Friday, September 27, 2013

Hundred in the Hood, the One and Only Running

PCT Ultra Hundred in the Hood 100-Mile Endurance Run
Saturday-Sunday 26-27 September 2009

1:  this exact race no longer exists, but large portions have been resurrected this year (2013) during the same last weekend of September at the Mountain Lakes 100.  (I hope to run that one before too long.)
2:  I don't really expect anyone to read a rambling report about a race that happened 4 years ago and no longer exists that I am publishing now because I spent all this time over the past few years writing it, but, you never know....

Rick Gaston's slickly designed logo (on the long-sleeved tech shirts)

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, in September of 2008, I was looking for a replacement 100-mile run to replace the cancelled 2009 Angeles Crest 100 . With the help of several great colleagues at work, and the generous permission and understanding of my wife, I was able to get out or switch out of the last 10 1/2 hours of my 18 hour phone shift the day before the race, as well as sick call coverage for both ED's the day of, so that I could run the inaugural Pacific Crest Trail Ultra Hundred in the Hood trail race south of Mount Hood in western Oregon.

As one could expect for a start-up, there were quite a few glitches; at times many of us runners were cursing the race directors. But in the end, it was all worth it. I think all the runners had a great time, and the directors and volunteers are to be applauded and thanked for putting on such a great race experience with BONUS CHALLENGES.

Due to less elevation change and one additional week of recovery time (though still not enough time), I finished Hood much faster than I would have expected to finish Angeles Crest.  For the first time in two years (in fact, just a few days over two years), I was able to finish a hundred mile race in under 20 hours (in fact, just a couple minutes under 20 hours).  I completed my "tri-tri" goal of finishing an Ironman distance triathlon followed three 100-mile trail races in 8 weeks. (It was originally going to be within 7 weeks, the 100 milers 3 weeks apart, the first one week after the tri.  But close enough-- this wasn't significantly less stupid.)

making it to the race

Everything was tight.  I logged off my computer working my phone shift from home at 1:30. I had seen an hour before on the live traffic website, but luckily it had cleared. I even had a 6:50 pm Southwest flight originally booked as backup, in case I missed the 3:30 pm flight, but I made it easily. All my race supplies and clothes were packed into a carry-on, to prevent lost baggage from ending my race before it began.

I was surprised I could walk to the car rental office from the Portland terminal. Since I didn't think I'd have to sleep in the car, I downgraded to a Yaris. A few miles out of the airport, the Garmin Nuvi GPS I had brought from home went out, so I called the rental office, who offered me another car with a working elecrical outlet if I drove back. However, I realized it was getting late and would be short on sleep enough already, so I drove on, stopping at a Safeway to grab some portable food. The directions were good, and I missed the final turnoff Highway 26 only because I was spacing out. About 12 cars parked along the roadside confirmed I was at the right place. I asked a couple in a pickup truck and the volunteer manning radio control where I was supposed to go. Apparently official camping was miles away, but I was already way too sleepy, so I decided to illegally set up my portable tent in the woods atop a bed of some springy plants near the start.

my old tent.  I have since upgraded with several newer, higher performance models.
As it turned out, an unfriendly ranger saw this setup the next day-- it's possible that I killed this race in its infancy-- whoops! :(
Race start was an early and evil 5 a.m., but I woke up around 4 needing to use the bathroom. Absolutely no line for any of the four Porta-potties-- in fact I got to to take my pick!  RD Olga Varlamova gave me my race number, which was 60 more than the 121 listed on the race website, so I spent a few minutes changing all the 2s to 8s on my drop bags. No time anyways to move my luggage to my car, so I stashed it in my tent.

I missed the beginning of Olga's talk, but asking others, learned that because the course stays almost exclusively on the already marked Pacific Crest Trail, there were minimal course markings, except some turn off around Olallie (mile 50 something?), and at the very end. Not hearing this myself made me a bit anxious later.

