2013 H.U.R.T. 100

2013 H.U.R.T. 100

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cactus Rose 100 2014

The game plan and the pre race routine was the same this year.  Put up as good of a time that the day will allow and see where that puts me.  One thing was different this year though.  No crew/pacers.  I did away with pacers last year but still had Kelly crew me, but this year I was on my own.  Kelly has really liked trail running this past year and she was on a relay team.  I wanted her to concentrate on her race and have zero obligations to help me with mine.  if she wanted to come to some aid station to see me she was more then welcome but I had it set up to get my own stuff at the aids. 

before the start
The forecast leading up to the race didn't look good.  I knew with the heat index being mid 90's that I couldn't be too hard on myself with my splits and overall finish time.  I knew it was going to be a slower year.  we started out on loop one and everything felt good.  it was about 65 degrees and we started off at about the same pace as always flying through mile 10 nachos at about 1 1/2 hours.   I knew before the race that I had two main people to watch out for.  Lorenzo and Pompilio.  I've never met Pompilio and I don't know very much about his running.  All I knew was that he was ahead of me at mile 51 at the Mogollon Monster last month when it got cancelled.  I knew Lorenzo is a solid runner and we have very similar styles and game plans.  Lorenzo is extremely nice and I looked forward to sharing miles with him.  the rest of loop one was pretty uneventful and Lorenzo and I ran almost the entire thing together coming in at 4:11.  that was the fastest I've ever done loop one.  I've come in around 4:15 the past three years in a row.

Loop 2 started and things were the same.  to my surprise, I passed pompilio at mile 27 at the bottom of cairns.  he didn't look good.  I knew something  wasn't right.  I saw Kelly on top of Boyles bump going the opposite way and she looked good and said she was having fun.  I was so relieved to hear that especially since this was her longest run to date.  at around mile 38 (ice cream hill) Lorenzo and I were beginning to feel the heat.  Things started to slow down and my stomach went south.  I couldn't tell if I was dehydrated or off on electrolytes.  I experimented and took a salt pill.  we remained together until mile 45 aid station.  I started feeling a tad better and I left before him.  I ran a pretty solid section into the lodge and came in at 9:06 clock time.  Kelly was there and I saw Lorenzo come in not too far behind me.

Coming into mile 55

I left for my third loop not knowing that I wouldn't run with anybody again for the rest of the race.  I kept looking over my shoulder but little did know that it was pointless.  loop three was an interesting loop.  I never felt like death but I never had a high like I normally do at some points during this race.  my stomach still hurt and I was getting frustrated because I still couldn't figure out if I needed more water or less water or more salt or less salt.  I have a very simple routine with gu's and I don't stray from it. this was a very slow loop for me but my legs still felt great.  I was able to run anytime I wanted but my stomach would always cut those runs short and I would have to walk it off for a minute. once the stomach felt better I would do it all over again.  my original gameplan was to have my handheld flashlight at the lodge and pick it up at 75.  on loop 1 I made a smart decision knowing it was going to be a slower year and saved my headlamp for mile 70 incase I couldn't make it to the lodge in the daylight.  thank god I did that because on top of cairns it got dark, very dark.  it was a new moon so I had zero help from the moon.  I flipped on the headlamp for the first time ever and saw my first tarantula of the race on a rock right where I was about to put my hand to pull myself up one of the ledges.  coming into the lodge my stomach got even worse. 

I left for loop four at around 14:50.  about 30 minutes slower then last year and almost 1 1/2 hours slower then 2012.  this year the heat kicked my ass.  my stomach was so jacked up that I was on the verge of throwing up and I have never thrown up during a race.  I was yawning and my eyes were heavy.  all I could think about was how bad I wanted to sleep.  But quitting wasn't an option.  I have never quit a race even though I have felt much worse then this.  I was in first and I had a 500 mile jacket waiting for me after this final loop.  I stayed focused and turned things around after a couple miles.  I started feeling better and saw 2nd place right after that.  I knew my lead was over an hour but that means nothing in a 100.  I started feeling good enough to know that if I kept it up there would be no way he would catch me.  I laid down some good miles and it wasn't all that bad.  I was able to run all the runnable stuff really well and my energy levels were great.  at the start of loop 4 I made my new goal sub 21 and stayed focused on that.  I made new goals for each aid station.  my new handheld flashlight and head lamp were working great.  I could see markers glowing a mile away.  I came into nachos at 19 hours and which was about 5 minutes off if I wanted a sub 21.  every other year at this race, the last 10 miles sucked.  I struggled big time to run the runnable stuff and the sections felt like eternity.  this year my stomach settled down and my legs felt great.  at this point I had zero hot spots on my feet and zero chaffage.  I dread this section big time but this year it wasn't all that bad.  I ran pretty much everything that should be run and came in with a normal split.  I saw Kelly again at mile 95 for the final time.  she was happy to see I was feeling good (unlike last year) and I told her I would see her at the finish.  I've been thinking about this moment for years.  This is the fourth year in a row that I've been after a major goal at this race and/or the win.  I've come up short every year placing 3rd.  This final section was special though.  I was feeling great so running was very enjoyable and I had a 1st place trophy and a 500 mile jacket waiting on me.  I missed 21 hours and came in at 21:08 and was happy to be done. 

I've thought about this moment for so long that I couldn't believe it happened.  this year was definitely a slow year.  I never imagined that a 21 hour would win it, but the heat was a killer.  I had no clue where 2nd place was and Kelly and I hung out for 1 1/2 - 2 hours but I couldn't stay awake any longer.  it turns out I probably left right as he was coming in.  I am extremely proud of Kelly for doing so well at her race.  25 miles is a long way to go especially on such rugged terrain.  She met me at just about every aid station after mile 50 to show support.  it was such a fun weekend and the people of trail running is what keeps us coming back for more.  huge thanks to joe and the team for putting this race together once again for us to all come out and suffer.