The Badwater Cape Fear, on Bald Head Island, NC, was my first ultrarunning experience. After hearing the Badwater 135 referenced in a few episodes of Trail Runner Nation Podcast, and seeing a documentary on YouTube, I was reading everything I could find on “the 135” when I found the Badwater Cape Fear. Born and raised in NC, before leaving in my 20’s under dubious circumstances, I immediately knew that I must begin my ultra-journey with this race.
I trained hard, with specificity, even through injury (fractured metatarsal). I suited-up race day, toeing the line at Old Baldy. I set out slowly, thinking to race conservatively. I paced along, taking in the scenery of island homes and enjoying wonderful conversation with fellow runners.
By the time I hit the turnaround at the end of the beach, I was falling apart. Stomach problems, dehydration, cramps, etc. I feel like I made every rookie move in the book. I made it to the 50k (31.8mi) -turnaround in 09:07:xx, badly missing the 8 hour cutoff to start the last 20mi out-and-back of the intended 51.4miler. As well as I could see, I was the only runner to receive an “honorable mention” in the race results.
I would like nothing more than to run in the 2017 Badwater Cape Fear. Enlightened by my first ultra experience, I’m inspired to do more, train harder, and move faster. I find myself eagerly wondering, “When does registration open for Badwater Cape Fear 2017?”