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Plain tough!

Finished Plain in just about 32 hours. Tough. Fun. Beautiful …
Plain. I finished. They had a high finisher rate this year, partially because of good weather (although it was bitter cold at night), a serious field and I believe people are learning from mistakes others have made (navigation isn’t that difficult anymore).
That said, this is one tough race. About the race:

  • the course has some of the most gorgeous views I’ve seen. Amazing.
  • fine dust – ankle deep. Like smoking 10 packs of cigarettes (I imagine) all at once
  • the single longest and steepest climb in any hundred I’ve done so far – at the hot part of the day – with the heaviest load you’ll carry (because there’s no water for a long time). I think my pack was 18-20lbs at that point.
  • When you’re sick, there ain’t no soup. Just more gel or whatever you brought. Which is why I believe sick stomachs are one of the main reasons people have troubles with this race. It is very hard to get back to normal.
  • Estimatees on true length range from 104 to 108 miles (gps + accelerometer based). Let’ say it’s 108 !

My personal experience: I finished in just under 32 hours, I got lost once (duh), I stuck with a swiss guy and his friend (both adventure racers) for lots of the race (we finished together), didn’t eat enough at all (about 1/4 of what I brought, my stomach was grumbling all day – this made me feel pretty weak, I am super-lucky I didn’t get more nauseated, thank god I brought cola nuun!), always had way too much stuff in my pack (like that additional 32 ounces of water I’d dump out the next stream – like every time). Otherwise felt reasonably well, all in all definitely not harder in terms of the course itself than Hurt, but much more chance of messing up. Basically at Plain you pay bigtime for any mistake you make, and as you know, we all make some mistakes during a race … that makes it very hard. It’s a unique and worthy experience for sure.

Oh, and I already signed up for next year’s Plain.

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