Wow, what an incredible experience. I'm not writing up a full race report on this one yet, but I had probably the best running experience of my life at this race. I was able to run the entire 100 miles with 3 of my best friends and we had an amazing journey together on one of the most beautiful courses in the world. My only goal going in was to stay with Matt Williams, Josh Greenwell and Craig Lloyd for the entire 100 miles. I didn't think it would be possible for us to do it, but I was going to do everything possible to make it happen. I thought there was a good chance I could stay with them through 50, but things just worked out perfectly and none of us had any major issues. We all crossed the finish line together and it was probably the best feeling I have ever had in my running life. Craig did a fantastic write up with a video and some pictures here. Check them out for more details.
Here are a few thoughts from the race:
-The course was much tougher than anyone imagined. With 22K elevation gain there were a lot of big climbs and it was a tough sucker. Also the course elevation average was somewhere between 8-9K ft. and it was much tougher running at altitude for that length of time than most people planned on. It was not an easy race and it swallowed up several veteran runners.
- I had an absolute blast running with 3 of my best friends. There were hours of talking and laughs as well as hours of quiet grinding together. We all had low points along the way and we also each took turns leading and pushing the pace.
-I had some issues with my lungs that got progressively worse as the run wore on. By the finish I felt like I had only half of my lung capacity and after I finished I coughed out some major phlegm for several hours. It was far worse than any cough or cold I have ever had. I think it was partially running at the high elevation and also because we breathed in so much dust along the way.
- This was by far my best performance in a 100 mile race. I finished in 20th (tied) out of 197 starters. I felt really good most of the way and my legs felt fantastic the whole day/night. Although I had some low points I was never miserable, something that I can't say about my past 3 100 milers.
-This is by far the best recovery I have ever had from a 100 miler. I didn't even get very sore and feel like I could run today although I will hold off for a few more days to make sure my legs are recovered.
I can't wait to do it again.