I realized I had gloves for later in the race, but not at the beginning, and it was freezing! (Apparently 35 degrees, no wonder I was so cold.) Co-race director Mike "Bushwhacker" lent me an extra pair ("I thought someone might need some")-- nice thinking, Mike! My nose running from the cold, I would blow them on the gloves, which I felt bad about when I returned them to him post-race.

start to mile 28

Olga started the race, and we ran out with our headlamps onto the road and quickly turned left onto the Pacific Crest Trail for a (relatively) short out-and-back, 14 miles each way. Two guys shot out ahead. In spite of my own intentions and expectations not to run out front, I ended up running behind them. Soon, I was talking and running with Ray Sanchez, who usually tries to race every week, but for a chance was rested. I also meet Tom Ederer, who like Ray and I, had been registered for the cancelled AC100 so chose this as a subsitute.

Ray finishing Firetrails 50 two weeks later

Tom was nice, but several times a mile he would let out the most nasty-smelling flatulence.  The silent, deadly kind for which you had no warning.  Ray and I were dying, but neither of us wanted to push our pace enough to get in front of Tom.  No idea what he'd eaten last night.  If this was an intentional cutthroat competitive ploy, Tom, you are evil and should be barred from further competition!

Some nice views of Mt. Hood running back.

At the 28 mild aid station (close to the start and finish), I dumped my jacket and light, but forgot to pick up my visor and I hastily dumped my loaner gloves too fast.

I finally lubed up at the aid station. Then, even though it was 9:15 in the morning, I put the small headlamp I stashed in my drop bag around my waist. Why? Because when I had noticed on the race website that "lights required." I was stupid enough to ask Olga about his by email, who replied that she would be checking, and then doubly stupidly I complied.

miles 28-58

It was supposed to be 4.9 miles to the next aid station, Red Wolf Pass. I knew that my Garmin Forerunner tends to lose reception in the deep woods, so when my lap distance hits 5 miles, I started to get nervous. Also, I deliberately swallowed a gel at about mile 4.5 in anticipation of more liquid soon. Another half mile-- and still, no aid station. Finally I saw this guy holding what I think is some radio. I ask him "Where's the aid station?" He tells me "Keep going straight." Note, he doesn't tell me "Sorry there is no aid station, keep going straight." He tells me "Keep going straight" as if there were an aid station straight ahead. I keep running, the trail turns, I start descending, still no aid station. Eventually, I figure out, there is no aid station. With my empty bottle I start to get nervous.

A couple miles later, I came to a fire road. The single track PCT crosses many fireroads, and it was obvious that you should just cross them. However, here, there was no trail immediately across the road. I looked up and down the fireroad and saw no arrows or ribbons. Phuck. I'm starting to get pissed off at Olga. I stopped, look back, to see or hear if anyone is behind me, worried I made a wrong turn. I decided finally to turn left. After running 100 yards or so, I saw no ribbons, then decided to check the other direction. Luckily, I saw a small trail on the left with a very inconspicuous ribbon. I felt irritated at the uncertainty and fear, and the time lost.  I later met another runner who lost more time than I at the same crossing.

My mouth became parched and having run over 35 miles, I started to feel my energy reserves dwindling. I had another gel in my pocket, but without anything to wash it down, feared it will get me sick. A few runners passed me. They weren't happy about the missing aid station either, but they were both carrying two bottles. One guy offered me a little swig of his almost empty second bottle. I hesitated, but took it, worried then that this constituted muling and could get me disqualified. Increasingly I was feeling weaker and weaker. I felt like I'm going to hit the wall soon, like I did at Lake Sonoma. Finally, I saw the aid station tent (mile 38.5), a true oasis in the desert of imminent bonking. The Duncan family was so nice (photos below courtesy of Sarah Duncan from her blog), the pumpkin bread delicious.  They told me they wouldn't have been ready had they not arrived an hour earlier than they were told.  (Whoa, thanks for NOT following instructions!)  I spent extra time replenishing.

