Swimrun Casco Bay Islands- Cole Classic 2018
Peaks Island, Maine
August 12th 2018
The alarm went off at 4:45 am. It was dark, and the sound of the sea dominated the pre-dawn as it traveled across the beach at low tide, the narrow strip of lawn, and through the window to where I slept. Sleep had been fitful, as I woke every hour or so to lay awake playing over in my mind the plan for the morning:
4:30 am- Alarm, coffee, breakfast, very important bathroom activities
5:30 am- Rendezvous with my teammate Brooke for gear logistics and psych-up jams
6:30 am- Race check-in at ferry pier
7:00 am- Race start: 3.5+ miles of swimming and 11+ miles of running across 5 different islands and 6 different swim crossings. A point to point journey in pairs requiring focus, resilience, teamwork, open-water competence in chop and currents, and surefootedness on slick seaweed, rocky shores, and narrow forest trails studded with rocks and roots.
You’ll notice on the schedule above that I allowed a full hour for, essentially, coffee and breakfast. As nearby islands gradually came into focus in the gray dawn, I engaged in a critical pre-race ritual: Heather’s Choice Breakfast of Champions (also known as Banana Nutmeg Buckwheat Breakfast). This is a flavor to savor. I knew that soon to come would be between 3and 4 hours of intense exertion, extremes of hot and cold, and terrain that would require focus and mental toughness. With each bite of warm nutmeggy goodness, I felt more and more prepared to face the challenges to come.
Brooke and I had an amazing race. The course had a number of aid stations offering fuel and hydration, and a smarter racer might have taken more food from the aid stations- I consumed a meager 250 calories or so for just shy of 4 hours of racing. Usually I take in about 3 times that for races of similar length, but we were focused and inspired, and running on something other than common sense and glucose. Maybe pure joy. Maybe Banana Nutmeg Buckwheat Breakfast. We finished strong and were proud to be the 3rd female team across the line and 10th overall. I never bonked, I never felt under-fueled, and to be honest I was a bit surprised. I think in the end, it was real food and the joy it can fuel for the win. Thank you Heather’s Choice, for putting the right stuff in my belly so I could let my body and spirit carry me through the sea and over the land on yet another five star endurance adventure.