Thursday, August 1, 2013

Angeles Crest Death March

Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run
Saturday-Sunday 21-22 July 2012

Having added bonus mileage the first time I ran AC100 and still (barely) finishing under 24 hours, I figured that I had another good shot at the under one-day buckle again, even if I ran an hour more slowly the second time.

drive down:
2010-- with Jon Gunderson, an AC veteran, his wife, Wilma and his friend who was going to help crew and pace him some.  race report
2012-- with Toshi Hosaka, an AC rookie, his wife Judy, and no additional friend

So the official drop bag deadline is noon.  I haven't yet encountered another 100 mile race that makes you drop your bags off so %*#$@! early.

What this means is that for those traveling, including those coming from the Bay Area, we have to leave early in the morning.  One I could try to preempt this by flying and renting a car, but besides cost, this is a point-to-point race, so that becomes logistically complicated since I would have to get someone to drive the car from start to finish. It is greener and more fun to carpool.

Toshi suggested 3:30 AM originally as a pick-up time at my (old) house, 15 minutes from where I live. I bargain-texted him to 4 AM.  They were running late, during which time I moved touch up paint cans that I had been using around the house to the garage.

I slept a little on the way down.

stayed at the same place
cheap and convenient-- blocks from the start

random pre-race meeting shots:
Matt Schmidt on left
mystery guy on right

with Catra Corbett and Andy Kumeda (no longer a pair)

We ate Mexican for dinner.

It is always dark at the start.  Having finished 10th two years ago despite major bonus mileage, I felt hanging near the front with the fast boys and girls at least for the pictures was appropriate...

Okay, after all those pre-race pictures, almost none of me on the course, since I didn't carry a camera.

My race in a few paragraphs:

I paced things, made sure I didn't go out too fast, remembered the spots where I second-guessed myself the year before and added bonus backtracking mileage.  I was maybe 30 minutes off last year's pace around the half way mark.  I ran out of water twice, first during the 12 mile stretch from mile 14 (Vincent Gap) to 26 (Islip Saddle), which took me almost three hours. I should have planted a hydration pack, but I guess I was lucky enough to have noticed the length of the stretch the previous day when drop bags were due-- at least I planted another bottle the last minute.  Duh-- do your prerace homework!)   The other was the Eagle's Roost to Cloudburst Summit split in the 30's that was two miles longer than I had expected-- I stupidly chose not to stop at a water fountain at the campground about a 1/3 into the split.

I was already starting to decelerate the latter part of the 3rd quarter, dropping from 31st place at mile 59 (Shortcut Saddle) to 47th place by mile 75 (Chantry Flat).

At Chantry I was approached by this guy I had never met before, looking to pace someone.  After last years navigational problems and knowing that I would have to work hard to maybe beat 24 hours, I gladly accepted, though I did warn him I had been slowing down.  His name is really long, but he told me to call him Von.

Soon after we started running, I started to get the sleepies.  I believe I downed whatever caffeinated gels or blocks I had on me.  But things started getting worse.  During the climb up to Mt. Wilson during the first few miles after the aid station), I started swerving and faltering.  By the time we finally reached the summit, I was so out of it, I had to lie down on a bench.

  • Mark Tanaka Hey, Von, I'm going to write up my 2012 AC100 report. Gonna keep it short and focus on the interesting part. I can't remember-- were you going to pace someone else and they dropped? or you just came to Chantry looking to pace someone? I can't remember. In fact, it's all a big blur. What was the story? I started to fade really fast, correct, like before we even started the big climb?
    14 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Von Borstel J. Armando Dude you were falling over! lol! falling a sleep left and right. Taking naps , 5 minute naps every mile. it was a long night. I went to chantry falls to help anyone who needed it. and i picked you up at 330am there at Chantry

I must have apologized a million times-- although Von was altruistically looking to help a runner get to the finish, I also knew he was also planning on getting a decent nighttime workout.  Flashback to my first Headlands Hundred, when Jonathan Gunderson impromptu started pacing me at mile 75, and then I soon crumped.   I kept telling Von he could go ahead or find someone else to pace if I was moving too slowly, but he stuck with me.  Let's be superstitious-- maybe it is a curse.  Either I need to actively seek pacing help ahead of time, or, if you want to ever offer to pace me, I suggest we start anywhere EXCEPT mile 75, or do so at your own risk....