Having ingested extra food to make up for my depleted calories, I had to set out more slowly. I eventually corrected myself, but not before a couple more runners passed me. We all have fun bitching about the missing aid station and thinking of ways to kill Olga.

One of those who passed me was David LaDuc, whom I'd met at Redwood earlier that summer, in this photo pacing a friend at the Golden Hills Trail Marathon two weeks later

At Pin Heads, we were told there was no Lemiti Creek aid station. This sucked, but at least we're told this ahead of time. Since I only had one bottle, I expressed my dismay, but a volunteer gave me an extra bottle (he had a bunch). No convenient Ultimate Direction holder, but I gladly accepted it. I'd only have to carry it 10 1/2 miles-- or so I thought.

What ended up happening is another "this-can't-be-right moment."  I was looking at my Garmin Forerunner, it was 11, then 12 miles for the split, and no aid station.  I got nervous, stopped, started looking at side trails. Finally, a Greg from Utah caught up with me, expressed the same frustration, and we ran together, bottles dry, and unhappy about the situation.

Greg Norrander from Utah

As it turned out, no one had marked the turn off from the main Pacific Crest Trail to the aid station, so the first 20 or so runners, Greg and me included, missed the turn off.  Although this effectively cut our total distance, the strain on our bodies from dehydration, underfueling, the mental stress, and the wavering on the trail, may well have cost us the saved 10-15 minutes.

The total stretch from the last aid station ended up being more than 14 miles.

miles 58- 75

The next ascent was fairly technical and steep going up, triggering some dormant left knee pain I'd been having earlier that year.

I saw the leaders coming the other way back from the turnaround, and I was delighted to see fellow Californian Ray Sanchez in the lead. Runners 2 through 6 were not much farther behind.

At the Breitenbush aid station turnaround, after wasting a few minutes looking for it, I couldn't find my drop bag, a small Gap bag (chosen since it probably wouldn't come back to the finish before I had to leave the next morning). It has the detachable belt portion of a Fuel Belt pack I won as part of the race series 3 years ago, along with my iPod Nano, 3 spare rechargeable batteries, and a packet of Vespa which I got at the end of Lake Sonoma.  A volunteer goes back to the truck and after a few minutes, comes back with it.

Descending the technical part, despite slowing to a walk, in a feat of extreme coordination, I manage to trip, and completely wipe out, and I'm covered with dirt, abrasions and embarrassment in front of myself.

Despite being told the turn-off that we missed the first time is obvious, I'm still paranoid about missing the turn-off, and actually go over a branch blocking another trail before figuring out that it's not it. When I get to the correct intersection, it's obvious since a volunteer is there sitting in a chair in a roped off area.

The trail is mostly downhill to the aid station. I put on my headlamp, Firetrails 50 windshirt, and the earbuds of my Nano. But I decide the rest of the pack and my fleece vest are overkill, along with the spare headlamp I've been carrying around my waist for the past 48 miles.

mile 75 to the finish (about mile 101)

I'm pretty sure no one passed me the last 25 miles.
It helped having my tunes on.
I start making calculations in my head about what I need to do to finish both under 19 hours, which would keep my race all on Saturday, and 20 hours, which is, well, 20 hours. Which gets me confused, since they are an hour apart.
No aid at Lemiti Creek. I do see a some large bottles of water, but I can make it without filling up.
After Pin Heads (mile 85.6), my lights starts to dim. In spite of my experience at McNaughton 150 with rechargeable batteries, I must have convinced myself that the reason they died so fast was that I hadn't fully charged them right before the race and that it was so cold.
This is what I get for trying to be green.
I turn my Petzl Myo RXP to the lowest of 3 settings. Since I'm trying to move fast and at times there are rocks and roots, this is quite risky.
At W/S Meadows (mile 91.5), I change out my batteries with the help of volunteers, one of whom gives me a nice shoulder rub.
I either misread my mini-aid station chart or more likely the chart was wrong, since I run more miles to Red Wolf Pass than anticipated.

