2018 Blackwater 50K is in the books!

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is a travel enthusiast, empty-nest mom to two young adult children, athlete, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife of almost three decades (to the same wonderful man!), and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. Kristen has been crafting professional estate plans for Floridians and their families for over 28 years.

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Crossing finish line at Blackwater 50K.jpgThree crazy ladies getting to cross the finish line at the 2018 Blackwater 50K

“Come on, ladies. Let’s run this into the finish line.”


My left hip, knee, and calf screamed, “No!”


I had been nursing my left leg for the last eight miles. I was having to walk more but didn’t want to slow down my crazy compadres.


I remembered reading that ultra running is 90% mental. Right about now, it sure felt like ultra running was 90% physical!  


Mind over matter, I repeated to myself. You can do this. No matter how it feels, your leg is NOT going to fall off. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You’ve prepared for this. Now just finish it.


The final stretch to the finish line was uphill so of course we walked it (most runners walk up the hills especially the last half of the race). Then another 50 yard straight away across the parking lot to the finish line.


Since we knew we had already made the cutoff time, it was very tempting to walk across the parking lot but Crazy Jessica was having nothing of it.


So, clasping hands, I’d love to say we sprinted to the finish line but it was more of a slow trot.


We did it! We finished with 45 minutes to spare on our 9 hour cutoff time. Plus, leave it to Crazy Amy to point out that we actually ran 52.2K (that’s 32.45 miles!), not a “measly” 50K. 

Our planning and preparation paid off. As much as I hurt at times throughout the race, I reminded myself that we had trained for this and all three of us had run through discomfort and even pain before.


We had experimented on our multiple training runs over the last four months with nutrition, electrolytes, hydration, gear, clothing, shoes, and technology.


But what we did not have an opportunity to train for was the unseasonable heat and humidity. I personally struggled with dehydration the entire race.


At the first twinge of a calf cramp at mile 14, I asked Jessica who was running behind me, “Can you hand me a mustard packet out of my pack?” Another ultra runner had told me that mustard helps with muscle cramps. I sucked it down. It seemed to help some. Although it may have been in my head but who cares if you believe it. Mind over matter, right?


Although the cramping was new, I trusted our training and preparation. We had learned to roll with whatever our bodies or the universe had thrown our way so far so why should today be any different? 


Never once did it enter my mind that we would not finish the race. Nor did it ever cross my mind that we would not finish before the cutoff time.


With so much training and preparation, it was almost a “fait accompli” that we would finish the race with time to spare.


I concentrated on running to the next landmark on the race course. Fortunately most of our training runs were on sections of the course so I could visualize it.


Two more miles until we pop out of the woods at Peaden Bridge Road. Our husbands will be waiting at the aid station for us.


We’re coming up on a river log crossing soon and a boardwalk. That will be my chance to walk.


The farmer’s field is coming up on our right. 


“Are we almost to the next aid station yet?,” Amy asked.


“We still have another mile or so to go. We haven’t even made it to the enchanted forest yet,” I replied. (We had names for sections of the course.)


“Mother Trucker,” Crazy Amy muttered.


I truly believe our meticulous planning for almost every contingency is what carried us through the 50K (52K!) race with time to spare.


So it is with one’s Family Succession Planning. The devil is always in the details.


  • Is the titling of ownership on your financial accounts and real estate correct?
  • Are your beneficiary designations on financial accounts, life insurance, and retirement plans current? Do you have both primary and contingent beneficiaries named?
  • Do you know if your assets will need to go through probate when you die?
  • Do you know without a shadow of a doubt who a judge would appoint to raise your children if you are not here to raise them yourself?
  • Have you legally named people you trust to make financial and medical decisions for you should you become incapacitated?

These are all questions that need to be addressed in advance before emergency strikes.


We address all of these issues at our Family Succession Strategy Sessions which you can reserve online here for only $197.


I’ve never been so happy to see my husband before as I was at the finish line. He and Crazy Amy’s husband were taking photos and cheering us on.


We did it!


But please don’t remind me about the Pikes Peak 50K we registered for this summer.


Let me instead bask in our post-race “glory” for a while.


And learn to walk again without a hitch in my step.


Kristen “Now a Bonafide Ultrarunner” Marks


P.S. You can view more photos from the race on our Facebook page. Please Like our page if you visit!

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