Posts Tagged ‘100’

Leadville 100 Trail Run – 2010

Well, this one really sucked. Going into the race, I have to admit that I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the event. The only reason that I committed to run Leadville was because it was part of the Grand Slam. And even that is a minor point of irritation since I don’t think it’s right for someone to sell entries into a series of events that they don’t direct, sponsor, or donate to. But that’s an entirely different issue.

Leadville is really an over-priced, over-hyped, over-crowded event on a mediocre course. I will say that the event has a lot of potential. It could really be a world class race if it were organized with the same level of support and competition as Western States. After running events like Western States, Vermont, and Bighorn, paying $300 for Leadville is quite a let down.

If they can’t run the entire race on decent trails, they could at least make use of the miles and miles of perfectly accessible road to set up decent aid stations. I had a miserable time covering the final 10 mile stretch over Sugarloaf and the last 13.5 miles from May Queen and I can’t comprehend how anyone at the back of the pack pushing to make the cut offs could manage that. The race would have a much better finish rate with just a few more aid stations along the way. But I guess that’s part of the money making system. Bring in as many entries as possible from anyone and everyone and bank on a high DNS and DNF rate to pocket the profits. The volunteer aid station crews that were out there were fantastic. Especially the team that packed in gear on Llamas and camped on Hope pass. I just wish the race organizers would set up more aid station crews on the course.

And the sheer volume of trash on the trails really put me in a bad mood. On the way outbound, there weren’t more than 30-40 runners ahead of me but I still saw more dropped gel packets and other trash than I’d seen at every ultra I’ve run in the past two years. The runners who dropped that trash weren’t the brain dead zombies who couldn’t manage to hold onto a gel tab with swollen fingers. That’s just unacceptable behavior. On the way inbound, Eric filled his pockets with trash several times between Twin Lakes and Fish Hatchery. But even that was a losing battle and a token effort at best.

So I guess I can’t be surprised at my final performance at the race. You just can’t run a 100 miles well without being fulling mentally committed. I started out thinking that I might be able to run sub-20 if I had an exceptionally good day. At the very least I thought I could run under 24 hours comfortably. Well, I didn’t have an exceptionally good day and I think I’ve finally realized that if I continue to run races back to back each month like this, I probably won’t. I didn’t run under 24 hours either and it wasn’t comfortable.

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Vermont 100 – 2010

After running Western States just 3 weeks ago I really wasn’t sure what to expect going into the Vermont 100. I felt OK but knew I wasn’t 100% recovered from Western States. Based on past runner’s results, I knew that it was possible to run Western and Vermont back to back and not only run both well but run Vermont even faster. So I was curious to see just how far I could push myself to find out if I would hold up or not.

The start of the race was much better than I expected. Despite the 4am start time, I felt well rested and ready to run. We had a nice cool, clear morning which felt pretty comfortable. I was surprised to find myself running in the lead pack with Andy Jones-Wilkins, Neal Gorman, Andy Henshaw, David Larsen, and a couple others. Andy Henshaw pulled out into the lead after a few miles but for the most part, we had a nice brisk social run for the first 17 miles before everyone settled into their own pace and spread out. I dropped back and let a few more runners pass me but still managed to make it to the Pretty House aid station at mile 21 on target for a 17 hour finish.

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Western States 100 – 2010

Since this was my first time running Western States, I went into the race with a broad set of goals. I was fairly confident that I could finish in one piece under 24 hours for the silver buckle. But over the past few months my training had gone well enough that I though finishing under 20 hours would be a pretty good target to aim for. My stretch goal was to beat 19 hours but I figured that I would need to have a perfect day to pull this off. Well, it turned out to be a nearly perfect day and nothing went wrong until I crossed the finish line in 18:58:42 in 18th place.

I showed up at the start at Squaw Valley feeling better than ever. I was fully rested and all the nagging aches and pains from months of hard training were gone. It was hard not to get too caught up in the excitement at the start of the race. Everyone was amped up and ready to go and the energy in the crowd was pretty intense.

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Bighorn 100 2009 Race Report

I’m still amazed at how incredible this course was. The scenery completely made the challenge worthwhile.

Given the circumstances of the day, I had a great run. From the start I was feeling like my effort level was unusually high even at a very slow pace. I should have at least been able to breeze through the first 15 miles of the day. It seemed pretty clear that I was starting out over trained which didn’t really surprise me after what I did to myself in May. May was a separate personal challenge in itself so I really don’t have any regrets in hindsight. And since I wasn’t challenging Karl for the course record, running a bit short of optimal performance wasn’t much of a big deal. Read More