Sunday, October 11, 2009

100 In The Hood

I'm terrible at maintaining this blog.....just seem to never find the time to write -- jungling long hours at work, family, training, etc.

Overall, I had a pretty good race. It was a great course and had perfect conditions the entire day. This is what I remember of the race as I've written this race report over the past several weeks. Sorry for the length....

The first 28 miles (North out & back) went smoothly. Spoke with Yassin (who just moved from the East coast to Portland) for a few miles in the dark....nice guy. Even though I was going faster than I would have liked, I was feeling great. If I remember correctly, I came into the AS at mile 28 in 4hrs 10min. My father-in-law who was crewing me had my gear bag open and ready for me....thanks! I was in and out pretty quick.

I hadn't run the Southern portion of the course and so all of it was new. About 2 miles out of the 28 mile AS, the trail crossed into the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. I was still feeling strong and all systems were a go! I was eating and fueling properly. I had been running for awhile and thought I should have come upon the mile 33 Red Wolf Pass AS....but it never came. I was getting low on liquid and not sure how far I had to the next AS, I dipped one of my handhelds in the Warm Springs River (or Creek).

At about mile 36, Ray Sanchez passed me. We talked briefly. He held a consistent pace no matter the level of terrain and soon he was around the next bend in the trail and was gone. I came upon an AS and sure was the Warm Springs AS at mile 38.5. I filled both handhelds with NUUN, grabbed some licorce and gels and I was gone. My legs were feeling a little sluggish but I wasn't too concerned.

The next 20 miles were a blur. Within 1-1.5hrs out of the Warm Spring AS, I ran out of water. I was expecting to see aid stations at miles 44.4 & 48.5 but they never came. After the minutes flew by and having not arrived at one of the aid stations (or seeing another runner), I became concerned that I was off course (since I was maintaining a consistent pace of about 5 miles/hr). It was around noon that I ran out of water and by 1:00pm, I had slowed to a crawl and hurting badly. It must have been around mile 54ish that Tom Ederer passed me - about 1:30pm. I asked him if he had seen any aid since mile 38.5 and if I recall correctly, he hadn't either. He offered me some S-caps and water......and just about this same time, we came upon a spring. Thank you God!! I downed 2, 16oz bottles of water, 2 salt tabs and 2 or 3 endurolytes. We figured we would come upon the turnoff to Ollalie Meadows CG AS at mile 55 in just a few minutes. I could regroup and pickup my pacer - Angela - who was going to run with me till mile 75. Tom and I chatted just for a few minutes at the spring and he took off. Within 10 minutes or so, I came upon Tom, Yassin!! and previous race director of McDonald Forest 50K - Clem. Clem was a helping out at the Ollalie Lake AS (mile 58.6). Yassin wasn't looking good. He was limping from a bummed knee and, he too was severly dehydrated. None of us saw the turnoff to the AS at mile 55. The 4 of us chatted for a few minutes. Tom then took off. I walked/ran with Yassin for a mile or so. I stepped aside as Yassin's knee felt better by going at a slow, steady pace. He too was gone.

I struggled the last few miles to mile 58.6. I was severly dehydrated, hungry and was mentally at a low point (one of my worst moments). I sat down in a chair and leaned back and thought...."What the hell am I doing here!?" The volunteers at this AS were great. Tia - who was from Corvallis - was awesome. She continually asked me to eat and drink. I ate a range of foods and drinks. I wasn't certain how Orval, Brian and Angela were going to meet up with me. Justin Angle said as I was leaving the AS, "Keep it together. Continue drinking and eating and you'll bounce back."

I must have looked like crap at Ollalie Lake AS. I was no more than a mile or so out when Tia came bouncing up behind me and said, "Need a pacer?" I was like, "Sure!!" (very surprised). With my state of mind, I would've been crazy to refuse! Running with another ultra maniac, you get to know the other individual pretty quick. It was a pleasure getting to know Tia. She had some stellar races this past year and is eager to get into the 50/100mile ultras. (Tia, you'll do awesome at those distances.....and BTW, I hope you enjoyed those beers waiting for you back at the AS!) At the Breitenbush AS (mile 65), I saw Orval for the first time since mile 28 and the first time seeing Brian and Angela. It was sure good to see familiar faces. I downed a RedBull and few bites of food. I was grateful to Angela for being flexible and changing her plans to pace me from mile 75 to the finish. This would be her first time pacing and her first time "running" in the dark.

At Ollalie Meadows Camp Ground AS (mile 75) - which I pulled in right around 1845 - Angela was ready to go. I downed another RedBull, a few cookies, a Rice Krispie Treat and some drinks. I may have been there for about 10ish minutes. Just before leaving, I gave Tia a big hug, thanked her again, and Angela and I took off for the final stretch.

These last 25 miles went by fast at times.....and at other times painfully slow. However, it truly was nice to have Angela running with me these last miles and great getting to know her.

A pain developed in my left chin that at times became unbearable and would stop me in my tracks. The only food that look palatable during these last miles was Rice Krispie Treats, red licorce and Sharkies (thanks Angela!). I was passed by a number of runners who were flying!! The last 4 miles turned into 6.5. I thought the finish was never going to arrive. It did finally come and I crossed it in 20:57:33. Good enough for 15place. My fastest 100 miler by over 8 hours. Gave all my crew a hug. Gave Olga a hug. I stumbled to the car with the help of Brian -- belt buckle in hand.

Thanks to all the volunteers for their help - especially Tia. Yes, there were some mistakes made in the timing of the Aid Stations getting setup and directions to the Aid Stations for crews. After having time to think about these mistakes the days following the race........I came to realize that we all (racers, crew, volunteers, etc) should expect glitches like these to occur in a race's inaugural year. So congrats to Olga and Mike for putting on a great race. See Olga's blog: . I truly appreciate her honesty.

Thanks to Brian and Orval for crewing me. For Angela running those last miles with me. Couldn't have done it without you 3! And finally to my entire family for supporting me in this endeavor of mine running these long races.

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