|Jeremy and I at the start|
|Desiree and I at the start|
I would classify this 100 as "frontier" in nature - definitely lighter on course markings and support than many ultras. The course had changed a couple of times in the final weeks leading up to the race but I had studied the maps enough I felt confident I knew where we were going. I was the unofficial "tour guide" of the three of us and we were planning on sticking together as long as made practical sense. Desiree and I were trying to make sure to stick together through 78 miles which is when we'd come off the ridge and should be pretty close to morning light.
My brother and friend Karlee had agreed to crew for me. Up until the night before the race we worked on our race plan, where they would meet us and when. Desiree had her friend Sarah crewing for her.
|Runners headed up Badger Mountain|
|Explaining to the RD the nasty winds|
|Headed back out|
|Headed into McBee - Red Mountain the background|
|Hiking up to the ridge|
|Coming into Hwy 221|
|Getting a little foot aid from Sarah who enjoyed this way too much|
|Still fresh at Lincoln Aid|
|Gearing up for the night at the turnaround|
|Karlee administering more toe aid|
|Racer and pacer ready to go|
As we started to see the Chandler Butte lights (which never seemed to get closer) I was starting to calculate times and I felt we were starting to hit the edge of the cutoff pace - we were moving to slowly. Jeremy and I pulled into Chandler Butte with Desiree and Karlee five minutes behind us. Desiree was upset - she wasn't able to move quickly and thought she was hurting our chances. We had actually made ok time - 3:17 for the nine miles - but needed to keep that pace up with minimal aid stops.
As we left Chandler Butte we had less than 11 hours to knock off 34 miles or so. I helped Desiree down the descent from aid over the rocky path. I knew she was upset and was trying to push but just didn't have much power at the moment and none of us was sure what was wrong. She wanted us to leave her and push out but we weren't doing that up on the exposed ridge. Jeremy came back to her and I got ahead with Karlee. We decided to keep the pace we needed and got to the McBee Ridge Aid (72 miles) at 5:30am. Unfortunately Desiree had gotten hypothermia during the night and was pulled off the course by the aid workers. Jeremy and I pushed forward with Karlee and got down to McBee Parking Aid (78 miles) at 7:05 am having seen a beautiful sunrise in the Horse Heavens Hills.
The Low Point
The ridge we hit next was a punishing series of up and down jeep roads much of which I found unrunnable after over 24 hours on my feet. The sun was coming out and I just wanted water. We passed by the location for the next aid station but it wasn't there. We caught a runner who was having a hard time. Once we got off the jeep trails we were running around the edges of a vineyard with crushed gravel roads which, while runnable, were not pleasant to run on. This was the low point people had talked about. I lost the impetus to move quickly and forced myself to get the group moving a couple of times but we didn't push hard or for very long. We got to a point where we lost the course markings - another property owner pulling flags is my guess - and ended up descending a driveway into a small town which was certainly off course. Jason and I knew where we were and how to get to where we needed to go but tempers were flaring and I was nearly out of fluid.
We came into Dallas Aid (mile ~84 for us by this point) at 10:24. There was no way, in my mind, that we could cover the remaining 15 miles in 5 1/2 hours - we were moving too slowly. It had just taken us 3:03 to cover maybe 10 miles. I looked at my brother and said "I think I'm done."
The Final Talley
|I'll be find right here|
Post race recovery has gone well - almost too well. I didn't have any specific pains in my legs during the run and I have felt great post run (nearly a week now). My feet were swollen but that's subsided and my blisters have gone away. I will not wear my Montrail Rogue Racers again - they just don't fit well and in fact the stitching blew out between the midsole and upper in a couple of places. I will also likely switch back to toe socks to keep the toe blisters at bay.
I feel my gear and nutrition were right on target otherwise. I had a great crew helping me out and letting me not sweat the small details during the run. My training also felt right but I'm hoping to add more miles before my next 100.
I do have to shoutout to Karlee and Jason who took time off work to follow me around on this crazy quest. They were the best and I couldn't have pulled this off without them. Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!
The ever popular question is "will I run this race again" and the answer has shifted from "hell no" during the race to "quite possibly" in my one-week post-race fuzz. We ran 12-15 miles on asphalt but if the Hwy 221 stretch can be figured out that would make the decision easier. Naturally my memories are fond now that I've completed my goal - so we'll just wait and see!