Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mohican 100 Race Report - Meltdown in Ohio

Well now, this race definitely didn't end up going as planned. It's the same old story with Ultra Marathons and especially with 100 mile races. You can train your ass off, plan out everything to a tee but in the end it often comes down to the day, the course, the adversity and the uncontrollable. This race feature all of these things and more.

I am going to try and stick with the facts in this report. You know the what, where, when, why stuff. Hopefully next week I will be able to do a follow up post digging deeper into the some of the things I learned from the race about myself and running hundreds. After all nothing teaches you more about success then the occasional failure.

I had been looking forward to this race for months. This was my first non Canadian 100 mile race so I was totally stoked. I had lots of mileage under my belt and had run the 100 at Sulphur Springs 3 weeks earlier. You know what they say nothing gets you ready better for a 100 miler then running another 100 in "training". Okay maybe only I say that. My legs felt great and completely recovered.

A week before the race I began the ritualistic weather watch. At first things were looking really good but by Tuesday mild temperatures in Loudonville, Ohio had changed to hot and humid. Each day the predictions got worse and by Friday morning it was calling for 29C with humidity making it seem like 40C. I was thinking maybe I should pack oven mitts into my drop bag.

On Friday morning we picked up JD and headed down to the US. The drive was fine and uneventful. We got to the motel we were staying at and checked in. Nice little place, basic but decent which was fine by me. We dropped our stuff off and headed over to race registration.

Registration was quick and easy but the same can't be said for the pre race meal. We ended up standing in line for almost an hour to get fed which caused us to miss the first part of the pre race meeting. On a positive note there was free beer so at least we got to drink while we waited. Free beer is always awesome as far as I am concerned.

The next morning it was up bright and early. Steve B. had arrived late that night so he hooked up with us at 4 AM and we all headed out to the race start.

Originally I had planned to run this race with the same approach as all my other races. That meant start off running not to fast but right on the edge, push a little early on then settle in. By the time I got to race day I had reconsidered this approach. A bit of honesty here, I was worried about the weather / heat. You might even say I was becoming mentally obsessed about it. I really let it get inside my head which is awful stupid. I mean the weather is the weather and with out my Pinkie and the Brain weather controlling machine I was not going to be able to do anything about that anyway. At the same time I was worried about what had happened at Sulphur. It was a very rough race for me and I think that as JD mentions in his blog I was a little gun shy. I am after all not a big fan of barfing.

This was my first and maybe biggest mistake. I walked into this race and approached it to tentatively. Bad, Bad, Chris. At the time I called it being cautious but that was a lie I was telling myself. I can not run races and be tentative AT ALL. Some people can do this and it works for them. It never, ever works for me. Not ever. I have to run controlled but aggressive early or I never find my rhythm.

I decided to run with JD and Steve since I was going to take it easy early and was just running to finish. Steve who is a much faster runner then both of us was doing the same thing. I also thought this would be fun (which it was). The thought of not finishing never really entered my mind.


Some video that JD shot on the run.

We lined up at the start and were off. Here all three of us made another crucial mistake. We lined up way to far back in the pack. The 50 and 100 milers all started at the same time and since we were planning to run easy early on we thought we place ourselves accordingly. Man were we wrong. Within 5 minutes we were into the woods on single track behind a massive traffic jam.

The going was slow on this 6 mile section. Lots of climbing so it would have been slow anyway but it was really slow at this point. It was becoming apparent very early that this was going to be a tough course. We climbed and climbed, some downhill and more climbing. Almost no flat running in this section of mostly single track trails. The trails were beautiful but difficult and the line ahead of us didnt allow for much running at pace when we did hit the few flats and downhills.

As we hit the first aid station it was already brutally humid and hot even though it was not 7 am yet. I was soaking wet and looked like someone that had just had shower with their cloths on. I dont think I have ever sweat as much as I did in this race.

A quick refill of the bottles and we were back on the course. Now 6 miles into the race we were finally getting a little bit of running room so we got on pace. Another decent section of the course which was almost all single track, some technical running, lots and lots of hills but a few more runnable sections then the last area.

It was hot but I felt good. The three of us joked, chatted and amused each other, great stuff. We gelled and took our salt tabs every hour like clockwork. Then we were into the second aid station. Man was it getting hot. I found a bucket of ice water with a sponge in it and soaked my head. The cold water was like a jolt of electricity zapping me back into the moment.