The volunteer at the last aid station is nice, but he's not any more sure about the distance to the finish that I.  It's a crap shoot, and there is not special sub-20 hour buckle, but I decide I'm probably close, so start running for all I'm worth.  I must have inverted each of ankles 4-5 times each, but having resilient ankles with titanium springs, can keep running.

I finish with barely two minutes to spare, in 19:58:07 and 11th place overall.

surviving the cold, and getting home

The first thing RD Olga asks me when I finish:  "Do you hate me, Mark?"

"Nah."  Of course not.  Not that I didn't want her to die a slow painful death earlier, but in the end it was a blast, and she and everyone did the best they could.  Any race in its inaugural year gets cut a lot of slack.

Pam Smith & RD Olga (then Varlamova)
lifted from Pam's blog
Before crawling into my old, second-hand tent, I talked again with kinda local Pam Smith, who would less than four years later surprise the ultrarunning world with her victory at Western States.   She is now on the La Sportiva Mountain Running Team with me, helping me think I am bad-ass by association.  her Hundred in the Hood race report


the race directors

official race website -- probably this link doesn't work anymore

split time, cumulative time

1:24:12    01:24:12
0:45:47    02:0959
0:44:12    02:54:11
3:25:06    06:19:18
1:00:58    07:20:16
2:33:23    09:53:39
1:37:07    11:30:47
0:05:05    11:35:52
1:41:33    13:17:26
1:00:34    14:18:01
2:10:42    16:28:43
0:05:08    16:33:51
0:51:06    17:24:57
0:04:13    17:29:10
2:28:57    19:58:07

photos of me running

link to list of other blogged race reports

Greg (ran into him during the 14 mile stretch without aid)
Yassine Diboun

Big belated blog thanks also to my coworkers Jenn and Chris for covering part of my Friday shifts so I could fly out on time.  And all the volunteers, I am still thankful 4 years later!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Taking On Diana Nyad at Headlands Hundred

With all the press about Diana Nyad's historical swim from Cuba to Florida earlier this month, I thought I'd set the record straight during my 100-mile run last weekend (Saturday 14th to Sunday 15th of September).

(Though technically grammatically incorrect, I will refer to myself as "me.")

Diana - 64, Me - 46
1 point for Diana

number of X chromosomes
Diana - 2, Me -1
2 minus 1 equals 1 point for Diana of the fairer sex

distance (miles)
Diana - 110, Me - 100
1 point for Diana

Diana - yes, Me - not usually
1 point for me

Diana - Cuba to (I want to live in) America, an epic route.  Like Al Pacino's character in Scarface.
Me - Running back in forth mindlessly in distorted circles.  (course map)
1 point for Diana

time and pace
Diana - 52 hours 54 minutes; Me - 22 hours 13 minutes 37 seconds
(Do the math yourself for the pace.  I used to be good a math, but hundreds of beers consumed since have atrophied that part of my brain.)
1 point for me

Diana - big time, Me - no!
1 point for Me!

I did accept whatever help I could get.
Here with Marissa Walker and her canine friend, at Tennessee Valley, post-race
Many other volunteers helped me too.  Thanks all of you!
Quicksilver teammate "Team Pommier" Sachin Sawant
asking if he should get out the mask (see below)
photo by Agnes Pommier

victim of sexual abuse by coach when younger?
Diana - yes; Me - no
1 point for Diana

honesty points regarding performance enhancing drugs
Diana - who knows?, uh huh, just sayin'; Me - I'm out with it.  I sometimes use them to stay awake.

my fixer, Shir Kochavi, photo by Yujun Wang
nothing like what Lance said for years he never took

1 point for me!

shark cage?
Diana - no!, Me- no!
tie, no points

jellyfish mask?
Diana - yes, Me - What is this, a masquerade ball?  no!
1 point for Me!

post-event publicity
Diana - was already a motivational speaker, slated for tons more.  more famous than ever.  a true inspiration for us all!
Me - maybe 3 or 4 of you have made it down this far on this silly blog post (you aren't chopped liver, though, thanks!)

