Rocky Raccoon 100 Miler Race Report. Night before and race morning

Me and Coach Dean the night before the race

My first attempt at running 100 miles at one pop went well I thought.  The whole weekend was an amazing  experience for me.  On the way there on the plane, I wrote in my journal that this weekend would signify the start of a whole new life for me and I have allowed that weekend to do just that.  I did not make it to the 100th mile of my run.  I chose to DNF at mile 63.  But I am ok with this.  I went into this race knowing full well that I was not in an optimal place in my life for attempting to run 100 miles.  So from the get go I made my main goal to do the best that I could under the circumstances and to make it to the starting line of this run.  I chose not to finish the race because at mile 60 I was in extreme pain due to major blistering issues on both feet.  At mile 63, I knew that with the blisters I could not make the 30 hour cut-off time and that going one more loop to get to 80 miles would only increase chance of injury while still not improving my odds to finish.  So I feel that I made a wise call to DNF for this time.  I still accomplished amazing things.  I ran further than I have ever run.  I made it to the starting line despite major personal and emotional trauma for the last 3 months.  I started my life with a clean slate so to speak and opened my heart to people around me there.  It was an amazing experience and I will add THAT RUNNING 100 MILES IS NO FREAKING JOKE!!! 

Here I am after the packet pick-up meeting the night before. I was very focused and somewhat grumpy at this time. Prior to a new distance or extreme race, I tend to get a bit on edge.

This is the packet pick-up meeting where they tell you all about the rules and the trail. This meeting was great. It is so neat to see all the different people who want to run 50 & 100 miles. It is certainly a special group.

This is everything that I needed to run 100 miles. Set it all out the night before. Running 100 miles is a logistical nightmare. It is not just going out for a run, the planning and organization is a very important part of doing the run.

The days before my run I was nervously anticipating the start.  Once I take that first step so much of the anxiety goes away but prior to that first step I am a very focused and quite person.  I am not the funnest person to be around in the days prior to the race.  This type of race takes so much planning and months of preparation with how you will get your calories and hydration during the run.  How you will ensure your electrolyte balances will be maintained.  The scope of preparation and the scope of possible variables goes very deep.  But that is part of the challenge of the whole thing.  I always organized everything way before the night before but I lay it out to make sure I have all I need.  Funny thing is, that once I laid it all out I realized THAT I FORGOT MY SHORTS.  Yup, that’s right.  I forgot my shorts to my first 100.  I had to go buy new ones and that is taboo to do a race with new and un-tested equipment.  The new shorts ended up working perfectly though.


Ok. Looking a bit fat from my weight gain, here I am at 3 am race morning. Put some tunes on to block out the nervousness. I was feeling foggy already in my head. This ended up being a problem the whole day during the race.

This is the second pile of organized stuff. It is what I would have one and carry with me for race start. Food enough for 8 hours, gloves, socks, shorts, shirt, breakfast, and vapo-rub.

My sister, Coach Dean, and me in the lobby of the motel just before we left for the park where the race was held. Had one last cup of coffee. Coach Dean is holding a bag that I organized for my crew to help me at aid stations that they were allowed to be at. I also made one other drop bag for the half-way point of the loop where they could not go. Still nervous here.


Many times at these really long ultras on the trail they make you check in again prior to start. This is to make sure they know for certain who is out on the course to account for everyone. It was very cold and the atmosphere was somber yet excited at the same time

Me and Dean talking over some last minute logistics. It is just about time to get going on this journey

All the runners have their head lamps and flashlights. We are ready as we can be for the unknowns of running 100 miles

There I am in the middle of the pic starting my watch I think. wow. it is really time now.

Race morning is a precious time.  It is a nervous time.  And it is a most wonderfully triumphant time.  After check in, I sat in the warm car and talked with Dean and my sister for about 30 minutes.  The chatter among the runners could be heard as the buzz about running 100 miles increased while the minutes passed by.  When it was time to get out of the car I could hear the 100 mile starters chanting and yelling and being excited.  It was a great thing to hear.  But once it was time to start, everyone started their own watches and began to walk the first steps of the journey.  There were 350 people at the start about and the trail is single track so the going was very slow at first.  I had to walk about the first two or three miles just to get enough space to run my slow pace.  I talked with a lady who was going to walk the whole thing and had lost 70 pounds.  That was fun.  I always feel so much better about things once I start.  I was no longer nervous or scared or full of anxiety.  I was not just another ultra-runner who was going to do the best that I could.  No Ipod, just the chatter and sound of running clothes and feet hitting the ground.  There I was, starting an amazing journey knowing that I would be going further than I ever had before.

17 Responses to “Rocky Raccoon 100 Miler Race Report. Night before and race morning”

  1. 1 Carrie
    February 10, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Well done, well done, well done! You inspire me! Here’s to a wonderful new beginning and great runs ahead!

  2. 3 the Ringmaster
    February 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Congratulations! Sometimes, out of the fire, new growth is possible. May God grant you quick recovery in everything and a quick return to the road.

    • 4 run4change
      February 10, 2010 at 9:47 am

      Thanks Ringmaster. Yes, the fire has refined me very much and my life will move on with great endurance now. I look forward to my new life. My legs aren’t even sore anymore can you believe that after 63 miles.

  3. February 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Great job Jason! So proud of you. You were carrying alot on your shoulders this race, so going 63 miles is amazing! Hope you enjoy your week…you should be proud!

  4. February 10, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Awesome job! Best blog posts I’ve read in a while. keep up the great work and thanks for the inspiration. 63 miles is awesome. I have my first 5k coming up..only 60 less than your last run but it’s a start right? Keep them coming.

  5. February 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Congrats for you for getting to the starting line. Making the call to put yourself first, taking care of yourself and achieving something most will never accomplish. Even though you didn’t cross the finish line, you are a winner in my book!
    Keep it up and keep inspiring all of us!!!

    • 10 run4change
      February 10, 2010 at 10:45 am

      I didn’t cross the finish line of the race, but I crossed one for my life. And now I am at the starting line of a new life.

  6. February 10, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I’m so glad you’ve got your mojo back!!
    And stopping was a very good decision for you.
    Congrats on doing something that very few of us could dream of.

  7. February 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    WOW – SMALL WORLD! The woman you talked to who was going to walk the whole thing and had lost 70 lb is my online friend Maryann! She DNFd at about 72 miles; still impressive!

    I am amazed at both of you — GREAT JOB and you really HAVE come such a long way. Keep working on that eating; I’m working on mine a lot too. We will both be so much happier if we keep it under control :).

    Anyway, I am very impressed and thanks for the great report.

    • 14 run4change
      February 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm

      That is so cool Tammy. I talked with her quite a bit. She was a great lady. I enjoyed being with her for a while.

  8. 15 LoriLL
    February 11, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Jason seriously, you are so unbelievably incredible. I look at you amongst the crowd of runners and I see you rubbing shoulders with people who have been thin & active their whole lives. People who have no idea what it’s like to never get picked for the team and have to shop at the big & tall stores. People who’s thighs have never rubbed together and who’s waistbands have never been lost under folds of skin. 100 miles, 63 miles, whatever. You run circles around the rest of the world. I hope you’re kicking back with your blistery feet up, enjoying a nice bacon cheeseburger right about now. You’ve certainly earned it.

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