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It hurts! Really!

My HURT 100 race report from Hurt 07. I had a tough time at Hurt, and finished in an ok 33:32.
Little race report for you. Let me say that I think the race was probably comparable to many other years – for example, a bunch of people this year were very close to their last year’s performance. The high finisher rate probably shows the race has gotten more popular. I think without the 100k option more people would have finished (Miles for example, lazy bum, but he got a really sweet deal from his friend, ask him) That said, I still think it’s by far the hardest race to finish I have ever done – time is short here – read on.

Anyways, I didn’t run much before this race – just letting my legs rest and do lots of sauna. I actually was probably the slowest ever in my pre-race 50k and personal training runs. I also felt a little sick beforehand, and on Friday finally had solid congestion and sniffles, but no sore throat sat morning, so off I went. I don’t know if it affected anything, probably not.

Let me try to give you a concise report here:

– Weather: pretty nice. Warm but cool breeze on the ridges, I was mostly soaking wet from sweat/rain which kept me cool. Very humid. I drank TONS of liquids (>80 oz per leg at times) and sweated as much. The night seemed warmer than the day at times, very mild.
– Course: Especially the descent to Paradise was a MESS. Continued rain had the course being very muddy – it was MUCH worse than last year. Pretty slippery.
– Overall I thought conditions were tougher than last year, however Escobar and Scholz were very close to last year’s time. Then again, some dropped, some were better. Probably a wash.

– Timing: I wanted to go out slow, but at HURT you
have the following problems:
a) nearly 13 hours of night. And it slows you down. Using the daylight to MOVE is not a bad idea.
b) Hurt loops can take a LONG time. I just didn’t have to confidence to go slow – money in the bank.
So I did around this I think: 5, 5:50 (felt like
6:30), 7:25(?), 8:??, 7:??

– Things that went well: I drank like a crazy person. And it paid off, I think. I never got really sick, or dehydrated. I had a 100oz camelback which has pros and cons (pro: lots of ice fits, you can drink!, con: they fill it up sometimes and you carry 100oz!!!! – that’s heavy) and sometimes drank close to 80 oz a leg. I also kept running the downhills even when my legs started feeling stiff. I noticed in other races that it hurts for a while then goes well. Overall the legs held up!
– Aid stations: in and out. Only sat down once (or twice) for a very short time. Kept moving.

– Things that didn’t go well: Overall I felt tired (2 laps felt like 3 last year, towards the end of the 4th lap I felt SPENT – I could not IMAGINE finishing this whole thing) Eating too much at the aid station makes you sick, since every aid station is at the bottom of a grueling climb. I overate a few times, leading to sluggish uphills. Last loop I lived off Coke, SportBeans (good flavors, they’re yummy at that point) and ClifBloks.

Feet: Do not ask. I changed socks once, but I have blisters the size of texas, as well as a busted big toe. During the last loop I felt something “pop” under my left pinkie toe, and it hurt BAD! I was waiting for it to go numb, and after about an hour of breathtaking pain it did. When I took my shoes off at the end of the race it turned out all of the skin on the bottom of my toe (from foot to nailbed) was solidly detached – Miles said “I am going to vomit” when he saw it. That HURT a lot. I should have taken better care of my feet, but at least I toughed it out like an experienced guy – or an idiot.

Laps summary:
1st: everything seemed so much sooner than I remembered. “What, we’re here already” Andy Kumeda and I mused many times. I figured it would seem long enough soon.
2nd: Things get tougher. Really feels like we’re going much slower, still hanging with Andy. when we do 5:50 we’re stoked! Still I feel sluggish.
3rd: Ugh, tough! Now it starts feeling like I remember the 4th loop last year! Hmmm. The Paradise Park descent in the dark is frustrating. I barely dare check the time. This loops takes us over 7 hours. Still, we have lots of time left (people tell us we’re doing great). However if you believe the math of first 60 miles = last 40, it would put us over 36! Hmmm
4th: Slow. Tough. Short of breath. Things really hurt now. The mud. Sometimes I stand for 20 seconds before a foot deep step to jump down – and there are many of those, and they hurt every time. Slippery as hell. Argh! I’m mostly alone now, and I’m not in good shape. When I get to Jackass, I am scared. The time looks bad (I estimate maybe a 9 hr loop???) and that doesnt leave much time – and especially NO room for error – for the last loop. I freak out. People have overtaken me. I am too slow. The last leg it gets light and I really pick it up on the downhill. I have about 9:50 or so for the last loop left, phew.
5th: The fast running on that last leg took its toll, but the sun helps. Feet are now ridiculously in pain, legs are aching, but I figure what the hell. I DO NOT EVER WANT TO SEE THIS DAMN COURSE AGAIN, SO I HAVE TO FINISH. And I curse for signing up for Hardrock! Ack! The sun doesn’t make me feel fast, but I am doing better. Nearly fall off the cliff hanging on my backside heads down only hanging on to a bamboo (that woke me up!!!!) and do more damage to feet (see above). I promised Jimmy when I met him on my way back to the start “I’ll run the rest if it kills me” and I do. It hurts, but I just want it to be over. I am beyond emotion by now, more robotic. I finish an hour before my later estimates. When I am at the finish, I am too spent to eat or drink.

This is a tough course. At Wasatch, I was CRAWLING bc I felt sick, and with more climbing I was “slow” with <31 hrs. Here I never get sick, come in 16th and it still takes 33:30+ hrs. Time is really short here, and things do take longer than you think. But boy am I happy I finished it! Am I going to go back? Don’t ask yet …

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