1 point for Diana

tally so far
6 points for Diana, 5 points for me.  not looking good for me.

self-stimulation down there during the event
Diana - never photographed sticking something anywhere near the coochie or bootie part of her swimsuit
Me - caught in the act.  It feels good!  What's wrong with that?

photo by Karen Gerasimovich
Can't figure out who gets the point on this one.  But I am losing, and this stupid contest is my own doing.
1 point for me

nausea and vomiting
Diana apparently spewed a lot while swimming, maybe partly from all the seawater she inadvertently drank.
Me - just got nausea with running more than 15-20 steps at a time starting at about mile 82.  Maybe from the hamburger I got at mile 75.  I only asked for 1/3, but they gave me 1/2 of one.  I ate 1/4, then stashed the other quarter in my pack, which then started to smell nasty, along with me as my sweat mixed in with the hamburger I forgot about and oozed into my clothes.  Luckily only one person passed me during this time, so I still made top 10.

Diana actually threw up, and my rambling hamburger account was so stupid, I am embarrassed I made you all read that.

1 point for Diana

lives saved while working the day after the event was finished

Diana - 0, Me - 2 (my guess)

3 points for me!

updated tally
Diana 6, Me 8

who my wife finds more inspiring in the end (3 points on this one -- like I'm married to her)
Diana (ouch!).  She was gushing about her about watching one of the videos on net.

final score
Diana 9, Me 7

This kind of sucks, but I will be a gracious loser.  If I ever meet Diana Nyak in person, I will shake her hand.

real race report by the winner and new course record holder, Jean Pommier
This actually gives you an idea about the race.

By the way, Beverly Anderson-Abbs won the women's race and set the new women's course record, and like Jean, is 49.  This was just her 2nd 100 miler after being out several years due an injury.  I think our elite masters runner is back.  Pretty awesome!

Bev with her not so slow husband Alan following her (how it usually works).
lifted from her facebook profile page
Nice scenery, huh?  So glad I run rather than swim all the time...
This was also incidentally my first Pacific Coast Trail Run (PCTR) race under new management, John and Maureen Brooks.

GPS recordings of my run:
first 56 miles
last 44 miles

48 finishers out of 69 starters, completion rate of 70%

race website

previous HH100 race reports:

Friday, September 13, 2013

My First Wasatch 100

Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run
Friday-Saturday 7-8 September 2012

race shirt
Morning of Thursday, day before the race, I had to pack and prepare my drop bags.  Being a point to point course I had never run before, it was complicated figuring out what to put where, and I ran out of time doing it.  Threw everything into a small carry on suitcase and a knapsack.

I took a local bus to the pre-race meeting.

Sugar Pine Park

with Vishal Sahni above and Jay Smithberger below, on their way to finishing the Grand Slam of ultrarunning.
Someday, if and when I get into Western States, I may try to do the same.

Kuni and Daisie Yamagata from the Sacramento area, who drove me back to downtown SLC where my hotel was.
Watched some of the Democratic National Convention in the lobby, some inspiring speeches.  I felt like a undercover spy, since Utah is so red and Obama's opponent was a Mormon.  In Mormon country, most 100 mile races start on Friday so needed volunteers can get to church on Sunday.  Besides the physical beauty of the region, the Friday starts meab I can get back home either Saturday night or Sunday morning at the latest.

take out Pad Thai

The buses to the start left a few blocks from my downtown hotel.  Convenient but still painful, since it was probably 2:30 am Pacific time when I had to get up.

Early in the race I talked with Paulette Zillmer from Scottsdale, who won the previous year's Angeles Crest 100.  She has just started a PhD program in English, which luckily allows her to go and do these races.  Maybe if she stops showing up these races in a few years, I can assume she is trying to finish her dissertation.  I would almost catch up with her several times during the race, easily recognizable in pink, but she would finish half an hour before me.

