On June 16 I ran The Mutt (Mid-Michigan Ultra Team Trail) Race in Clare, Michigan. Our team had a 5 mile runner (Chris), 10 mile runner (Josh), 20 mile runner (Tom) and I ran the 50k leg. I don’t normally run with other people, so doing the first 10 miles with other team members was special. It was fun getting to know the other guys better and encourage each other along. I hadn’t heard of another race that was done this way instead of consecutive relay-style legs, and I loved it. It was a small event, with only 20-some teams. The night before I stayed at a bed and breakfast called The Sweetfern Inn, which I would highly recommend. The course was relatively flat, with some decent (for Michigan) hills near the end. Since the 50k leg is an “out and back,” that meant I hit them around mile 10-15ish, and then again on the way back 16-20ish. The aid stations were well stocked and seemed to be spaced out well. We ran almost entirely through woods, so even though it was a hot day we were spared the worst of the heat and sun. While I appreciated the breathing room on the course, more runners should be coming out to enjoy the MUTT. This was only my third 50k, but I would absolutely do this one again next year.

On a personal level, this was one of the few runs I’ve done where I kept the earbuds out then entire time. Usually I’ll give in and listen to music at some point our of boredom or needing an energy boost. Whenever I can manage to do a long run without music/audiobook/podcast distractions I feel much more at peace at the end. It was a great day.

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