“All 50k runners, please proceed to the start line!”, a voice over the speakers announces. I casually glance down at my feet, and panic grips my heart. Panic only a racer can understand.
I am wearing flip-flops. And a cotton t-shirt. My hydration pack is missing. And where the hell is my bib?
My mind is racing now. I turn to a friend, frantically: “Can you please go back to our room and bring my shoes?”. My voice is shaking.
She looks mildly irritated. “Where are they?”.
As I rake my brain, trying to invoke a picture of my racing shoes and where exactly they would be located as of this very moment, nothing comes to mind.
I still do not know where I am supposed to go to get my bib. Meanwhile, 10k runners take off, elbowing each other in a sea of feet. I have fifteen minutes until the start of 50k.
Where the hell is registration, and how did I not pick up my packet already?
I don’t think I am going to make it.
I make a mental resolution to find my damn shoes and start anyway. With others or without them. I do not care if I start half an hour later than everybody else. I am running my first ultra today if this is the last freaking thing I do. I will run through the night if I have to.
This has not happened. But today I dreamt that it did.
Two more sleeps until my first ultra.
I think I’m gonna pack an extra pair of running shoes. And perhaps, sleep in them tonight and tomorrow.