Paulette's current Twitter profile pic:
"Avid ultraRunner,scholar, mom, vegan, lover of rainbows!"
Shortly after the easy, nontechnical trail turned right to ascent and head back the other way (south), local Brian Kamm passed me up.  We'd talked at both Zion and Bighorn 100s; both times he beat me by a few hours (i.e. gramping me, since he was already 50 at the beginning of the year), and I expected the same today.  I also chatted with Scott Kunz from Pacifica, who recognized me from some race.

I started the race with one of my Ultimate Direction Wasp packs, since I knew there was no food for the first 18 miles.  The views from Chinscraper were amazing.  Got water from a two springs-- easier to see than the ones at Bighorn.

 three photos by Phillip Lowry
I have no idea where these are on the course, but aren't they pretty?

Usually in these high altitude races, I get continually passed by people starting about 1/3 in.  This time, it wasn't so bad-- more mutually leapfrogging than a continual dropping back.  Also, I didn't feel as sick as normally about 8,000 feet-- maybe my recent two week camping trip in the Sierras helped, despite having returned to sea level for three days before flying to Salt Lake City (which is only at 4,226 feet).

Just like the halfway aid station in Cascade Crest, Lamb's Canyon was a highway underpass.

From Lamb's Canyon to Mill Creek, ran and talked with Brett Gosney, 53, from Durango, CO off and on at the beginning and end of this split (going up the hill he ran ahead of me-- gramped again!)

I had opted not to take a headlamp with me, on advice of fellow runners.  It got dark before I reached my next drop bag (which I though was named Mill Creek, or maybe it is called Upper Big Water, mile 61-- there were lot of aid stations with more than one name in the website), but the last 2-3 miles of the split were gradual uphill pavement-- exactly the surface and grade in which you need a light the least.

At Mill Creek or wherever it was, John Evans of Petzl was there with the new NAO headlamp.  He gave me a crash course in how it worked, which I reviewed after finishing my other aid station business.

John on right.  to his right I think is the race doc. can't remember his name.
John won the HERA Power of One award last year.
The NAO features new patented Reactive Lighting-- so the light brightens when looking at something darker, and dims when pointed at something brighter.  Saves the batteries and makes this more efficient.  This took a little getting used to, but I decided I really liked it.  The only mild glitch is when looking at a reflective ribbon marking the course, the light would dim, but it is not like it was dangerous.

I used the high reactive setting for faster running, level and downhills, and the low reactive setting for slower uphills or nontechnical sections (ie, well surfaced dirt roads or pavement).  The rechargeable USB battery lasted about 9 hours before giving me the warning flashes.  Changing the battery at the next aid station was much simpler than replacing a bunch of AA batteries.

Despite the lamp, I started feeling sleepy during the next split, and started swerving. I knew this would happen sooner or later-- was hoping it would happen later.  I tried to caffeinate, but knew that I needed to get a short nap in.  At mile 66 / Desolation Lake (I was probably too tired to notice there was a lake) one of the volunteers had a tent with sleeping bags and pads inside.  I asked to lay down there for 15 minutes.  Despite never totally losing consciousness, it helped (felt great), and I was warm enough with just one sleeping bag on top of me (too nasty to get in one).  The attentive volunteer came to get me (it felt like the grim reaper rather than a nice volunteer); I bargained for another 15 minutes in the bag.  I got up, dropped a 20-0 mg caffeine pill and got on my way, bringing a garbage bag since I suspected two thin windbreakers might not cut the cold well enough (lots of other runners were putting on fleeces).  I put on the garbage bag soon after leaving the aid station and would quite fashionably keep it on until the morning.

The split to mile 75 / Brighton Ski Resort was another long one, and I had to ask a few drivers a couple of times while on a long stretch of pavement if I was still on course.