Onto the next 6 mile section (almost all the aid stations were about 6 miles apart on the 27 mile loop) which was a slower more difficult trail. The most beautiful but also the hardest to run this section included a slow decent down stone steps to the base of a waterfall, a tough technical run up and along an overgrown creek and a crazy climb straight up where you had to scale the hill by using the roots of trees like a ladder. Oh and dont forget those hills, lots and lots of hills.

At the covered bridge aid station we quickly refueled, filled the bottles and headed out into the next section of the course. Lots more single track but fewer hills this is probably the fastest part of the entire course. We initially made good time but about 4 miles out we ran into the back of a huge line of runners. There was not really anyway to pass people without expending huge amounts of energy so we joined in with the conga line of maybe 20 other runners and worked our way to the next aid station.

Its now mile 23 and even though its only around 10 am the heat is unbearable. The conga line arrives at the next aid station. I am overheating and seek out the ice cold water and sponge. A walk in freezer would also be great but I know thats not going to happen. I see the bucket but to my horror there is no ice in the water. It is only mildly cool and doesn't do the trick for me at all. We head back into the woods having managed to leapfrog over most of the conga line at the aid station. We are still all in good spirits, the loop is taking longer then expected but the course is tough.

The next section of the course turns out to be the hardest of all. The first 3 miles are okay and as we head towards the area called the private property section a runner heading back the other way gives us a dire warning. "Be careful and take it easy on that section" he says.

This section is brutal with as far as I can remember 6 major climbs and the same number of very steep downhills. Its relentless, slow and the only flat section is through a field where you are totally exposed to the sun. The heat is really taking a toll on me. My heart rate is very high for the effort I am expending. On some of the last hills my breathing is becoming shallow and hard.

We finish the loop, change our shirts, get a little food from Kim and head back out with 7 hours gone in the race. This is much slower then anticipated ( I was expecting maybe 6 hours for the loop) but still not a worry. My legs feel great, the breathing was a little bit of a worry but after refuelling I feel fine.

We move along at an okay pace our second time through this section. We are now into the afternoon and its scorching hot. I start to think that I might spontaneously combust, bursting into flames at any moment. We pass a runner sitting on the side of the trail who is totally out of it. Another runner is there checking to see if he is okay. We stop to see if there is anything we can do, there isn't so we move on.

I am seeing less and less runners on the course now. Some of the 50 milers might be done but still the herd is obviously being culled by the weather. Soon we are back to the water fall and root climb. I am fading, suffering a slow death. Its like being roasted slowly on a spit over an open fire. Roasted Chris basted with warm chocolate gels seems to be the special on the menu.

The three of us nearly run out of liquids on this leg even though we all carry 2 bottles. Finally we make the covered bridge and refuel. I am in big trouble now. I am still sweating but I have been panting like a dog for more then an hour. My breathing is quick and shallow. Nobody says anything but we all know what this means. Its heat exhaustion and the beginnings of hypothermia (which can lead to heatstroke).

We are back out on the trail for the next section. Its very runnable and we do okay but are slow. I am still panting, JD is beginning to getting dark and Steve is starting to worry about the time. I am desperately hoping for a bounce back. We make it into the aid station at around the 48 mile mark. Its about 5 o'clock and I know that the sun will go down soon and hopefully give me some relief. I am still sweating (a good sign) but am starting to feel nauseous. I have been looking forward to getting food at the aid station. I need solid food here. I am out of luck. There is only grazing food here. There are not even sandwiches made (which I cant eat any more of anyway). I get some melon into me but I know its not enough. JD wants a sandwich and we waste 10 minutes waiting for them to make him one.

Back on the trail for the 6 miles of the loop we try to make good time running all the flats and downhills. I am getting worse, starting to get dark and really suffering. Steve is pressing and I am having a hard time keeping up. JD is faltering as well. We all know that at the present pace and night coming cutoff times are starting to look like they might become an issue.

Steve tries hard to get us to bear down but its no use. I know I am only going to get slower. I might make it but then again I might not. Both JD and I tell Steve to go ahead as he is much stronger then us at this point. He doesnt want to do this and fights us on it. Finally I tell him that I can't live with him DNFing because I am to slow. He finally reluctantly agrees to go and soon JD and I are running alone.

The 2 miles of brutal hills on the loop nearly kill me. We decide that we will stop at the start finish for as long as needed to rebuild. This ends up taking us a long time but we both are at least able to get back out on the trail. We have 16 hours to run the 23 mile loop twice. Thats doable even at a slow pace but its going to be close. I need to get this loop done in 7:30 to be safe.

