Damn that was long.
I’m not talking about 2020.
The Longest Night is in the books and it’s taken me a minute to write about it – because it was tough.
I’ve basically been eating carbs and icing my legs the last week to recover from it, but it’s in the bag – done!
The Longest Day race was hard – but almost one dimensionally hard – it was just hot. Texas summer hot.
The longest night comes with it’s own challenges.
Safety, logistics, cold, authorities, and the long, lonely darkness of the night to name a few.
We had a handful of people around the world take up the challenge and we had a solid cohort in Austin of Eric, Peter, Me and Ian.
Sundown was officially at 5:35pm – so we took off.
After kicking things off with friends for the first hour or so, we had a steady trickle of people show up through the early evening.
After 9pm, it got quiet.
Around midnight, we saw an EMS / Fire emergency truck that we thought was meant for us.
The cops came by around 3am – looking for homeless campers.
When they saw us out there, the conversation went something like this:
Are you guys just running in circles?
Yup, we’re doing
Have fun with that! *drives off*
Everyone has their own opinions, but I took to calling the time slot from 2:30 – 4:30am the dark soul of the night.
Up to that point, it’s a challenge – it’s physically hard, but that empty 2 hour window is absolutely the worst because it plays with your mind.
It’s completely pitch black outside. No one is around. Even the cops are gone at this point. You’re nearly 12 hours into an event and you just have to stare at the ground, eat the metaphorical shards of glass, lean into the pain and keep pushing.
If you let yourself go there, you find all sorts of interesting things about yourself.
At 4:30am – a bunch of strange cars pulled up to the field and we started getting lapped by the east Austin walking community. Turns out, a huge group of local walkers do about 2 hours power walking every morning from 4:30-6.
At that point, I was dragging, so it was weird to be outmatched energy-wise, but some people in their 60s, but we took the company.
As things got lighter out, we had more people start to show up including some friends to cheer on the last few laps.
On the last lap, Eric busted out speaker, blasted YMCA and ran around a final lap with the American flag.
All in – one of the most memorable nights of 2020 and one of the most unique challenges I’ve done.
Every time I finish one of these, I think to myself “never again.” Now, a little over a week later, I’m already planning my next one.
Call me crazy (it’s an accurate statement), with as terrible of a year 2020 was, a 14 hour soul tester was exactly what was needed to close out the year.
If you’re an insane person as well, make sure you get on the list so you know when the next one is coming.
Also, I owe a huge thanks to LMNT electrolytes for sponsoring this event. They make the best tasting electrolytes on the planet and we they kept me going when water doesn’t cut it on ultra endurance races.
Also, while I want to continue the in-person events, the logistical difficulties are compounded in a pandemic. So, an even bigger shoutout needs to go to Andy, Lou, Marcy and everyone else who ran individual challenges in their corner of the globe.
Even though they didn’t make it to the track – they still did the damn thing – wherever they were in the world – no excuses necessary. #boom Andy even set the current record by running 175 laps around a flooded track in England!
Big shoutout to Peter at Fringe Sport and Eric at Ocean Lab for taking on the challenge and running all night. Can’t wait for the next one.I’ll be sharing more media of the event in videos + photos coming soon.
In the meantime, put something big on the calendar for 2021.
Let’s crush it.