I had a few fears going into Fire on the Mountain. I feared my left foot wouldn't hold out for 32 miles. Turns out, I should have been more worried about my mind giving out. I feared I wouldn't be able to make the 9-hour cut-off time. When I mentioned this to a few other people, I don't think anyone believed me. Turns out, it wasn't that crazy of a worry. I made it, but barely! I feared I would be dead last. I had to face this one as well. However, it still feels better to be dead last than to give up.
Due to the ice and snow last week, the race was postponed a week. This gave me an extra week to deal with the whole foot thing. However, it gave me a whole another week to deal with the whole left foot thing. I ran, a little, but not much during the week, just enough to stay sane and keep me feeling like I had it in me to do a 50K. Sunday morning finally came around and I woke up at 3:45 AM, 15 minutes before my alarm was scheduled. Of course, due to the time change, this was actually a fairly normal wake up time which was nice. I ate a Clif bar, fed the dogs, drank some water and was just antsy to get in the car and leave.
I made the drive to Flintstone and found base camp fairly easily. Got my number and headed back to the car to wait since I was there pretty early. My sister called and was a little lost, fearing she wasn't going to make it in time. The busses weren't even there yet, so I told her she had plenty of time and went to get her number. Pretty soon, the sun was up and we were loading onto the busses to make our way to the start line. I have absolutely no idea where we were. I had only been to Green Ridge State Forest once before and hiked some trail but I don't think it was anywhere near the places we went for Fire on the Mountain. During the ride, I understood why this had to be postponed due to the snow/ice. These weren't really roads you'd want to be on in a school bus under icy conditions. Pretty soon, we were all assembled and we were off to make our way for a mile or so on the dirt/logging road before hitting the first trail.