8-Hours in a Dream Race Recap

hat a fabulous weekend we had here in the Bello house. We hope yours was equally run-tastic! 

Friday night was rather chill, as I had quite the nice little headache that I was really trying to make go away asap so that I would feel 100% at the race. (As a warning and by way of explanation, I have had some folks ask about specifics on what we eat, so I am going to go into more food detail than I typically do. I hope this helps!) For dinner, we had some really simple grilled cheese on flour tortilla wraps and split a sweet potato. I finished the night with my typical oatmeal and natural peanut butter and Todd had some cereal for his treat. We hit the pillow and got a solid 8 hours of sleep, which is great for us before race day. We woke up at 7:00 and loaded the car

Todd 8-Hr Car July 2016

Made some coffee and hit the road

Todd Drive 8-Hr July 2016

Todd had two servings of oatmeal, a banana, and a Gatorade bar. I had a plain white bagel, two bananas, and a piece of white bread with strawberry jam. We each had two cups of Joe.

We got to the race with plenty of time to spare, so we got to relax in the shade a bit and get mentally prepped.

Em Drink 8-Hr July 2016

Em Bib 8-Hr July 2016

Start Finish 8-Hr 2 July 2016

The race was held on Butler campus this year in Indianapolis. There are two loops to choose from and you can do any combination that you want. The only rule is that you must finish a full loop to be counted and the clock stops exactly 8 hours after the race begins. The race started at noon and ended at 8:00 pm. The temps were in the upper 90s and the humidity was outrageous. There was minimal shade along the course and both loops hit a hefty hill. We ended up covering about 2,400 feet of elevation over the course of our race. I say “our race” because everyone runs a different race since you can do any combination of the two loops that you wish. One of the loops was 1.89 miles and the other was just over 3 miles.

Todd and I both hit our “wall” about 3 hours into the race. It was super hot, even for us. Overall, though, we felt we did fair better than most of the runners in the heat. From about 1:00-5:00, we kept wraps around our necks that were filled with ice. We consumed calories primarily through Gatorade and gels, which is rare for me. I had a few handfuls of chips because I was craving salt. Todd didn’t eat as many gels but he took in a lot more Gatorade. We covered just over 42.5 miles. It is amazing to us how difficult this race felt versus our other, much longer races of late. We have learned though, that is the way it is with ultras. You never know when it will be your day and when it won’t be your day. After the race, we both had a fully loaded Coke (i.e. not Diet) and some chips and Cheetos. I also had two peanut butter sandwiches. Again, Todd didn’t eat much because he was not feeling right and nothing sounded good. However, our hunger was in full force on Sunday, which meant we devoured food all day and had pizza – our favorites!

The race was the Indiana state championship for the ultra distance for Road Runners Club of America. Todd won his masters category. He also won this award for the Nashville 50 miler, so he is now a state champ in Tennessee and Indiana. My husband is amazing, folks!

Todd 8-Hr July 2016
Being north of 40 has its privileges!


I placed second overall female, losing to the winner by LESS THAN 0.15 miles.


Em 2nd Place 8-Hr July 2016

I have thought this over so many times in my head, but there is really not a lot I would have done differently. We may have piddled some time away at water stations, but we did not sit down once, so we are proud of that fact. The race came down to whose strategy of loops was the “best.” I still feel that, if it came down to a true test of wills where we were running full out, I would have gritted it out for the win, no matter how much pain. Maybe I am just saying that to make myself feel better, though.

Em Finish 8-Hr July 2016

The race just messed with my mind a bit because it is difficult to know exactly where you stand compared to others.  The standings are posted throughout but you don’t know if you are truly ahead or behind someone since they may have just been on the longer loop at the time the standings were snapped.   

Overall, I know we gave it our all. There is always room for improvement and that is the great fun of this sport. God has blessed us so much and we are thankful, thankful, thankful! What’s up next, you ask? Stay tuned this week for info on our next race (HINT: It is not short and we do not have much time to recover!)


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