Its getting dark and is a little cooler. I feel okay and the panting has stopped as we head back into the woods. Strangely my legs feel great. The second we step back into the woods the humidity hits us like hammer in the face. Things go okay for the first hour. We run all the flats and downhills but it doesnt last. By hour 2 I am panting again and working hard to keep from puking. I feel sick in a totally different way then at Sulphur and a sure that the heat is to blame. I fight the urge to clear the decks because I don't want to lose the food I took in just an hour ago. We are forced to walk until the next aid station. I tell JD I am feeling better but now he is having problems. He is also worried there will be no real food at the next aid station. This is making everything really dark. I try to quell his fears.

We make the aid station and JD is right. There is nothing but 50k pick pick food and sandwiches. Nothing hot or substantial. I have never seen anything like this before. I had just got my nutrition sorted and now it will take another hit.

Now I don't want to whine to much about the lack of proper ultra food at most of the aid stations but this was a real problem. I am not a picky eater but I don't think that I should have to be worried about there being proper food at aid stations as a runner I have a lot to worry about already. 20 hours into this race I have seen no soup (expect from Kim), no potatoes, no solid hardy stuff like chicken, lasagne etc.. Now usually this is not a problem for me as I have crew but there was only crew access allowed at two points during the night. That means 12 miles between crew points. If you are not going to feed me then you should at least make it so my crew can. That said obviously some runners were able to deal with this so there you go.

We are back out on the trail. Somewhere at around 3 miles later I am so sick I am doing everything I can not to vomit. Oh shit suddenly I have a new problem. My sexy fun parts are burning like they have been lit on fire. From no chaffing to this is 2 seconds, what the hell. I can barely walk. I will have lube and fresh dry shorts once we get to Kim but that doesn't help me now. I have no choice so now I am forced to run / walk with my hands down my shorts protecting my tender part from rubbing.

I am in a really bad state physically. JD is bad of as well. As we get close to fire tower where Kim can meet and feed us we start to talk about dropping. It seems like a totally reasonable thing to do. It will be borderline whether we will make the first cutoff time at the end of this loop. I convince myself that I cant make it so why try. Yes kids my mind has become mush.

We see Kim and tell her that we are done. Soon we are back at the start line and officially DNFed.

Post Race

Less then 2 hours after I drop I begin to regret my decision. I think this will plague me for a long time to come.

Steve is able to finish and collect his belt buckle. Congrats man way to stick it out.

The course was really great, I mean really great and easily the hardest I have been on in my short ultra career. I hope they will either bulk up the aid stations they have, add more or both. I will run this again next year as I have not taken my defeat very well at all.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sulphur Springs 100 race report

Well it seems like it has taken me the better part of forever to finally get the race report for the Sulphur Springs 100 done, kind of like finishing the race itself. So if your so inclined and have time to kill read on.

Earlier this year I had decided that I wouldn't run 100 miles at Sulphur. Although I enjoyed running it last year I made plans to instead run the Mohican 100 on June 18th and figured that maybe running 2 different 100 milers only 3 weeks apart was pushing it. I would still run but maybe 50 miles or even 50k. Then came a really solid winter of training and like any runner who is dumb or crazy enough to entertain the thought of running these kind of distances I began to come up with ways to justify running both races.

Sulphur is hilly but not too technical, and a loop course so easy for Kim to crew. I know the course, many other runners that would be racing, and was in great shape. I was also thinking that this would be a good race to put up a solid time with the expectation that the 20km loop would be fast, pretty dry, and with any luck the weather would not be too hot.

The main goal of the race would be to run it as well as I could but more important to come out of it healthy and in decent shape to run the Mohican. As with most races I went in with 3 running goals. A goal - sub 24 (possible but not likely), B goal - sub 26 (should be very doable if I have no major issues), C goal - just finish (sometimes easier said then done).

Pre race
So a week before the race the hope for a nice dry, fast course were fading fast. It was muddy and with rain in the forecast all week there was little hope that it would dry out. Not much you can do about that but I was really concerned about my feet given how very muddy conditions at Haliburton had all but destroyed them last year. I was going to need my feet for Mohican so it was time to search out some good foot care advice from more experienced runners. Luckily I knew just who to ask.

I talked with Stephan and Kinga and got some great advice. Kinga told me to apply baby diaper cream with the highest zinc content I could find to my feet twice a day during the week as a preventive measure. Yeah I know it sounds kind of weird but I am up for anything that might help. She also kindly offered to tape my feet for me before the race, sweet.

