November 2nd, 2019, 6am: Ultra runners assemble in the darkness for what is sure to be one of the toughest runs of the year. The 5th annual Children of the Cane Ultra Trail race begins. The weather was perfect, starting at a chilly 40 degrees and low humidity, and rising to a comfortable 70s as the sun lite the fields with it's rays of golden light. The course was a fun 20 mile loop through tall cane fields, railroad tracks, thick tree coverage, long dirt roads, and a seemingly endless stretch of levee with a view of Downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana the whole time. 8am: Runners finish their first lap of the course. The start/finish aid station is full of happy, helpful faces, warm food, snacks, and refills for hydration. There was chairs to sit in, or cots to lay on. The runners were pretty consistent with their pace and how long they spent sitting down. They had everything planned out. A change of clothes, shoes, food and medical equipment was readily available with them, and they had logistically planned every hour of their run.
11am: The tractors are ALIVE! Later in the morning the cane field workers began to plow through the rows of tall cane. The course actually ran right past it, and at some points the tractors and runners would intertwine. It was super cool and probably one of the best moments on the course. 1pm: The race continues. I had to leave early for another photoshoot, so I sadly couldn't enjoy the rest of the day, but the energy was high when I left, and the runners were strong. It ended up being a fantastic day for the runners.
Until next race.