Spring has sprung in NE ohio or at least that's what myself and all my running friends thought. the week prior to the day of the Fools 50 K (3-28-11) we had been treated to dry weather, sun, and warmer temps mid 40's to low 50's.. the week bf the event maria and i had been busy packing and getting ready for our upcoming move, so my normal taper was almost 13 days,and it showed i was going crazy not running but had no choice, a move and a race at the same time is not ideal :) but we survive. Friday 3/26 Early Packet pick up- the usual chit chat with other runners and catching up on trail conditions since i had no clue. Lloyd the RD told me that with the recent weather the trails had dried up nicely and should be dry and frozen, Sweet a fast course and maybe no mudd. so i went home did my last minute packing and gear checklist and carried on. Saturday 3/27--Still packing all day and night, till almost 12 midnight, i was tired but so anxious for the race start. but knew deep down inside things would be fine and that my training would be solid. Sunday 3/28 race day!!!-- 4:30 am, man i forgot how early that was especially after being up till almost midnight the night before. OS the normal race ritual my coffee,and all my race day traditions pursued. Maria was volunteering for late packet pick up at 6 am so off we headed to Pine Hollow. Clear sky's, stats,and a crisp morning met us. 19 degrees when we got there, but so beautiful the hills and woods looked. the sun slowly started to rise and the most beautiful oranges and reds appeared from the distance and the temps gradually warmed to a warm 22 to 24 degrees by start time the race the National Anthem sung,last minute directions about course markings ,and general fanfare and off we all went. i started off running with some friends, Brett and Chef and quickly settled into my pace. thing were good all signs pointed to go and my confidence gained from my extended time off. So over the grassy fields, through the woods and onto the trails we went.the ground was frosty, hard packed and frozen for the time being at least. For those unfamiliar with the CVMP in NE ohio this race was run on local trail in the park, and looped a fashion that made up approx a 15mile loop that we would repeat twice for the 50k and once for the 25K. LOOP 1-- fast , frozen, lots of people,but carnage setting in for those who went out to fast. towards the end of this loop i caught up with Suzanne, who was out to avenge a disappointed finish time from last year. we talked for a while and got each other through some iffy spots of mile 14 to 15 but both looked really and felt strong we agreed. approx first loop time 3:07 ish. LOOP 2--- warmer temps sort of maybe upper 20's low 30's but that did not bother me, i had learned from past runs and races to dress cooler by wearing less layers, hydrate better and fuel myself more efficiently to stay better controlled body temp wise. this time Eureka baby i got it. I had all my BROOKS GEAR: thanks Brooks ID top HVAC LS shirt,with LS Brooks ID Equilbrium top and Team singlet. Bottom 3/4 length brooks tights. and for wind chill early in the first am a nice light wind vest which only lasted the first 14 miles bf i got over heated. 3 miles into the way this loop i managed to catch Shannon F, she is great strong runner, but we ran together and pushed each other through some tough patches. the ground was not more slippery mud conditions deteriorated rapidly as the sun shone down on us an we pranced through the woods on the second loop. the extra wear and tear was making it a real chore, bc you had to think about each and every step, so you would not slip to much and cause any extra strain to legs,hips. midway thorough this loop i was still feeling strong,and was having a blast, and was still running with my friend Shannon. we were passing people like they were still and the conditions of the trails were really beating up the runners. like i say you gotta train in the conditions to thrive in and it showed with us an all the other runner that were making ground on other those. i never lost my smile this day,and really got back in touch with howmuch i love the trails and those people in the area that share the same passion. at the 3 mile to go mark, Shannon started to have some asthma issues, but she pushed through as did i. i was a man on a mission i was pushing through all things to finish strong. and i did, i ended up crossing in 6:27 and change, i was thrilled,i may have been able to go faster ,but i was all smiles. i crossed the line and that was that. Another day,another mile, another smile,another successful Ultra.