On Monday I joined them and a few others for a 23k final longish run on the Bruce Trail before the race. Kinga taped my feet so I could test out how it felt. The run went well and the tape didn't bother me at all. I was a little worried as my knee was still sore from Bear Mountain but it held up well. It's always nice running on the Bruce trail, I particularly enjoyed the part of the woods that was totally flooded out requiring us to wade through a stretch of thigh high water. Good times, good times.

Friday came up quickly and we headed out to Ancaster for the prerace dinner and to pick up our race kits. The dinner was good and it was nice to get a chance to chat with some of the other 100 mile runners. After dinner Kinga taped my feet (thanks again Kinga!) and we headed back home. I was really glad we had decided not to camp, it was cold, wet with more rain coming overnight. Sure we would have to get up earlier to drive back out but I would rather give up extra sleep time to be warm and cozy in my own bed.

Saturday morning we headed out bright and early. Okay so not bright but early. It was still dark and by the time we hit Hamilton we were seriously fogged in. Even with the fog we made good time getting to the race. I was there in plenty of time to get ready, Kim was running the 25km which didn't start for a couple more hours. Soon we were lined up and it was time to go.

Loop 1 - all systems go
Even though I had run this race last year there were some big changes to the course. The start had been moved due to increasing numbers of racers and the infamous "Gulch" had been removed. In its place was a very nasty downhill on dirt road. It was steep, winding and all around mean spirited. You get to run down it at the start of each 20km loop and then back up it at the end. For those of you counting along at home thats 8 times each way.

As we hit the bottom of the hill it was quickly into the woods where it became immediately apparent that I was going to be in for some muddy going. Splash, splash, splash, and its wet feet 5 minutes into the race. Sweet. Within the first 15 minutes or so the pack began to seperate out nicely and soon I found myself running along with Stephan M. He told me that he was expecting to run around 2:30 for the loop so I decided to stick with him for a while. Last year I had come out way to fast (running 2hr) and I really wanted to make sure I stayed at my planned paces early in the race. I had come in planning to run around 2:20 and staying comfortable so running with Stephan worked out nicely for me. Strangely enough I had run the first 25 miles of Haliburton with him last year.

We cruised along at a decent pace avoiding the mud as much as possible and I was able to use loop one to get a good read on the course conditions and changes from last year. It was muddy but not Seaton or even Haliburton muddy. Of course with 700 runners coming on to the trails for the shorter races in 2 hours the trails would be getting worse but so far it was okay.

We passed the gatehouse aid station going out at 3km and then came back through it at 9km. At some point around 7km I began to feel a hot spot on my heel. What the heck, already? I told Stephan that I might have to change my socks but less then a km later the hot spot was gone. Not sure what the heck that was about maybe just something in my shoe so in the end I didn't need to stop.

Soon we were on the second half of course. It was up the hill down the hill dodge the mud, repeat until we hit a low lying area at about 11km. This was a new part of the course which some other runners had been referring to as the blog / swap area. Well I got to say this part just sucked. It was long swamp grass and deep water and mud. No way around it you just had to plug through it and try to not hit the deepest parts if possible. Pick the wrong line and there is a good chance you would be digging out you shoe after it had been sucked right off your foot.

Once you got through this it was onto a logging road and then into the next aid station. I got a quick bottle refill and was soon back on the trail and into the lollipop loop. So far everything was great. I was fuelling properly, taking my salt tabs and felt good. We ended up making short work of the next 6km and then headed for the final hike up that stupid country road hill climb. As we got about half way up we saw the start of the 10km coming down. It was like a herd of elephants coming towards us. I also saw Kim stuck right in the middle of this pack of hundreds of runners. Although she was running the 25km she had the misfortune of finishing the first 5km spur and coming back through the start/finish at the exact moment the 10k started. As she passed us she looked like she was trying to avoid getting trampled by the faster shorter distance runners.

Then we were back through the start finish and ready for round 2.

Loop 2 - carefully keeping it in check
A quick stop to down an ensure and get a new water bottle and I was headed back down the hill. First lap came in at 2:17 so really good pacing for me. I was right where I wanted to be. So far so good. The course was not as bad as I had imagined it to be. The fog had cleared up and it was not too hot but I did find that it was very humid.

I ran the first 5 or 6k of this loop alone. I had thought that Stephan had gone back out just before me but didn't see him. At around 7km I saw Steve B. and Kinga about 100 meters ahead so I picked it up just a little to catch them and then spent the next hour or so running with them. Soon Stephan joined us, turns out he was behind me and before long we heading back up the road hill from hell again.

