Last Saturday I did the Do Wacka Do trail run again. My buddy Joel Everett puts this race on way out in western Oklahoma at the Sandy Sanders WMA some 12 miles south of Erick Oklahoma (the last town on I-40 before you hit the Texas state line.)
Where did Joel come up with this weird name for a race? It's named after the Roger Miller song of the same name. Roger Miller grew up in Erick and one of the town's feature attraction is the Roger Miller museum.
Here's the song.
Aren't you glad the song is only 1:49?
I had planned on taking my camper to the race, but ended up working late Friday. so I slept in my own bed and left out at 3:30 early Saturday and made it to the race 30 minutes before go time.
Packet pickup was brisk, and I gulped coffee, slathered on stuff to my feet and chafing areas (Happy Feet and Sac-So-Soft), and filled my water bottles. Shorty had picked up my packet the night before, which saved me a few needed minutes.
Julie Dunbar from TATUR Racing timed the race--solo--and did a spectacular job. Toward the second half of the 14 hour day, she ran out to greet the finishers as they neared the finish line, often running the last 1/4 mile with them.
Polly and I posed for our annual group shot. Polly was running the 50 mile, and kept the pace and won the the race. I was signed up for the 50K, and had given myself full permission to stop after 25K if it got too hot.
So, at 7:00 we were sent off at the sound of a shotgun blast. The sun had just came up, and the 25K, 50K, and 50 Mile runners cruised down some nicely maintained gravel roads.
Twin sisters Mishelle and Alecia were hanging together for 25K. Mishelle must have had OSU football on her earbuds and was celebrating a TD.
There are great views the whole way at Sandy Sanders WMA. This looks like a sunset, but was a sunrise--about one mile into the race.
Shorty and I were at the back of the pack. She was out for 25K at an easy pace, and we just decided to hang together.
I had seen a couple of these black beetles along the way. At first I thought they were dead, but after seeing 3-4 of them, I stopped to take a picture. I googled them today and found they are called Clown Beetles, Head Standing Beetles, and Desert Stink Beetles. I read that it stands on it's head probably for two reasons. These guys are the skunks of the insect world. They spray nasty chemicals from their rear. By assuming this posture, they are warning predators that they are about to spray. I had got pretty close to get this picture--I guess I'm lucky.
This course has some flattish areas, but is more noted fore steep descents into the canyons, and very steep climbs back out. This hill was a toughie--but was nothing compared to climbs later in the race.
I have been here when there was no water to be seen, but this year, there were three different ponds. As it heated up (close to 100°) I thought about wading it to cool off--but the mossy scum near the shore (that probably was home to water moccasins) kept me from doing it.
After a 200 foot climb, we reached our second aid station. Most of the aid station workers were not runners, but friends of Joel and his family--but they were GREAT. Most of them have been at this race every year, and they seem to know what us hungry trail runners want and need.
Pond number two (or was it three?) They all looked alike.
Some people make jelly out of prickly pear cacti. All I knew is that if you had to trip and fall--just don't fall here.
I am always on the lookout for critters. I wanted to see a snake--particularly a rattlesnake. but just like last time here, we saw a couple of tarantulas. I was taking pictures of this enormous creature, trying to get a closeup shot.
I had my phone hovering at ground level Mr. Eight-Legs took it upon himself to help out and made a run right at my phone--actually tried to climb right over it!! I probably screamed like a girl, and I know I did a wild-monkey back-up dance. Now if Shorty had videoed this, we'd have a winner!
This was the aid station at mile 8. I told Shorty to drink up, and we filled our bottles to the brim with ice and water. The aid stops were further apart later in the loop, and it was getting hotter by the minute. I took some pretzels and cookies with me--after feasting on cold watermelon.
We were in cruise mode now--just trying to not be stationary. The scenery was still awesome, but it was getting to the point where we didn't care.
25K would be Shorties longest run in a few years, and even at 10 miles in, we were running a little here and there.
The steep climbs were zapping us though. Usually, in the low spots, there was no wind and climbing 200 feet ascents in full-on sunshine was melting Shorty down.
It was somewhere along this stretch that Shorty noticed what looked like a battle of a beetle and a tarantula.
At this point downhills were not even fun. I was careful going down not wanting to aggravate my questionable knee. I know--I'm such a wuss.
Besides the aid stations, there were volunteers riding the course in reverse on ATVs and they had drinks and first aid for whoever needed it.
John Nobles lined up and ran the 50 miler--and finished 2nd. He was a distant 2nd after two loops, and made up a lot of ground on the final loop. Dude looked strong every time I saw him.
Jeremy Wiley signed up for 50K, but caught a ride near the final stretch of his last lap. He was dizzy, and had taken a fall. I thought he was pretty dehydrated after talking to him after the race, After a couple Gatorades and a beer or two, he seemed fine. He reported seeing a few snakes on his last lap!
Check out this video of a cranky rattler that Jeremy Wiley made. He saw 4 of these guys and must have been pretty close to a den.
Jason and Sue Ann Bement kicked out a good paced 25K and finished before 100° set in. Here, Jason is cruising with Mike River who toughed it out for 50K.
Travis Jennings, sporting his Pumpkin Holler shirt, just kept going and going--and finished his 1st 50 miler. Travis is training for 100 miles at Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd this October.
Shorty and I held it together--at times scrounging for any kind of shade--which meant cozying up to scratchy cedar trees hoping there were no rattlers with the same idea. We finished what my Garmin said was 16.25 miles in just over 6 hours. We collected out finishers medals, and spent the rest of the day re-hydrating and cheering for our friends as they finished.
I grabbed a couple of pictures from Polly Choate--of the medal, the age group awards, and her first place trophy.
And I got a nifty medal hanger in a drawing!! Happy trailz!!