The overview is:
We got started at 6am. It was dark but the first few miles are on road and I felt comfortable that it would be light enough by the time I needed it. We got into the first climb on trail and it was the eventual winner (Gerad), me, and another guy. A small group of 5 had run past the trail head turnoff for about 100 meters, so they were busy trying to catch back up.
I guess around mile 7 into the climb Gerad pulled away and I felt no need to push my pace since I was drenched from sweat and it wasn't even 7:30am. I've never started salt tabs so early in any race and decided I might as well take one. The effort felt easy on the 5,000 ft climb but I was sweating so much and drinking so much that I knew it would be miserable later. The descent was fast and fun and then there's a long road stretch of about 7-8 miles. Hal drove up next to me around mile 20 and asked if I had just two guys in front of me, which was the case. We chatted for a minute and he told me Karl had won RRR100 (Right on!).
I rolled into Seattle Bar aid station at mile 28 ish in 4:40 and 4th place, switched out my small handhelds (12 oz) for my race vest, drank a v8, chatted with Craig Thornley a bit (nice to see you, Craig!), and was on my way to the next shitty climb.
From here my race went awry. I started getting cramps in my quads and calves and lower shins, so upped my intake of salt to 900 mg/hour and lost track of how much water I was taking in. By the time I got to Squaw Lake (mile 40), I was having trouble keeping a running motion with my legs locking up. I switched out shoes and put on some compression socks, drank and ate and sat. I dropped from 4th to 8th in just that short 15 mins. I felt a little better and hustled around the lake section of 2.5 miles.
|Squaw Lake. Photo: Peter Beck|
|Leaving Squaw Lake (around mile 42). Photo: Peter Beck|
By mile 58 I confirmed that I was only making about 1.5 miles per hour and slowing down every half mile. I was barely making forward progress when a car came up behind me on the dusty road climb. I waved it down, got in, got a ride to Dutchman Pass at mile 65 and it was over.
In 25 years of endurance sports I have never experienced as much pain as I've been in yesterday and today. It'll take a few days to flush out my muscles. The thought of wanting to run is strong but I can't step off a curb without my legs buckling.
Congratulations to the finishers and others who had to drop. Thanks to Hal Koerner for organizing such a terrific event. He's a tremendous runner and person. Thanks to Kara for her patience and effective crewing. Thanks to La Sportiva. I wore the C-Lites for the first 40 miles and switched to my Hokas in the hopes of mitigating the shock to my destroyed legs, which didn't help a bit. Thanks to Vi Fuel. I took a Vi gel every 20 mins and had solid, even energy and calm stomach the entire 12 hours I was out there.
Looking forward to some faster, shorter stuff with the Bear Chase 50k in 12 days and then Firetrails 50 miler in the Bay Area on the 13th.
|Check out the amount of caked on salt. Misery is obvious.|
|After trying every strategy I could think of, this is what it came down to.|