I am going to write this blog post in two parts – first the data and then tomorrow the reflection. I think I need about 24+ hours for me to be able to fully comprehend the meaning and magnitude of the event.
The race – 690 at the start line – only 358 finished within the 30 hour cutoff time, about 52%. Think about it – the group who signs up for a 100 mile race in Leadville know what they are getting themselves into and about have still did not finish. The race was very well run – a total of ten aid stations available to support the runners and each of them better stocked and staffed than the prior. The teams working overnight were especially helpful doing just about anything you need (at mile 74 one of the volunteers gave me a quick standing backrub) –that two minutes felt like an angel had visited me on the course.
My race crew was essential to my success; Julianne, Garth and Peggy were there at every checkpoint attending to every need, food, clothing, and managing the whole race production. It would be way harder to do run the race unsupported Then there were my pacers – Garth paced me for 37 miles and Julianne for 13 miles. They made the second half of the race bearable and they kept me on track with my eating (yes a shot block or more every half hour) and clothing – just about anything to make sure that I got to the finish line in under the 30 hour cutoff. What we had not planned on was that at each aid station there was a time cutoff – if you were later than the proscribed time they pulled you from the race as they knew you would not be able to get to the finish line in time and they want to run a safe race and this is one way to do it. The pressure of getting me to every aid station with an hour to spare ultimately got me to the finish line. There really was no rest for the weary – you just had to push on.
Depending on who you ask I burned somewhere between 15-20,000 calories. I ran for almost 29 hours. I sat down only once during the race (it made me stiff to do so). We ascended and descended 18,000 feet of elevation (this was wicked hard), crossed about eight cold (34 degrees) mountain streams and one river (using a rope for the crossing). Temperature was between 37-70 degrees and we crossed Hope Pass twice at 12,600 feet. And lastly, while we can count the many blisters on our feet this does not help ease the pain nor is it fun to hear about.
There is so much more to write and to share – the other runners were all hospitable and helpful. The course was spectacular and the experience, at least at this point, a once in a lifetime experience. Stay tuned for part II – tomorrow.
Loving life after finishing a 100 running race in Leadville CO.
Joe – number 251