There Daisy Yamagata, waiting for her husband Kuni, was so kind to help me.  As bonus, Beth Vitalis from the Bay Area was crewing a couple of friends, and luckily saw me before leaving for the next aid station. My left trapezius/shoulder was all tight from the pack, and she gave me a great massage, then worked on my quads, knowing that a steep climb and descent were coming up.

Beth is no dumb jock ultrarunner...
The last quarter of the race was the toughest.  Cruel ascent, then a descent.  Though the course overall was well marked, this next section could have used a few more ribbons, one where the trail split and another by a lake where some kids were hanging out (and so the possibility of ribbon vandalism).

It eventually became apparent that I could finish the race under 30 hours, but that I needed to work to make it (not that finishing any 100-miler is ever not work).

After the 2nd to last aid station, it was mostly downhill, after turning a corner to the left and changing directions.  The sun was on that side and came up.  I peeled off layers.  The steady downhill ended up being a grueling roller coaster, and with each climb I had to walk up increased my doubts that I could actually make it.

Eventually I came to the last aid station.  To my surprise, (Quicksilver Running Club teammates) Dan Decker and his pacer Toshi, whom I last saw leaving Lamb's Canyon ahead of me were there.  Dan said he was dropping after twisting his knee at mile 60.  Toshi had been urging him on for 30 miles.  My own impression (speaking not as a physician) was that he should get some poles (he'd already been using Toshi's) and walk the last seven miles, but he had enough and didn't want to mess his knee up further.  I couldn't help thinking to myself-- as injured as he was, he was moving faster than I was.

Dan running fast on pavement.
I went out ahead for the last stretch.  About 1/4 mile out, it occurred to me that I could've unloaded my pack or at least most of the contents of my pack (jackets, light, etc) with them to take to the finish, the luxury afforded any crewed runner.  Even using drop bags, uncrewed runners have to carry more for longer.  But I didn't think it was worth going back.  Better training for my next 100.

After the final ascent, the trail started as a crappy, rutted, rocky fire road.  The Forest Service never made transverse or oblique drainage ditches, so there was a big rut in the middle along with a wonderful collection of loose rocks perfect for twisting your ankle and beating up your soles.  It was more technical than I was in the mood for at mile 95, and I decided to take it easy, lest I get injured in the last few miles.  Finally, the crap road gave way to a nice single track that finished as a set of switchbacks above the Homestead Resort.  I finally decided to apply myself, realizing that the altitude was only 5000-something feet.  The last mile or so was pavement, and I sprinted something like an 8 minute mile to the finish.  I had 26 minutes to spare for the sub-30 hour buckle.

I decided I would try to make the earlier of two flights I booked on Southwest.  Since Dan dropped, he wasn't going to stay for the awards ceremony either.  Most of the drop bags were coming in, but two aid stations in particular, though they weren't the latest in the course, hadn't.

I think when I asked the RD for my award, apologizing that I could not stay for the ceremony so that I could get back to my family, he was very understanding and supportive. Good family values!

Still in pacing mode, Toshi tried to keep me moving, rather than wait for drop bags that probably weren't going to come.

finished this year's (2013) race about an hour faster than I did
Dan's sister Pam would drive us to the downtown hotels.  I got the feeling Toshi wanted to hang out, but I wanted to get back to my family. I left Daisie instructions to ask Chihping Fu to bring back my awards and drop bags.  If he had too much to carry, I asked her to take them and mail them to me.

awesome finisher's plaque, which I wouldn't see for a couple of weeks
with buckle on top
Thanks again, Chihping for bringing it back to the Bay Area for me!

Thanks to all the great volunteers!


Garmin Forerunner recorded maps:

part 1 (miles 0-53)
part 2 (miles 53-72)
part 3 (miles 72-100)

results 289 starters, 213 finishers

searchable splits with aid station in and out times (enter runner's name)

Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run WEBSITE