On January 5, 2020, I unintentionally became an ultra marathoner. My longest race to date was the NYC Marathon in November 2019. In January 2020, I felt ready and recovered to start training for a local February half marathon. I was building up mileage and decided to use a local 6-hour ultra race (Vista View 360 Ultra Marathon & Relay) as a training run. This race is held annually at a somewhat hilly park. One loop is 1.24 miles. My intent was to only run 16 miles (13 laps). I started the race and felt amazing after 10 loops (12.4 miles). I felt good enough to complete another 10 (24.8 total miles). Once I got to 20 loops, I talked myself into running 22 loops (27.28 miles) to receive the special ultra belt buckle. Finally, I reasoned that I should go for 30 miles, a new distance record. I completed a total of 32.24 miles (26 laps) that day. I surprised and amazed myself. I found a new mental strength I never knew was there. Best thing is my adult son was there to witness and share this accomplishment. Little did I know that COVID would bring life to a halt and all my 2020 marathons would be canceled. What a gift I’ll forever hold dear.