June 1, 2013 - Washington D.C. (technically we were in Sterling, VA but that isn't how North Face advertises it)
3:45 a.m. - why is my alarm going off...why is it so dark...what is...oh yeah...that's right...I'm about to run 50 miles. After a little breakfast and final gear check my wife drove me to the start line. There were a little over 300 folks registered for the 50 miler, which had a 5 a.m. start. Later that morning there was a 50k (7:00 a.m start) and marathon (9:00 a.m.). I had never ran an ultramarathon before and, to add to my anxiety, it was supposed to get up into the mid-90s early and stay there all day, which was well in excess of what I was acclimatized to. There were 3 "waves" separated by a minute to let us stretch out before entering the trail. I was in the last wave and at 5:03 a.m. I was off! At 5:02 a.m. I realized that my Garmin 405 failed to upload the workout I had planned to monitor my heart rate throughout the day...epic fail (although it turned out to be a good thing later on).