When I started Run the Red 50k in 2018, I arrived 30 minutes late. “Can I still go?” I asked the race director. “Absolutely!” he said. I threw off my pullover, slathered on some sunscreen, and ran past the starting line, hydration pack still in hand. I kept moving as I struggled to put on my race bib and pack, not wanting to stop as I would fall further behind.

As I started on the course, it was silent and I was completely alone. I could see the other racers footprints in the sand. They were far ahead of me by now. The sun was rising above the horizon making me feel more energized. I pumped my legs and increased my speed trying to catch up. I had a long journey in front of me.

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