in front of us, the photographer, my husband also with his camera in position and waiting. DTR Crew was pumping up the crowd even more.

Ocean of people ready to rock the darkness!

We had an ocean of people lined up now and we all put on our lights at the same time. I jumped up to try to see everyone and said “Wow, that’s a lot of people” and the guy next to me said “and you are going to stay ahead of all of them”. Well I was not so sure about that but I liked his approach. ;-)
Sun was setting right now and nice pink faint colors were hiding behind the tall pine trees. I knew night was going to sneak up on us pretty quickly.

And we were off! The pace was high from the start, the fast guys in front were let’s just say really fast.

Energy was up the roof right before the start...

My plan was to simply listen to my body and when I feel like I have energy to run at a decent pace I would and when it’s not there than it’s alright as well. Just one minute in we got to the first flooded section; it was just a little sneak peak of what was ahead. I was thankful for my well-draining Salomon shoe choice since I still had a whole race ahead of me. I quickly realized how the terrain most likely was going to look like and was trying to just mentally put a big check mark and don’t be fussy about it. It was wet, slimy, and muddy, standing water was pretty much covering most of the path we were running on. There were not too many choices for good lines here and I had a few goals that I was aiming for. They were quite simple.

And we are off! Hi Pax!

Don’t twist my ankles was my number one priority, since I have still two months left to the World Championship in XTERRA in Maui and wouldn’t want to do something foolish now. But without seeing what is under let’s say 10 to 30 inches of water was an obvious possibility of something going wrong. I could not tell if there was a hole or even ground and mostly there were clumps of mud and grass so careful and light footing was important. Next, I hate spiders, and especially the hand size huge Banana Spiders and I was not looking forward running into one during this race, at some point I adjusted my L&M Light to face a little more upwards just to be able to spot them. Add to the list - snakes (yeah some people told me they had to jump over one), not being alone in the dark forest and finally after all of it was not giving up on the course and finishing the race.

Picture thanks to DTR. Some 400 racers approaching the first bridge right off the start.

I stayed with the fast group as long as I could but really quickly I was passed by three ladies. Oh well I thought, I was really going hard now and was already getting tired, but if this was not enough than it was fine with me since I was giving everything I got. I looked at my watch and I was only one mile in and I said “you have only 9 more miles of this boggy mess, you got this!”

I was sarcastic to myself but I had to run weird stuff through my head in order to don’t get discouraged.  After this mile I had the sight of the third girl for a long while and still the group of guys ahead but had a very difficult time keeping up. Shortly all the colors from the sky disappeared, water become deeper and deeper and the group ahead was gone. I felt alone, I had no one to follow or pick the line off through the middle of the tight high deep water or rugged, sloped and really nonexistent often water edge. I saw lots of lights far in the back behind me but I didn’t want to slow down just because I was not comfortable being alone in the dark. This is when I said to myself “Beata, this is what you like, it’s muddy, it’s dirty, you are out in the forest, in nature, this is what you love, this is your element”.

I kept pushing and hoping somehow I will be able to get to the group in front. I saw the last faint light of one guy far away making a left turn and disappearing into the darkness. I was alone. Thankfully I was blasting now Rammstein in my one eared headphones for some distraction and had sounds of the swamp at night in the other ear.

Everything was kind of fine until I approached this weird and scary part of the course which took me completely by surprise. It had to be around mile three and suddenly the path took me over a narrow and slippery bridge into something that reminded me of a horror movie and a theme park at the same time. Big trees standing next to each other, blinking lights and arrows placed on the trunks and all of it in waist deep dark swamp water. I fell in for the first time and screamed; I scanned the ground quickly left and right for “Crocodile Dandi” and rushed in this maze of trees, water and arrows. It was really cool, thrilling, exciting and very scary at the same time. I kind of wasn’t sure if I should smile and enjoy it or if I should be terrified. I think I did and experienced both at the same time. When in the mid of it however I screamed again, “people, are here any people?” and just seconds later when pulling myself out of the water I saw a guy who seemed to be volunteering and I told him that I didn’t want to be here alone. And he said “yes you do” and I was like “no I really don’t” but honestly having a talking person right next to me was a relief in itself and made me feel that I was not there all alone after all.

