One thing I love about the Charleston running community is that we think outside the box. In fact, that’s true for the city as a whole- there’s a very entrepreneurial spirit here, and I think that’s why we have so many tech company and small business startups.
Along with being free spirits, we like to have fun. Along with having fun, we like to support good causes- so in exchange for the run, everyone was asked to donate to the Mt. Pleasant Track Club in honor of Peyton Moore, who threw javelin for MPTC and ran 5K races with his dad.
Peyton is the son of Noah Moore, who is a local Couch to 5K coach, TrySports Mt. Pleasant Ambassador, and writes the MooreOnRunning blog. In June, Peyton passed away from a tragic seizure just a few days after setting a state javelin record and before he would have graduated 4th grade.
I only met Peyton a few times, but he was truly an inspiration to run with in the LifePoint Gift of Life 5K and the Catch the Leprechaun 5K. He helped Noah coach the Couch to 5K classes and encouraged the beginner runners, as well as the other Mt. Pleasant Track Club kids. Peyton’s spirit lives on in everyone he inspired, and those of us who knew him will carry that spirit forward to others when we cheer at finish lines, high five other runners, and encourage beginners.
It was a joy to run in Peyton’s honor and support Noah and Jen.
Some cities like Atlanta have big, famous, races on July 4- but not Charleston. In the spirit of being creative and crazy, some locals organized the “Pointless 12 Hour Ultra” a year or two ago, in Hampton Park, Downtown Charleston. An ultra marathon is anything over 26.2 miles or any race that is measured in hours rather than miles, so an ultra marathon can be a 50K (31 miles) or a 100 miler… or a 6, 12, or 24 hour race.
The best thing about the Pointless 12 Hour Ultra… you ran however long you wanted and counted laps. No official time- just a 12 hour limit- no real pressure unless you wanted to be competitive. Despite being slightly monotonous, a circular mile course lets you run with multiple people, run past your gear (water, gatorade, food) multiple times, and not get lost.
I showed up just before 6 AM and had time to grab my shirt, pin on my bib, and start running just as the idiotic race director sounded the horn. You didn’t have to start at 6 AM- some people came later, lots of people left early (myself included) and a few people left and returned later. You came, went, and ran as you pleased, and the organizing committee even said the only rule was that you had to complete at least one mile/lap in the 12 hours.
(Of course, only those who ran over 26.2 miles truly *completed* an ultra marathon, the rest of us who ran less just ran an event named an ultra marathon. I want to make that known because of my respect for ultra marathoners and not to imply that those of us who ran fewer than 26.3 miles are ultra marathoners when we’re not. The actual results are on Ultra Sign Up, too).
Respect the distance.
Each time we went around the circle, we marked off our miles on the lap counting board or shouted our number so the person marking could check us off. With the heat and humidity, we all took frequent breaks and people ran or walked laps with others just to make new friends. Here’s me with my friend and fellow TrySports Ambassador, E.C., who kept me motivated on Lap 20.
Some runners ran 3 miles, others ran 30 miles, others ran even more- it was all about achieving whatever goal you wanted, encouraging others, having fun, and honoring Peyton.
I took advantage of the aid station, crowd support, and new running buddies to make this my first 20-miler of 26.2 Mile Fun Run training. I stopped my Garmin during water/food/bathroom/chat breaks, but I ran 20 miles in 3 hours and 26 minutes, with an average 10:16 pace.
I was still smiling at the end of it, so it was a successful 20 miler.
I was the 4th female overall, not bad for being there 4 hours. Some people stayed all day, but some came for a few hours. The male winner ran 56 miles and the female winner ran 45 miles, but I am most proud of my “Smallest Runner” award. My medal is this little screw, and here I am with co-idiot race director Noah.
Along with the traditional overall awards for how many laps you ran, this race had awards such as sweatiest runner, biggest bonk, bloodiest runner, most disorganized, best Southern accent, most miserable, crustiest runner, loose screw award, and biggest geek. It made it fun for people of all paces and distances. All of the “medals” were scraps the race organizers found on the ground throughout the year.
Best of all, everyone had a great time. Over 80 people came out to run and support the Moore family, and over $1,000 was raised for the Mt. Pleasant Track Club in Peyton’s memory.
It was a fun way to spend July 4 with my running friends that morning before our cookout that afternoon, and I really hope I can do the Pointless 12 Hour Ultra next year too!