Finally Done

This is what your legs will look like on a muddy wet day at an ultra marathon

Well its over. i finally completed my 1st (& quite possibly my last) 100 mile ultra marathon.

Here are a few reflections on the day.

Finished the race in 26hrs 26mins. Wanted to go under 24hrs and was on target to do so running about 60-65 mins ahead of schedule. However somewhere in the night i started losing time on each lap, more on that later.

The day dawned clear & sunny, WAIT no it didnt in fact it rained the ENTIRE race. no joke, somehwere between drizzle and heavy long downpours. Started at 6.30 along with the 50K & 5omile runners. This made it a little confusing as i had to make sure i would ‘run my own race’ and not get sucked into keeping some crazy 50K pace & pay for it later. Felt good and comfortable as i kept a slow pace.

Was trying to run at between 14-15mins/mile which seems really slow, but hey this is 100miles. This would give me a 20 min break each lap (5 laps total) which was figure-8 course of 20miles wit 13miles on one side of the ‘8’ and 7.5 on the other. Yes the race was over 101 miles in the end. For the 1st 2 laps or 40 miles you were on your own with no pacers allowed.

after lap 2 was still feeling good, well hydrated and eating well. Peter (one of my Checkpoint Zero Team mates joined me) he paced me for the remaining three 13 mile loops and rest while Anna & Robin paced me for the 7.5 mile loops.

Time flies at these races and before we knew it darkness had descended. of course the race had really thinned out now, b/c the 50 race folks had finished. so i had gone from 3 races of over 250 people to 1 race of 80, running for 100 miles.

By now the weather was really settling in. Between the rain, cold night and now increasing wind the attrition rate was increasing with many people dropping from the race. this is where i count on my Adventure Racing experience to get me through. As a team we are all very stubborn and none of us wants to quit. i didnt think i would have to draw on this experience but did and it helped.

by the time i got to the last lap the course was a boggy mess, single track trails that were wet but not churned up on the first lap were now a 15-20foot wide chin deep boggy mess. this made Peter and i laugh at one point as we plodded through that same mud to stop at one point for me to stretch out my hips.

As i got to the last 7.5 mile loop i had announced earlier that i really wanted Robin to run this last one with me. It meant A LOT to have her there with me, for lots of reasons including putting up with long hours of training for the past 6 months, the cold night she had just spent out putting food in my mouth, changing shoes, socks as well as playing cheer leader (WE decided a few weeks back to have both have no negativity surrounding this as race as that would only make me want to quit)

Each of the 13 & 7.5 loops that made the 20 mile lap were while repeatitive they were very different in their terrain. the 13 miles was a combo of 4WD track, single track, dirt road and MUD. the 7.5 miles was a tiny bit of pavement, dirt road, hills and very muddy gully’s to run up and down.

The reality is by lap 5 (the last lap) was wasnt do hardly any running on the last 7.5. I think Robin was happy to be able to hear me say that i didnt want to run & for this one time in life she would be fast than me. by lap 4 i was losing time and knew i wouldnt beat 24hrs, but between the mud and the rain and cold it was starting to take its toll. not just on me but more evidently on the amount of people who DNF.

out of over 80 runners in the 100mile only 17 completed the course and i finished 7th. I wasnt wanting to place top 10 or anything like that, just finish the race and go under 24hrs. so 1 out of 2 is not bad, and a top 10 finish.

I’m Happy.

One has lots to think about when running for this long, and its as much a physical achievement as it is emtional and spiritual. While i am still processing it all there were several things that kept me going.

  1. My hardship of 100miles & 26+ hours is nothing compared to my people back home in Christchurch NZ, my home town
  2. i dont quit easily
  3. the thought of running that last 7.5 miles with Robin was a hug incentive. to be out there doing this for the 1st time with the woman i love, my wife. she has been though most of the training for this with me. while not physically running, but there with me every step of the way.

Now my body aches and has pain in places i didnt know i could get. deep bruises from running on stones, sore tendons in my ankles and calves. Speaking of ankles, or should i say kankles. the list goes on.

None the less very satisified i finished, got the finishers t-shirt and belt buckle. but so much than that from this experience. and more processing to come.

Would i do it again… NO!!!! and i say that confidently too. and if you want to, call me i will try to give you an un biased opinion.

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