Monday, June 27, 2011

BigHorn 100 miler, Sheridan Wyoming

Allen Skytta and I drove to the spa in Wyoming. I had a sweat, a mud bath, a cold plunge and exfoliated three toenails. The Bighorn 100 was actually less relaxing than that. We did drive and met up with my parents and brother in Sheridan after checking in for the race. By 10:00 race morning I was fueled, garbed in my fleetfeet green jersey and raring to attack the snow altered course. The hardest thing for me to do is to get up to the front of the start line with the rest of the big boys. I always feel like an imposter, like I don't belong up there. I have to remind myself to start where I plan on finishing. Sheepishly I ventured up. The race began and we ambled 5 miles on flat dirt road to the beginning of the first valley and a climb which goes up about 3000ft. I passed the time chatting with teammate Jon Robinson and it was good. I decided to push on the climb because I likes to climb and I caught up to the 3rd place guy who ended up being Nick Pedetella. I had prepared to see Zach Miller finish ahead of me, I had prepared to challenge Ty Draney, but I didn't know Nick was running Bighorn! Crap! Now I was looking at 3rd place unless someone blew up. As it was I was sitting in 4th and sat in 4th out of Dryfork Aidstation at mile 18 just past the "hip deep snow" which was ankle deep at best. My family and Allen were there to cheer and hand me my higher elevation gear. The altitude was already wearing on me. First out and back to two buttes A.S. and I could see the lead Zach had, big. Followed by Cory, Nick then me. The mud was amazing. Sticky, heavy, unavoidable. It looked like I was wearing Hoka's even though I was in Cascadias. Back to Dryfork and on to my first bonk at mile 30. I realized while beating myself up, I always have a mental breakdown at mile 30. By 40 I was feeling great especially after filling a water bottle from a spring of the best tasting water bar none. On down the valley to "Footbridge" Aidstation where I got a flashlight and food (not enough food) then headed up the valley to the 50mile turnaround, somewhere on my way up I got hungry, I got really hungry and started to hear voices and kept thinking I heard aidstations. I finally saw the 3 guys in front of me coming back and knew I was close, I stopped and peed at the base of Leaky Mt. into Leaky creek, then hiked in to the aidstation and had some soup. My way down I started to bonk bad, the trail started losing focus, I felt drunk and hungry and it was getting dark. I saw the entirety of the field on their way up and tried to pretend I felt fine. I managed to get back to Footbridge where I pigged out and donned my night gear. Dan, Jon's pacer told me the two guys in front of me had just left minutes ago. I stuffed sandwiches in my pocket and I headed out for the grind back up the valley toward Dryfork. I saw a light way up ahead and felt my  food and my mojo kick back in. I pressed and caught Cory who looked like he'd been recently released from an alien abduction. I kept on and eventually saw another light, it was Nick. I chased and finally caught Nick at the Cow Camp Aid Station, we ran together until I saw the lights of Dryfork waaaay up ahead. I knew Allen was waiting to pace me in from there and I dropped Nick and powered up the jagged jeep trail to the commotion of Dryfork. I got on the Medical scale and they said I had gained 10 pounds from my checkin weight! I didn't believe them, they said they should pull me from the race, I told them to check their scale because I could see it was two pound off at the start. They fixed the scale and it said I was eight pound over and  I could go on. WTF! I didn't feel puffy, I'd been peeing. I was scared and confused but also felt they were not right. Allen and I took off for the second out and back to two buttes with Nick close on our heels. We couldn't shake him. We hit the aidstation, turned around, I stopped to pee and Nick was past us. We watched as his light disappeared into the night and that was the last I saw of him. The next 18 miles down were a practice in balance as I could run a bit, then bonked, ate some sandwich, digested, then could run some more. The sun came out and the scenery was like running through a painting. At mile 85 I put it in spend what you've got gear and hammered downhill. No one behind us that we could see, we flew down to the canyon trail rousing the waking aidstation workers. After an eternity we finally hit the dreaded 5 mile dirt road to Dayton and the finish. It was getting warm. We split a Snickers and ran as fast as we could. Dogs tried to jump us but we were too fast, keeping a steady cadence and ticking off turns and miles. Finally we saw some buildings then a bridge and knew we were home. Two turns and a finish chute. The park was empty except for two finishline works, a puppy, two people setting up breakfast and Nick. Zach had already gone off to shower and nap as he'd been in for almost two hours. Nick had only been in for four minutes. I was really pleased with 3rd place on such a rough trail. My feet were trashed. I was also pleased to see teammate Jon come in to claim 4th place 40 minutes later! Team Fleetfeet parks two in the top 5. Cory came in after Jon and more people showed up to watch finishers including my family. The rest of the day was spent soaking in the river and talking story with the team and other runners. Gwen Scott got 3rd woman and Allison Moore finished a tough race. Jaimie Gifford had a really strong finish. Owen Connel made it 75 miles on lungs which had filled with fluid. The next day included the awards (I got a beltbuckle and a rock the size of a human head engraved with "1st place M 40-49". Then Allen and I drove straightshot back to Seattle in 15hrs. We got in 2ish in the morning. I felt like I was in college having pulled two all nighters in one weekend! There's my report without even one paragraph break!

1 comment:

  1. Your ultra paragraph is fitting for such a race. Big big congrats Adam!! Sweet rock too!!