Lights are on and every single person out there shortly will have their own exciting story to tell...

I kept going in the flooded knee high double track with big trees on both sides and started noticing a few lights behind me that were getting closer and closer. I knew with time they will catch up and I was very grateful when the four guys that were running together finally did. But I was so tired, so hot, soaked in all this water and couldn’t lower my heart rate even if I tried. They had a good pace but it seemed that I was going to have trouble keeping up with them. I was red lining already but had no choice, or put even more effort and try to stay with them or be alone once again in this dark place. I was fighting to stay by their side, every step was calculated and exhausting. It was the huge wet clumpy and sloping grass, or the deep water, or the more shallow water in middle with some grass poking out from it. We were hoping from one place to the other trying to pick the best place to plant the foot. It was extremely tiring and really never ending. At some point one of the guys started walking. Shortly we arrived at the second aid station and volunteers had drinks and were taking numbers of the bibs before we go into the back loop.

1:26 hours later I'm finally back. For sure it felt way longer than that!
One of the guys stopped to get water, somehow the whole little group dispersed. I was glad I used my Salomon Soft Flask that stored 500 ml of water since I didn’t have to use the first water station, but from now on I was going to supplement with extra water every chance I got besides of what I did carry with me. I heard a volunteer saying “great job you are half way there” but I really couldn’t tell who she referred to. I though yes that would be nice but I think I was only on mile 4 and assumed it was meant for the people who completed the loop and arrived once again at the same aid station. Few of the leading guys already passed us just minutes before and were already heading back. I looked ahead and now all I had left was the only guy that was still with me from the group, one with the red light on the back of his head. We headed now to a narrow single track in between low palmetto palms and the whole path was under water. We were plumping through his grassy, muddy, soggy little mess and sometimes I could see lights through the trees of people tracing back from where we were going. I had trouble to keep up, the headphone kept sliding out of my ear again and again, all this humidity, sweat, wetness, there was no way to keep it in so I put it away. Also I wanted to find out how the forest actually does sound in total silence. It was weird at first but I appreciated the quiet and realized I didn’t need the music to keep me going. We reached the aid station once again and now were on our way back. This is where I decided to have my Clif Gel that I was carrying with me during this run.

Apparently WE ARE Glowing in the Dark!

Yes, that was a good progress to be on the way back but each time I looked down at my Suunto Ambit 2s I was on mile 5.37, 5.56 5.78 and I was so terribly tired. It was the longest mile and I really wished so much to see on the watch mile 6 to finally say to myself that I was way beyond the halfway of the race. I was now fixed on the red light of my running guy in front. I had a difficult time to stay close but was determined to not lose him. Now what seemed like a hundred of other runners were heading toward us head on, I was ducking people and the rows of white lights were going by me. They all were still going out. I wanted to say “Great job”, “Good work” “Keep pushing” when I saw them but I had no energy to get any words out of myself. I just did it in my head. And once again I had to force myself to keep running high through the water and focus on lines and foot placement. And of course looking ahead and saying, “Follow the red light”, “don’t lose the light”. The guy ahead did catch up however to other racers and now there was a guy in green right behind him covering the light. I knew I was going to lose him now. But somehow with time I was able to catch up and be right behind the guy in green. He told me that there were three ladies just ahead and almost at the same time stumbled over a hidden in the grass tree stump. He was fine and his friend checked on him too to make sure he was OK. I looked ahead and I noticed the girl in 3rd place that passed me a whole 5 miles or so ago. I started feeling hope now for a top three and sped up slightly. All of the sudden I saw her bending down and started tighten up her shoe laces, I though “Thank goodness for the quicklaces I have on all my Salomon’s since I never have to worry about something like this happening to me. When she was still focused on the shoe and kneeling down this is where I made my pass. It was funny however since I did it kind of in a “Ninja style” and went by her quite unnoticed.

