That's what it should have been called. Kettle and More Rain, because we had rain, and we had MORE RAIN and being out in it made me feel like a more on.
Still it was an epic weekend. I wouldn't trade any of it. Well, maybe I wouldn't have hat the brats for lunch on Friday. And maybe I wouldn't have had the pizza for breakfast on Saturday. And perhaps I wouldn't have not slept on the floor on Friday night. But as for the running decisions, I am happy with them.
I took off too fast, trying to hang with Andy and Patrick, the rabbits. Somewhere there was miscommunication, or more probably my GI problems and lack of sleep just made me too slow. The plan was for them to hang with me so I could slow them down at the start, but it didn't work that way. They took off and I hung on and by mile 5 I was already hurting. With 95 to go I dropped back letting them go. Still that darn Patrick came back and found me and I had to pretend to try to keep up for another 2.5 miles. By mile 8 I had convinced him that, no offense, but I needed to be alone.
The alone thing was working better. But due the diet errors and fast start I wasn't doing well. I saw Armando at mile 15 and I told him I was hurting but hanging tough. At this point I picked up Chris a 6'6" novice ultra runner from Chicago by way of the Syracuse Orange Basketball team. He was eager to learn and I found helping him made me feel better.
Gradually I felt better and better. I played leap frog with Adam and Lindsay for the next 30 miles. I was not shocked to see Jon WAY ahead of me. Nor was I surprised that Andy, Patrick and Dave House had built a 5 mile lead on me by the 31.4 mile turn around. There was a nice surprise in that Julie, Andrea, Becky, Tracy, Jim Sullivan, and Rebecca were right behind me. Seeing them was a happy thing. As I came back towards the 100K mark I was running better and better and the early problems seemed behind me.
Then the rain came down. I felt like Pooh in one of his epic blustery storms. People were slipping and sliding all over. Yet, it really didn't bug me much. I was steady. I ran all the down hills passing all those people that actually cared if they slipped off the trail and killed themselves.
I made it to the 100k mark feeling better than I had felt at 5, 10 or 15. I knew that a finish was not a problem and a 25 hour finish was probable. Then I saw Armando and he gave me the scoop on everyone. Adam, Lindsay Julie and Jon were out due to hypothermia. But everyone else was still running. I waited around for my guys to come in for the final 37.1 leg of the race (David House, Patrick and Andy were already out and 6 miles ahead of me) and I had decided that I was going to run back out with Tracy. I decided that I just couldn't let her go out there in the dark, cold, rain alone for 37.1 miles; it wouldn't be right.
After a bit of a wait Andrea came into the 100K point looking very fresh. She picked up Ilene and away they went. In a little while longer the 100K folks came through, Becky, Jim, and Tracy. I relayed my plan to Tracy, and much to my relief, the cold rain had gotten the best of her and we decided that going back to the house and having a beer was the better option than 10 more hours in the rain and mud.
So my race was done at 100K, and finally, I was able to get some sleep.
We all went back the next morning to see Andrea's emotional finish. She finished in 29:22 and change. When she crossed the finish line everyone was balling their eyes out (except me, I had a little tear, but that was from some sediment, I'm too tough for those wussy emotions! :)
My favorite part was right after Andrea finished some fella finished stride for stride with his 12 year old son/pacer, who looked like a miniature version of him. When the dude finished he just collapsed right on his back right on the ground to mild applause. Meanwhile Andrea was truly getting the Star treatment. Big applause, a race volunteer literally washing her feet with clean soapy water and a sponge. She was gingerly placed on a cot in the sun, and then it was decided that she would be happier in the shade, so three volunteers picked up the cot with her in it and carried it to the shade. It must be nice to be a chick sometimes!
I'll add pictures later today or tomorrow, I'll probably find my camera when I unpack, and if I can't find them, no problem, I'll just knick them from Andrea's blog.
Sometimes it not about how you finish or how you run, but just about having a little fun! Thanks all for a fabulous weekend!