Once again my pacing was right on. I was expecting to run 2:30 and ran 2:28. I was well fuelled and feeling really good. I was blissfully unaware of the trouble that was waiting for me just a little ways down the trail.

Loop 3 - something wicked this way comes
Things are going really well. I am right on pace and feeling great. I run most of this loop alone. Most of the people I have been running with are now running ahead of me as I am very focused on staying on pace. The mud is a pain but has not cost me much time and not a huge amount of extra energy. That said by this time the trail has become much worse then earlier in the day. All the extra pairs of feet from the 50k, 25k and 10k races have made some parts of the trail into muddy messes.

I cruise along enjoying the midday sun and the run. I see a big ass deer in the middle of trail as I head along the side of the Orchard. It watches me approach but does not move. I begin to yell at it, "Look out, coming through". At first it ignores me but eventually it realizes I am not going away so it reluctantly walks off into the woods. As I pass it I look into the woods to see the deer looking back over its shoulder at me. It gives me a clear what the hell is your problem look as it watches me pass.

I pass the aid station at the start of the lollipop loop, right on pace. It is here that things start to go sideways. It starts with a little strange feeling in my stomach. Not a pain, just a little unsettled feeling. I think now thats kind of odd. Less then 2km later, as I climb the long steep hill that will take me out onto the ridge along the open fields, that little feeling becomes a small churning mass of trouble. I am starting to feel sick.

I spend the next 4k back to the start finish line trying to figure out what is happening. I have hydrated, fuelled, taken my salt, run my proper paces. I have done everything right up to now yet I am starting to get stomach problems. By the time I crest the evil country road hill my stomach is like a miniature butter churner.

Loop 4 - Oh dude what the hell
I manage to finish loop 3 in 2:40 minutes, 5 minutes slower then planned but most of that time was lost once my stomach started acting up. I sit and take a few extra minutes at the start finish in an attempt to deal with the issue. I get some soup into me, along with some ginger ale and pepto.

I also let Kim know I am having an issue. I just cant figure this out. I have my nutrition down pretty well at this point. I have only had stomach problems once before (oddly enough, last year at sulphur). I have never had problems this early in a race. Stomach issues at 55km, whats up with that?

I do what I can to deal with it and then head back out on the course. I keep it slow on purpose to allow my stomach a chance to settle down. At 9km at the gatehouse I get more soup from Kim. I dont know if my stomach is better or worse I just know that its not good. I am struggling yet my legs feel fresh, frustration begins to creep in. Over the next hour I see a number of other runners that are also struggling. I am coming to the realization that I most likely look as bad as they do. Oh Man not good.

Somewhere around the 17k mark (77km overall) I have my one and only bout of serious self doubt. How am I going to go another 50 miles if I am this nauseated. I slowly climb the road and hill that I have now nicknamed mount evil.

I end up finishing the loop in 3:08, about 15 minutes slower then planned.

Loop 5 - churning, churning, churning
In a planned effort to preserve my feet I change my shoes and socks. My feet are in good shape so far. I try to get some food into me but my stomach is rolling around like the Bering Sea on an episode of Deadliest Catch. JD is at the start finish (he is pacing someone later on). My shoes changed I want to get going but cant. I tell Kim and JD I am just going to sit and catch my breath. I have been sitting for more then ten minutes but my breathing is still rapid like I am still running. I put on a brave face but I am completely freaking out on the inside. I remember mentioning to JD that I cant believe how bad I feel. JD gives me some of his ginger candies. After 20 minutes I drag my ass out of the chair and stumble off down the hill.

I can remember very little about this loop. I know Kim met me at the gatehouse with some soup. I ran when my stomach would let me and walked when it wouldn't. Sometimes I would feel a little better but any major climbing would be followed by waves of nausea.

So just how bad was I? After the race both JD and Kim were thinking that by the way I looked at 80km that I would probably drop. Kim told me she was thinking up things to say to me to keep me going when I eventually told her that I was going to drop. Yikes.

This loop went slow. I was no longer thinking about paces or time. Running a decent time was all but out of the question now. I was now in put one foot in front of the other and keep going mode.

Loop 6 - All aboard the vomit express
I grabbed a seat and tried to regroup again. Any hope of bouncing back seemed lost. I felt worse at this point then at any other time of the race. The sun had just set. I wanted to eat but couldn't. Steve Blackburn had come out to pace me for the next 20km section of the race. I sat for a long time trying to get my body to a place where I might be able to eat but no way. I dont know how long I sat there but it was a long time. Finally I decided fuck it, this is not going to help me so might has well get moving. When I stood up a wave of nausea and dizziness nearly caused me to fall over (steve and someone else, JD maybe actually grabbed me before I fell). Then off we went.

