I woke up the morning of the race at about 3:40am. I was feeling good and I managed to get in a decent breakfast. I left for the race around 5:15 and got there around 5:30. Thirty minutes to get set up, check in and warm up a tiny bit. It was still pretty dark out and quite humid, but it wasn’t hot. Everything was going as planned.
Loop 1 (12.5km)
The race started at 6am and I took off with Michael Daigeaun. I knew he was running the 100km but it seemed like a good idea for us to run together for a bit. It was starting to get lighter out and I could almost see the ground. By the time we had covered two miles, it was light enough to see just about everything. We had a nice pace going and I felt comfortable. I was sipping some Gen UCAN and I managed to get down a gel. First loop: 51:41
Loop 2 (12.5km)
I switched out my bottles and started the second loop. Michael and I were still running together and there was nobody else in sight. About halfway through the loop, I opened up a slight lead – maybe fifty meters or so. I had a second gel – but I had a really tough time getting it down. Somewhere after the long descent, Michael went by me and he opened up a small lead. I couldn’t tell if I was slowing down or if he was speeding up. Second loop: 53:16. Uh oh, I was slowing down. I was still on course record pace – but just barely.
Loop 3 (12.5km)
At the start of the third loop, the wheels were starting to come off the bus. I wasn’t able to get anything down and my head was spinning a bit. What the heck was going on?! I was mostly able to keep running, although I did walk a few steps on the big ascent. It was time to switch to survival mode. I knew I was still winning the 50k but Michael was out of sight in front of me and I had no idea who was behind me. Third loop: 59:49
Loop 4 (12.5km)
Before starting my final loop, I managed to have two orange slices and a cup of water. Suddenly, I felt amazing! Just kidding, I still felt like shit. I had a brief chat with Tim, the race director. It went something like:
Me: I feel like shit.
Tim: You’re dropping over my dead body.
And off I went! I was still running okay on the flats but I was reduced to a walk for some of the big hill. Thank goodness it was my last trip up that S.O.B. I made it to the top and I spotted Michael. I guess I wasn’t the only one hitting a rough patch. I’d like to say we duked it out like a scene out of Rocky. However, at that point, it probably looked more like Grumpy Old Men. As an added bonus, right around that time, it started pouring. Not a sprinkle. Not a shower. Buckets. I managed the last few miles and felt a wave of relief when the finish line came into sight. Fourth loop: 1:02:55
Final Time: 3:47:39 (1st place)
Obviously, I missed the course record. And my time was ten minutes slower than my time from last year. With that being said, I won (yay) and I managed to work through a prolonged tough patch. I can’t really identify a single factor that held me back – it just wasn’t my day. After the race, it was great to see Megan, Michele and Norah – and it was nice to chat with Tim for a minute. I was also happy to see Michael kept running – he had mentioned to me that he was considering dropping – however, he pulled it together and finished the 100km in a course record of 8:02:35. As I was leaving, my buddy Rick tried to convince me to race a 5k later that day – I decided to pass on that one 🙂
In case you missed it yesterday, Michelle won the shoe giveaway!
Full 50K results are available here.
Full 100K results are available here.
My next race will be the Virgil Crest 50-Miler on September 20th – it’s less than four weeks away. More on that in the near future!
How was your weekend?