And when I thought that I got away with my stealth like pass the guy in green behind us decided to scream for the whole forest to the girl “Here goes your MEDAL!”. LOL, really, really, here goes away my super pass. :) We still had almost 4 miles to go and the creepiest of deep waters, blinking lights and slippery bridges section. Thankfully I was not alone there this time around and passed one guy while in the swamps, now just meters ahead I had once again my beloved “guy with the red light”.

It felt good to sit down and submerge myself in the burrito-land....

I was happy, but my legs were so heavy by now that getting out of the deep water and maneuvering the bridge was really challenging. I could now hear and see once again what was coming up since I had someone in front. I knew just from the sound when the deep water was approaching and when it was time to slow down. I also know that every little decision and line will matter since I was being chased by the girl that I just passed. It was only two of us in close proximity and the rest of the forest was dark. Now my red light guy in front stopped to work on his shoe and I said “oh no you can’t do that!” and he smiled and said “no worries, I will be there in a second”. And he was, he did catch up and led us for a really fast paced and exhausting final miles. I was very grateful. The legs now after tougher pars would just bend underneath from the exhaustion; air was still humid and hot. But there was no slowing down now. At some point he said “I can hear it” and yes I did too, we heard the announcer at the finish line. But we still had a long and difficult two miles. My pace was slipping slightly but not terribly. He thought we had only mile to go but even though I wanted to believe it I knew it was much more.

Beautiful night fire pit.

But I could almost feel it and taste it; we were so close to be done. Path got a little more manageable now and it was really no one around, I was really glad I had company. I looked back a few times and I saw lights in the distance and knew that I must stay ahead and can’t slow down even though my body begs me for it. And then I heard the sound, and said “something is there” and the guy with the red light replied “yes we are almost there” and I’m like “no, something is walking there”. Apparently some night creature was traversing in between the palmetto palms knocking loud the giant leaves. He thought it was an Armadillo and I like to believe that it was one also for keeping my spirits positive.

And finally we saw the lights, we heard the music, we were flying now thought the final water, wooden bridge and winy single-track. He took off and I kept my pace and arrived on my own some 20 seconds behind. I was happy to finally cross the finish line.

That's a proven fact: Wherever there is a fire pit, there I am. I just Love night fire!

After all I ended up 3rd female on the finish line and only 1.5 minutes ahead of 4th place. Other ladies were much further back, but the first two just destroyed it and arrived with some of the fastest guys. I was definitely very happy with how I managed this insane run.

Full moon is on!

Only my eyes and eyes of those who covered this whole race track can tell what really was out there, since it is so difficult to describe every moment, sound, feeling and detail of this adventure.
Because it was exactly it: an adventure, a challenge, and a test; something to push through and overcome.

Long after I was done and was so happy to see my husband who was tracing me along the way on his phone from my PocketFinder I had in my back pocket. After we had some nice drinks, ate burritos, talked to friends, relaxed, and sat at the fire. Long after the people were still pouring in and returning from the long journey out there in the forest.

It always had been one of my favorite quotes!

It was really tough and inspiring to see how people loved and enjoyed and challenged themselves and didn’t let all those obstacles stop them. I was happy to see them crossing the finish line with a big smile on the face.

Overall Female Podium!
Like usual all of it would not be possible if not for the dedication of my husband Pax and also all my amazing support!

Thank you: Salomon, Sunnto, Light and Motion, Suunto, Clif, Oakley, Pocketfinder and Garden of Life.

Is beautiful Bella singing to the full moon or trying to sneak a kiss?
Down to Run did put tonight one amazing and memorable event, well done!