Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Where's Waldo 100 km

I got my Waldo hat!

This was my first race over 50 km (31.1 miles) and my first run over 45 miles long. I knew it was going to be challenging especially since my long training had suffered recuperating from my ankle injury pacing Ronda at Western States.
My goals were to finish and to stick to my pacing and fueling plan. I did just that.

The race starts at 5:00 am with the first 7.4 mile leg to Gold Lake up the Perseverance ski run of Willamette Pass Ski resort. It was dusty and busy with the 100 or so runners heading up the road to getting onto the single track trail. I was climbing well and ensuring to not run too hard to save for the later stages of the race. It got pretty busy on the trail so it was hard to run your own pace in this early stage but it was likely good to be kept slower on the first real downhill. I started out with a gel at about 40 minutes into the race...the first of MANY. Drinking as well :-)
Hit the Gold Lake aid station in 1:21.

Next we start climbing to Mt Fuji. Casual, eating every 20 minutes and drinking. Feeling strong. Hit the aid station after 5 miles with a 1:02 split..about 3 minutes ahead of pace.
Now it is time to climb as you summit Mt Fuji (7144'). During the whole race I was really happy with my climbing. I made the summit in 21 minutes and then really had fun on the way down. I was slightly careful with the ankle but not too much. Back at Fuji aid with 2.5 more miles completed in 35 minutes.

I made some good time to Mt Ray aid station cruising the downhills and sticking strictly to eating a gel every time my watch beeped off the 20 minutes. Man, I learned to hate that watch..."There is NO way it has already been another 20 minutes and time to eat again!!!". But it worked. No real energy lows or bonking for the entire race!
I reached Mt Ray after 5.6 miles where Trisha and the kids waved as I trekked through after 58 minutes.

When I did the relay in 2004, the next section to the Twins aid station was less than fun. There are lots of places that are runnable but with 20 miles in the legs you really start to re-evaluate what is runnable! I did better this year but still walked more than I should have. Made the 6.6 miles to the Twins in 1:25.

After the Twins you head up with the promise of a nice downhill cruise to Charlton Lake aid. As well, I knew that Trisha and the kids would be there to greet me. I did OK on the climbing and almost enjoyed the downhill to the lake. This is where I started to realize that I was going to make it through this thing. But also at this time I thought of how great it would be to finish with just a 50km! Into Charlton after 4.9 miles and 56 minutes for a total time of 6:17 at 32.5 miles.

Past half way through the race I was 13 minutes ahead of my goal and feeling good about the rest of the race.

Down to Road 4290 I was slower than planned. I think some of it was just getting tired but also it was the most exposed hot section of the course for me and I just have plain not trained in heat this summer. Made it to the aid after 5.2 miles in 1:05 and about 8 minutes ahead of pace.
Drank a Red bull, ate a protein bar and I picked up Trisha's shuffle at this aid station. Plugged in the tunes...I liked the boost!

The music really helped me with keeping a good pace on the power walking. Jars of Clay "Dead Man, Carry Me" worked really well up to the Twins (7362') and to the aid station again. Power walked and ran my way for 7.5 miles in 1:42 keeping 8 minutes ahead of pace. I really was happy to see that Trisha and the kids had made the 1.5 mile hike into the aid station to boost me onto the next section. They even were offered aid by the volunteers :-)

I ran the 5.2 miles well down to Maiden Peak making it in 1:03. Still fueling every 20 minutes with gels and still drinking. I was even eating peanut butter sandwiches at every aid station now for some protein.

Ok...everyone is known to exaggerate. I had heard the stories about the climb to Maiden Peak (7818'). I thought the runners were taking a little liberty with their tales. Nope...pretty much the most brutal straight up the mountain climb I have ever done. Haven't these people heard of switch backs!! Throw in a few false summits just to keep everything interesting. I did climb well though and passed a number of people in this section. My ankle did come into play after summiting as I had to go slower on the first downhills of the scary Leap of Faith trail...again no harm in a few switchbacks guys! Made the next checkpoint after 5.1 miles and 1:28.

One more section of 7.5 miles to the finish. I knew it was supposed to be nice downhill cruising trail to the finish. I was tired but I also knew I had a really good chance to stick my plan and make it under 13 hours. Back to using the tunes and I pushed as much as I could to the Rosary Lakes. Flat sections were no longer my friends and I hated it every time the trail would flatten out and slow me down. Seeing Cian M ahead of me helped to keep me moving and I covered the last section in 1:28.

I finished the 100km in 12:54:31.
I did 11000 feet of climbing and as many feet of descending.
Very happy with maintaining my pace and fueling.
Really don't know if I want to do anything longer or even this distance again.
I am really looking forward to racing at McKenzie River 50km.

Craig and Curt put on an outstanding race with a tough, beautiful course with amazing aid stations and volunteer. I mean, at 45 miles into the race I had a slushie!!! given to me by the volunteers who had hiked the food into the aid station. Awesome! Clif Bar stepping up and providing gels and bloks at every aid station was great. It was also really cool to see the super strong Masters runners pounding the trail for the national 100 km trail championship. It is always fun to see my ultra running friends.

The postscript to the race resulted in me receiving an IV. My stomach simply refused to keep anything down after I finished. After puking a couple of times, in went the needle and everyone was happy again. The first aid support was another first class part of the race. But also another reason to stick to 50 kms :-)

We had fun the day before and after camping at Odell Lake. We highly recommend checking out Crescent Lake for a great day at the beach up in the mountains.


olga said...

Don't you ever scary people like that:) but hey, I've seen enough of that at races and back in days working at hospital, so I don't freak out anymore. I think you ran a fabulous time there! Now recover well and get ready for the speedy course of McKenzie, but don't forget to drink more than 1.5 bottles of water!

Rooster said...

Great job Darin but what's this talk of 50K's were getting Trisha ready for crewing you at WS100M! Rest up and forget that talk speedy :)

Brian Eberly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Eberly said...

I'm outta breath, sore, and think I'll get a drink of water now! Whew!!