On July 25, 2021, at 7:02am I started out from the upper parking lot in Stone Mountain State Park with the goal of becoming the first female to complete Stone Father. A crew of 8 provided all the assistance I could possibly need.
My first low spot arrived a lot sooner than I was expecting. The heat and humidity were intense and low electrolytes pushed me over the edge by mile 25. Getting taken down so early in the run was demoralizing. I was using the “one foot in front of the other” mentality and I hadn’t even made it through day one. I started running with a pacer at this point, much earlier than planned. It took about 20 miles, but eventually I caught up on my electrolyte consumption and the brain fog started to clear.
The aid stop at mile 50 was one of my highest points on this run. The entire crew and then some were there, the first and only time this would happen during the run. In the few miles leading up to it, I was kind of nervous. The idea of seeing all the people who were there just to support me, at a time when I was having a lot of doubts, made me feel overwhelmed. I was upset at the thought of seeing everyone who believed in me that I might let down. But once I arrived, all my insecurities vanished. It was a big pizza party and it was everything I needed to lift my spirits and reassure me that I could handle the next 50 miles. I had managed to get through one rough patch, and with their support I could handle anything else that might come my way.
We didn’t have to wait for long. Never having had stomach issues while running, I was unprepared for the stomach cramps that set in around mile 45. Unfortunately my stomach remained a mess until nearly the end of the run. We found a few things that seemed to make it more manageable, but in the end it’s a matter of figuring out what works best for me nutritionally and on this run things just didn’t click.
My highest point in the second half happened around mile 80. I was moving well and in generally excellent condition given the fact that I’d been moving for well over 24 hours with only 40 minutes of sleep. I felt more than up for the final 20 miles.
I cruised along for the next few miles, but I was gradually slowing down. By mile 90 any positive thoughts and feelings I had vanished. I had dropped to a slow walk, my feet hurt, my stomach hurt, eating sucked. I kept moving.
At 5:18pm on July 26 I exited the woods at the Grandfather Mountain State Park bathhouse, completing my Stone Father attempt. I had traversed the route in 34 hours and 15 minutes, setting the fastest known time.