The one thing nice about my falling apart like that-- we got to see that whole final section of the course in the daylight.  Two years earlier I ran it all in the dark.  There is some sweet, kick-ass scenery we enjoyed.  It did get hot too.  So Von, if he didn't get to practice running in the dark, did get some heat training.

By the way, Von is running his first AC100 this weekend.  Buena suerte, amigo!

I was able to pick up the pace a bit and pass several runners for a net gain of 9 places during the last 10 miles, but still almost 7 hours slower than my first time.

Here are my split times (clock time) and overall place.
link from my split page from the live webcast site


CheckpointTime InTime OutPlace
Inspiration Point06:5706:5730
Vincent Gap07:4407:4833
Islip Saddle10:4210:4739
Eagles Roost11:4911:5738
Cloudburst Summit14:0014:0634
Three Points15:0815:1433
Mount Hillyer Trail16:3716:4731
Shortcut Saddle19:5620:1531
Newcomb Pass22:4623:3644
Chantry Flat01:3302:0647
Idlehour Trail06:1406:2054
Sam Merrill Trail08:3609:0262
Millard Canyon10:4010:4558

With my loyal pacer, Von Borstel J. Armando, from the San Diego area.  Gracias otra vez!

The other advantage of running crappily the second time around-- I get a different buckle for my collection.

sub-24 buckle from 2010
the regular finisher's buckle from 2012
not yet earned: 2nd Sunrise buckle, though hard to time
Hey, I guess I DID get the bighorn sheep on a buckle that they don't give you at Bighorn 100.  Nonetheless, I will put my name in for Hardrock 100 again this winter.

drive back:
2010: brunch with Billy Yang, who dropped me off at Burbank Airport, flew into Sacramento, picked up by wife, week with friends at Tahoe (race by the way, was at the end of August that year.  dates keep getting moved)
2012: family in the Midwest for the month, so no rush to get back.  drove back with Toshi and Judy.

Toshi and Judy wanted to catch some dumplings so we ended up going to a Taiwanese/Shanghainese place in Arcadia, Din Tai Fung.  Toshi had killed his AC100 debut, despite not being able to keep ANYTHING down for the last 25 mile, still coming in 6th (literally holding hands with Jimmy Dean Freeman, wearing black cap in photo below.)

woman looking at you-- Keira Henninger, women's winner
her man, Jesse Haynes bottom right
This most awesome effort took its toll.  Toshi was still feeling sick and nauseated as we sat down.

As the 53rd finisher (30:44), I told him to toughen up and smile for the damn camera and eat something.   The food was awesome!  Really hit the spot.

GPS recordings (didn't try to do record the 3rd quarter, battery ran out during the last quarter)

results (125 starters, 75 finishers)

Thanks to all the volunteers-- you were all great!


Olga King said...

You're catching up, and scared me I thought you already ran AC100 last weekend? Actually went to the website to see results...Falling asleep is a monster that's hard to fight, indeed. Not remembering much on your pacer was kind of funny in a non-offensive way:)

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Hi, Olga! -- TRT was two weekends ago. AC this year is this weekend. By the way, your race from 2009 is on the catch-up list (after which I hope to put out shorter but more timely reports.) I figure I can publish it right before Mountain Lakes 100, since the same weekend. Hundred in the Hood resurrected!

Olga King said...

Sounds great! You have a break in your ER schedule? :)

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

On the contrary, squeezed a lot of extra shifts into July to make up for the first days off for a JMT speed hike and 4 off for TRT. My family was out of town still the week after TRT, and since I don't do tons of running right after a 100 miler, I thought I'd try to catch up on blogging. Got into the habit more of working a little at a time. Once I get way behind, the incentive to work goes down precipitously. So I am using anniversaries of races as an excuse to get them out, if that make sense.

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

"first 8 days of July off for JMT" I meant. so no vacation used!