Posts Tagged ‘trail running


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.


100 miler. Think I am headed that way again.


Well, after my wife told me that she thought I should try and achieve my dream of running 100 miles the other day, I started considering it again.  Things are going to be different this time though.  I have a great coach who is super encouraging.  He also uses research based training to get his runs to their goals.  The great part about this type of training is that it does not require the vast amount of miles and time that I had been doing previously.  So with that said………………. Continue reading ‘100 miler. Think I am headed that way again.’