the missing race report

So here is a cut and past of the report that I never posted here…. its really strange that after all that effort and thousands of miles of training I simply lost interest in it all for over a year…. ah well I am back now and I have my eye on the Western States again….. 2010 maybe

Subject: Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Race ….Results & Thankyou’s

Press Release Update August 20th, 2007

Twenty-Seven Hours & Twelve minutes! Call it a very long, very hilly, fast hike through the Green Mountains….. well it was a race for the first 78 miles at least.

Silver Hill meadow, VT. Saturday July, 21st  4:00 am.

It’s hard to know exactly where to start to describe such an awesome event or such a sensation of overwhelming satisfaction as taking on such a feat…. and actually making it to the finishing line. But, I guess I did, it says so on my T-shirt and on the tiny wooden plaque, which is all the recognition you’ll get for running 100 miles. If I had finished in under 24 hours I would’ve earned a “belt buckle”… but I didn’t. Maybe next time.

I will resist boring you all to death with all the technical details & the mechanics of the race, well I’ll try…….. but here’s three interesting stats:

i. 206 runners started, 142 finished….. I was 98th

ii. I drank 1 litre of Nuuns per hour from start tofinish almost 30 litres [try imagine 60 pints of beer], I can’t even smell the stuff without wanting to gag now..

  1. Chicken noodle soup has hidden powers!

The weather for the race was nearly perfect, not too too hot. No rain, low humidity and a light breeze, what more could I ask for….. maybe 3 spare pairs of legs! or maybe a horse!! or two!! I really have to mention the fact that this would have beenimpossible without the wonderful support of some very dear friends who made up my intrepid crew. Roly my pacer and of course Katrine, my long suffering better-half. Thank-you Line & Ian. These people drove all day and night tracking me across the Vermont countryside…. they must be nuts!!

The actual run itself went very well for the first 78 miles, although I did make the classic mistake of heading out too fast at the start of the race and I was about 1.5 hours ahead of my target at one point…… but fatigue caught up with me and as darkness was setting in, I was just about on pace for the 24 hour finish after about 17 hours of running. When I got to the West Wind aid station (mile 77/78) I sat down for a couple of minutes and it was here that things nearly came totally un-glued. I could feel the blood draining out of my face and apparently I started to shiver, my sugar level had gone too low, really not a great experience…. Chicken soup to the rescue!! They just happened to be reviving runners at this point with the best HOT SOUP on the planet, and after a couple of bowls of broth I felt brave

enough to push on, albeit very slowly. If there was a divining moment in my 100 miles, this was it. I told Roly my pacer we would walk for a while and abandon the 24 hour goal, my mind was going into survival -mode at this point. After about half an hour of walking I tried to run a little more but I just didn’t have the strength, nothing was functional. We then walked for about 9 hours in total!! with the occasional shuffle on the not too steep down hill bits.Thankyou Roly for your patience.

There were a couple of points when we just stopped in the middle of the Vermont night, turned off our lights and just stared up at the most perfect sky, the moon was almost yellow and I have never seen so many stars, a truly amazing sight!! Although I confess I was totally high on endorphins and may well have been hallucinating by then….. so it was probably just another clear summer sky.

I almost forgot….. at about 7pm as the sun was starting to go down and the air was becoming cooler I was running on my own with another runner about 200 yards behind me. I was in a very quiet wooded section of the course, at about 60 miles minding my own business…. when totally unannounced a young black bear wondered out in front of me (about 10 yards at the most) we looked at each other, I started to make as much noise as possible and the bear climbed the nearest tree at lightning speed. I picked up the pace to put some distance between us!!! Vicky, the runner behind me saw the bear too and started shouting for me to wait for her…. very freaked out!! Anyway we ran together for quite a while before I left her

behind ….. she would later pass me and beat me by an hour!

Anyway, by the time I got to “Polly’s” aid station at mile 95 the sun had started to come up for the second time during the race…. and by then I knew I was less than a couple hours away from the finish line which at that moment in time seemed like nothing….  The course never became easier, right up to the last 100  yards it was one hill after another. I will never forget all those hills, every time you’d finished one you be greeted by another just as steep waiting for you. waiting to trash your legs just a little more.

Anyway, at 7:12am, 27 hours and 12 minutes from the start of the race I managed to find just enough energy to run the last 100 yards to the line and that was it. I ran 100 miles. In the medical tent I peeled off my shoes fearing the worst… nothing, just 2 tiny blisters!! I was still able to walk… slowly!! The feeling of tiredness was easily outweighed by the sense of satisfaction… and the endorphin buzz!!

Will he do it again? Probably! after 1 month of recuperation and just a little light jogging I think I’m up for another challenge…. Well I have now qualified for the Western States 100 for the third time…… so maybe I should put my name in the lottery for 2008!


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