I felt really bad as I began to think that my pacers may have come out for nothing. Steve and I made our decent down mount evil. Both of my calves had crapped up into small little baseballs of hatred and were not functioning. Luckily a big downhill is exactly what you need when that happens ( for those that dont get it thats called sarcasm). I told steve we would run when I could and walk when I had to.

I was still in good shape to finish as long as I kept moving even if I had to walk most of the way. Somewhere around 7km JD and his runner passed us looking good. Soon after we were into the gatehouse at 9km. I downed a couple of cokes and then I felt compelled to quickly walk away from the tented area where I proceed to put my hands on my knees and spent the next 10 minutes projectile vomiting.

Man it was nasty. Liquid coming out your nose is never much fun. This is really the first time I have cleared the decks in a 100 and I did not enjoy the experience at all. Worse of all it had to happen right next to the aid station. I guess thats just in keeping with me trying to create a spectacle where ever I go. One thing that was really clear to me by the volume of liquid that came out of my stomach was that I was not processing anything at this point. Not good at all.

I called to Steve to join me and headed back out. Someone said I should feel a lot better after that but it didnt seem that way to me. Maybe a little better but not much. Fifteen minutes and a couple more bouts of puking later we actually started to be able to run a little. At the next aid station I asked for something that would help with the stomach and the guy gave me some crackers (they did help). Also a super big thanks to some unknown runner that was at the aid station, I think he might have been in an earlier race but maybe he was in the 100. He gave me 3 ginger candies at the aid station which seemed to really help me over the next few hours so thanks man. I really need those.

We slowly finished out the loop. At one point we saw another guy lying along the side of the trail. Steve stopped to make sure he was okay. He said he was having stomach issues and was just trying to get it together. I think I might have grunt nodded to this as that was all I was really able to do at this point. Then we were back up mount evil and ready for loop 7.

Loop 7 - Go zombie Go
I once again had a long delay getting out of start finish area. I changed my muddy socks but not my shoes. I had a second pacer Ryan for the next 20km. I felt like crap but was now sure I would finish with only 40km to go. My legs were tired but not dead at all.

Down the hill and into the darkness we went. As we hit the first mud patch Ryan fell on his ass in the mud. He asked me not to tell anyone that less then one minute onto the trail he had wiped out. I told him there was no way I would mention that in my blog. Yeah right. In the guys defence he is not a trail runner and has most likely never run trail in the dark so dont feel too bad Ryan. After a little laugh we started our long oddesy around the loop.

I didnt feel good but wasnt puking so that was okay. Ryan did a great job keeping me moving and entertained when needed. I was super lucky to have such great people guiding me through the night. Before I knew it the sun was coming up and I was finishing loop 7, one more to go.

Loop 8 - The end is near
I was still a mess but I knew I would be finishing. A big thanks to Charlotte V. who all but forced me to take rice crackers from her at the aid station. I didnt want them but she would not take no for an answer. Good thing too as I think this ended up helping my stomach a lot.

I took a brief rest and then was off down the hill. Lots of time left before the cutoff. I had 6 hours to do 20km. I figured that I could manage that. My stomach had now settled just enough so that I could run consistently. Not fast but consistently. For the first time in 3 loops I was able to run all the flats, downhills and even some of the uphills. I kept it nice and slow in order to keep the barf monster at bay. No point pressing it as my goal had become just finishing a long time ago. I was also bonking really hard as I could not keep food down.

Around 4 hours later I was slowing walking up mount Evil for the final time. Then it was a quick jog around to the finish line and I was done.

Post Race
I have never been so happy to finish a race in my life. I tried to drink my traditional post run beer but couldnt even get that down.
I ended up finishing in 28:14:53 much slower then I expected but thats okay.

The Good

My feet came through the race in great shape. No blisters and no water damage.
Also my legs felt solid and strong the entire race. All that volume training didnt help much in the race due to my stomach but man did it pay off in the recovery. I was walking normal in 2 days, no injuries at all. Knee was not an issue. I am in great shape for the Mohican this coming weekend.

The Bad
I have no idea what happened with my nutrition. I spent a good part of last year getting it all figured out and now it seems like I am starting from scratch again. I think I am going to chalk it up to one of those things and not change much for the Mohican.

Next up Mohican 100, June 18th

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