From the Track to the Path – What the Duck

This gorgeous summer is running by faster than I can keep up, so let me backtrack to a fun event in May. After running events from the 800 to a 10K at the Senior Games, this distance runner was craving some longer miles.

Just down the road I found this fun no-stress event, the Bubbletown What the Duck Ultra presented by Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg. Bubbletown is a 12-hour ultra run (or walk) on a 1.44 mile loop in Spring Meadows Park.

The park is a great location, offering a large playground and open space for kids to play while parents literally run around in circles. Well, not strictly a circle but definitely a loop, a loop with some gentle ups and downs to keep it interesting.

I arrived just before the start and fell in at the back of the pack of about 100 runners and walkers. This event was perfect for getting in a no-fuss long run. No traffic, easy access to bathrooms, seeing friends along the way, and picking up snacks and fluids at the aid station.

I decided when signing up that I wanted to do 22 miles at a 12-minute pace. By Mile 21, I was fading. Along comes a runner beside me chatting about knowing my neighbor. So we continue to chat it up through my final loop and the conversation of course kept me on pace (thanks, Howard) to my goal finish.

So, after under 4 1/2 hours I was out of there with a long run under my belt. Speaking of belts, maybe next year I’ll go for the 36 miles (25 laps) for the What the Duck belt buckle.

If you’re looking to get in a full ultra, or just participate for a spring long run, this is a great no-hassle way to do both. I’ll be adding it to my 2023 list.

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