At about 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, when I saw snow dancing in the light of my headlamp, I started to cry. I was nine hours into my first 24-hour race. I was trying to see how many times I could run around a course in a park in Hainesport Township, N.J., in a day that bridged the end of last year and the start of this one.
I’d started running at 9 a.m. in the rain, and was trying to soldier on in a damp, plummeting cold.
I paid my $200 registration fee for the Hainesport Hundred and 24 Hour Endurance Run back in November, because it sounded like a good way to mark the end of a dreadful year. In that moment, in the dark, the snow didn’t feel like magic. It felt like mutiny. But I couldn’t stop moving forward. I had 15 hours to go.