Monday, November 17, 2008

Mother Road 100 Miler (II) report

Mother Road 100, part II
Nov. 8th/9th, 2008
Elk City, OK to Ft. Reno, OK

Three weeks before the big run, I got the “bug” that usually comes with the fall season. I was doing everything possible to prevent it from becoming a full-blown crud. The week before the race, my stomach was still having some issues. I was eating fine, but it just wasn’t settling right. Two day before race day, it seemed that everything was finally backed to normal. I was ready to take on the Mother Road again.

This time my target finish was sub-20… but I wanted a 19 hr finish. I had my pace chart done, worked out all my splits to each aid stations, had my crew all lined out with what I was gonna need thru-out the race. I had also driven the course 2 weeks before, so there wouldn’t be any surprises. I was well-prepared.
My crew was my brother and my aunt. They had drove up the day before from Arizona, and met us in El Reno. I also had my son with me. He’s only 7 now, but he’ll be pacer in few more years. I had really thought about a pacer this time, since I was contemplating a sub-20 finish. I figured I might need someone to push me abit in the last 20 miles. However, it was not in the cards this time. I had never had a pacer before in any of my other 100’s. So not having a pacer didn’t really bother me; I’m usually in a zone anyway.

Saturday morning, 8 am, people are gathering near the start line. I got my time chip, and chatted with few people. It’s pretty awesome to see people from different states and countries to come and run the Mother Road. Two years ago, we ran another portion of the Mother Road, from Acadia, OK to west Tulsa. That was supposed to be first and last of such a race. The race directors then came up with a three part series of the Mother Road. This is part II, from Elk City, OK to Ft. Reno, OK. The third segment is to be determined at later date.

9 am sharp, the gun sounds and we’re off. The day looks great for running. Temps were about 50 at start, highs expected in mid-60s, nighttime lows in the 30s. Normal for this time of year in Oklahoma.

The first few miles, everyone was still working out the kinks. I settled in with a small pack, and we head out of Elk City in no time. At 5 or 6 miles, it’s starting to spread out a bit. I rolled into the first AS at Canute (mile 8). I kept on going since I had a crew. I was on pace at this point, doing about 9:00 per mile. I felt good, and I try to keep a slow pace.

The next segment was an 8+ miler to Foss. Everything seemed to working great. I was starting to throw in a few walking breaks here and there. There were some long stretches of straight road, and very narrow at some parts. A few times I had to get off the road for on-coming traffic. But for the most part, traffic was very light. I get into Foss (mile 16.5) about 10 minute ahead of schedule. Again, I bypass the aid station, and kept on trucking. Off we go to Clinton, just over 14 mile segment.

At about mile 22, I was beginning to feel abit sluggish. I thought, I’m eating fine, and drinking Heed. Then it hit me, I haven’t been drinking any straight water for about 15 miles. Immediately, I downed a bottle of water, and kept drinking water for the next 2 miles. I was on the verge of dehydrating. I’ve covered as much as I could with my crew the day before. But I failed to cover when I should switch between water and Heed.

I finally rolled into Clinton aid station (mile 30) just over 5 hrs. My 10 minute cushion is gone. But I was still on track. I took a short break to eat and regroup. Time was now past 2pm, it was starting to get pretty warm. After a 10 minute break, I head on out walking. Next stop was Weatherford, about 20 miles away.

There was an unmanned aid station at mile 39. I rolled in at 6 hrs,46 min., I was now 15 minutes behind. It didn’t really bother me, since there was still more than half the race left to go.

I continued on to Weatherford, about 11 miles to the halfway point. Time was now about 4pm, I was beginning to feel the chill in the air as the sun is making its way down. I reached the point where there is a detour outside of Weatherford. We had to run a short section of I40. It was a good thing it had wide shoulders; on-coming traffic was very fast. And it was pretty busy going through the town of Weatherford. The aid station (mile 50) was on the eastside of town. I timed-in at 9 hrs. 24 min. My goal was 8:41. I was now about 45 min. behind. Yet, I was not to bothered by the time. I took a 20 min. break to eat, and change into my night gear. The temp was getting pretty chilly now, and it’s only 6:30pm.

Half the race is over, now it’s nighttime…time to kick it up a notch. Hydro is the next aid station, only 5.5 miles away. I walked about 2 miles before getting back into a steady pace. I get into Hydro checkpoint in 10 hrs. 47 min., about 1 hr behind my predicted time. I downed some chicken noodle soup and head out again.

Heading towards Bridgeport, I was able to catch some people. I was finally getting back into a pretty good clip. Now, temp had really dropped, and time was around 10:30pm. I get into Bridgeport (mile 67) at 13 hrs. 27 min. Since I had a good clip going, I just go thru the checkpoint and continue on. I was still in good spirits that I’ll make my sub-20.

I finally reached the long Pony bridge. I thought that bridge would never end. I reached the Tatur aid station (mile 73) in 14 hrs. 37 min. I take a short break to eat some poTATUR soup, and switched to my trail shoes. The next section was a 6 mile dirt/gravel road to Geary. I get on the dirt road, thinking I’m gonna make up some time here. It was NOT HAPPENING! I’d tried to run, but the footing was not feeling right. I guess after being on hard surface for 73 miles, the traction was not there. It took me 1 hr, 45 min. to cover that 6 mile dirt section. I was exhausted. I thought…finally, back on some hard surface.

Geary aid station (mile 79), my time was now at 16 hrs, 23 min. Twenty-one miles to go, and I’ve got 3.5 hrs for a 20 hr finish, my 19 hr finish was not going to happen today. Calumet was the 12 miles away. I head out into the dark again. And it was still getting colder. I added another layer of clothing and put on another pair of gloves.
Just me in the dark cold night. Temp. 29 deg.

Coming out of Geary, I finally started going at a pretty good pace again. I managed to catch 3 or 4 people. I was passed by only one person in this section. I rolled into Calumet (mile 90) in 19 hrs. 7 min. I wasn’t really hungry, but I thought if I could eat some soup, then go all out to the finish. I realized in short time that the soup turned to bricks in my stomach. I was beginning to feel very uncomfortable. I walked about 4 miles, before I could start running again. At mile 95, I was now at 20 hr mark. My sub-20 was history. Sometimes, things just don't work out. I was now just focusing on finishing, my legs were hurting, bottom of my feet was on fire, my stomach was just turning round and round.

I finally reached Ft. Reno entrance. It was getting light, but the sun was not up yet. I have about mile and a half…and I’m was determined to beat the sun. I would run some, then walk a short distance, then run again. I kept this going all the way to the finish line. I crossed the finish line in 21 hrs. 54 min. 37 sec. I was sooo happy to be done. Some say that the finish line is not exactly 100 miles, but rather close to 102 miles. Guess we'll never know.
And I did beat the sun, with just minutes to spare. Mother Road 100, part I was done 2 years ago. Now, Mother Road 100, part II done. Part III is up in couple of years. I will be there again.

This is my crew, my brothers (right and left of me), my son, and my aunt. Awesome crew!
Congratulations to everyone who finished.

1 comment:

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