Friday, June 14, 2013

San Diego 100-Miler

This past weekend I ran the San Diego 100-Miler. The race was notable this year for being very, very hot. There was a lot of carnage, with less than 50% of starters finishing. Still, it was my best 100 to date, with a time of 24:22, and a 20th place finish.

Here is the note I sent to the group about the adventure:

Hey folks,

Thanks a bunch for the congrats. Still in a bit of a fog. Some races advertise as sort of a ‘Heaven and Hell’ thing … SD doesn’t but lived up to that description this year. The Hell part was most of Saturday. The race started at 7am. By 10am it was hotter than anything I had run in training. It was something of a furnace by mid-afternoon. No cloud cover and little shade. I stuck with a slow pace, lots of water, ice and Scaps … baby steps on even gentle slopes. Things turned around for me at mile 51, the ‘Sunrise’ aid station. That’s about where the sun set for me. I don’t think I have ever been so grateful for a sunset in my life. Things cooled down quickly, and it was the Heaven part of the run. Really sweet running. Big meadows. Some great views before it got totally dark. Then the stars came out. I felt good from then on in to the finish.

I can’t say enough about how well this race was organized. RD Scott Mills and his crew did a stellar job. The aid station volunteers were top-notch … many of them ultra runners themselves; they kept the ice, water, food and encouragement flowing. At Sunrise they fixed up a hot spot on the bottom of my foot before it blistered … that patch job held up the remaining 49 miles. Lots of kind offers for pacing. Everything seemed to run smoothly though I’m sure they had their hands full given the conditions of the day. The course marking was really thorough (though that didn’t stop me from missing one well-marked left turn). Scott promised us a confidence ribbon every 2 to 3 minutes of run time, and that’s the way it was for the entire 100 miles.

A special thanks to Kath for first recommending SD many months ago, and for taking such good care of us before, during and after the race; to Josh for joining me in that last segment, helping to pick up my spirits and pace; and to John for making the trip so much fun.