Tuesday, August 28, 2007

running with the big boys... well, starting with them at least...

Where's Waldo 100k




really, it is 100k this year.






my 4th waldo. looks like i'll be wearing #28 next year and moving up to the 45-49 age bracket.


this year it is also the USTAF masters national trail championship. pretty cool.





oh, i won't be in the mix by any means but i do like this race. this is my fourth time running here.


i had some goals that i wanted to meet. but my training has been mighty slack after kettle 100. but i was going to give it a shot.


i had written down my splits that i wanted to hit. and planned on not stopping at the first aid station. afterall, since the course was shorted from 66.36 miles to 62.5, the first aid station was only 7.4 miles out. not 10.4 like in years past.


starting at 5am we head up the ski slope more or less. actually off to the right is where we go in picture below.



start off on double track. really the only double track we will be on all day. that way i can let people pass without obstructing them.



i try to look ahead and see how much the leaders are running this but can't really tell even with the headlamps on for this first 35 minutes of climbing.


i knew that i would get to the first aid station in under 1:30 but i would just cruise through it just giving my bib # as i pass. no need to get fluids in this short of time. glad i planned this, there was no less than 10 people there, yikes.

you see i really try to be efficient in races. stopping at aid stations for 30 seconds, never changing shoes or socks, no sitting. just relentless forward motion in everything i do. i'm too slow to take breaks you see.

on the way up to mt. fuji aid station the plan was to run through and just drop one bottle off for a refill and then pick it up on the way back not getting anything else. i see jeff (brother) as he will be there and at the summit maiden peak to run the last runner in after probably 10pm that same day! he askes me if i need anything and i just hand him one bottle and ask for a fill of GU2O. and i will see him in less than 30 minutes, i hope.

upon summiting fuji craig is there, cheering everybody on. he offered me a hug but i was so sweaty he just shakes my hand. thanks craig. well, he was right. on the way up fuji i was asked if i was going for the wet waldo award because i was soaking wet. "no" i would reply, we haven't got to any lakes yet. "it is just a lot of work for me to climb."

run through fuji aid station again just grabbing my bottle and telling jeff i will see him later. arrrghhhh, one minute slower than last year on the fuji up and fuji down 2.5 mile section.

i know this next section will take about an hour running into the Mt. Ray aid station. Sure enough, 56 minutes. good, two minutes ahead of last year.





now Mt. Ray to the Twins is my very worst section. At Mt. Ray you are at the lowest point on the course. so, naturally it is nothing but climbing to the twins. one almost can't even call this a climb because it is so gradual. do i walk any of it? yes. should i? no.



dave stevenson is leading leif rustvold and i for a bit. we come to one of the few intersections on this course. i notice there are no signs here. only one ribbon on the trail. very unusual for this race!!! this course is impecably marked i think. what is up? we make the turn and come to bobby lake in about five minutes. WRONG!!! we shouldn't be here. arrrggghhh, we turn around and head back. now the ribbons are on the correct trail! man somebody is playing a dirty trick on us.

sure enough, i catch up with chris thornley... wayyyyy tooo early on the course. sure enough, he, Kyly McMurray, and Karen Gnass got lost for an hour! i catch up with Kyly and she says i win "the bet". Naaaa Kyly, i can't win on this given what happened.

as i look at my watch at he twins, 9 minutes slower than last year. dang, i didn't know i was this out of shape??? wait, i just got lost for 10, o.k., i am fine with that.

i know the next split into charlton will be less than an hour. only get one bottle filled at the twins to save time.

sure enough, 51 minutes. one minute off my goal split but 3 minutes faster than last year.

i grab my drop bag and exchange both bottles for full ones, switch race belts and grab my beans in a makeshift throw away bottle. i'm out of there.

i start eating the beans a quarter mile down the trail on a small climb. i want to run to rd #4290 in less than an hour. i catch up to tim barnes, whom i had met earlier at kettle 100. we run together into 4290. he actually is pushing me a bit here. this split is 59 minutes. good, 4 minutes better than last year. was it the beans??? i'm not tellin'. no, really it was tim kickin' my butt.

now onto the twins aid station again. i knew this was going to be a long haul. it always is. i top off even if we are not summiting the twins this year.

mark humphreys and his pacer, brad putnam catch up to me. i think am still running ok as mark was just behind me coming into charlton and now it is 7 miles later. mark and brad pull me along. i fall behind on the climbs but catch up on the downs. they finally drop me getting into the twins five minutes ahead of me. this is as new split, we didn't climb the twins. all i knew is it better be less than 2 hours, it was, 1:44.

now it's off to the maiden peak aid station. i ran this in 1:06 last year, this year :59. I'll take it.

I look at my watch as i leave the aid station and i think, "o.k., i have 50 miles under my belt and it is time to go to work." this 2300ft climb in three miles isn't all that bad. it is just you have 50 miles of racing on your legs. oh, and the farther you get along, the dang thing gets steeper finally topping off at a 20% grade. well, this summit took me 1:17 last year. all i know is i wanted to do a little better. craig and jeff lolly gaged up here last year in 1:07. so, i plan on running anything that is flat. yes, even little 10 foot sections. it seemed to help. i do this 4 minutes faster than last year. still slow mind you. but i'll take it 1:13 to summit. tim barnes did this in :57, wowzzer.

steve smucker "stent" is there. we talk a bit. it is good to see him as i know this is about done. penny mcdermott passes me on the way to the summit. her husband mark is having a rough day but i know he will finish. i summit and get a hug from jeff. i look at my watch and it is 3:06. i think "crap" now i have to run hard to try to get under 13. dang, i just want to rest. really though, i don't know if i can get 13 as this last 10 miles took 2 hours last year.

i jam down the leap of faith passing penny, knowing she will catch me later.

barb ringstat washes my face at the last aid station. i leave after just one bottle is full. it's time to go. two years ago i ran this last 7.5 miles in 1:44. last year in 1:24. what will it be today???











i catch up to darla brader at the last rosery lake. oh, penny is just behind me again. she askes earlier on the climb up maiden if i'm doing the wet waldo. heck no penny, you don't want to see me try to swim. she's doing it except for found lake.



darla asks me to pull her in to get under 13. all i can think of is how much am i going to slow her down? we start running, it was helping. she was right there. we chatted a bit. but the chatter would be few and far between as we got closer to the finish. you see, this was work for me. talking was not a option now. penny passes us at a really good clip. i appologize to darla as i can't run that fast.

i mention to darla that it is going to be really close because i would have to run the exact last split i did the year before and i'm feeling it a bit today.

i keep running the numbers through the grey matter. gads, i can't think now. all i know is we can't let up. we run everything. at least we are giving it a good try.

we reach the last of the trail. We can see the finish line. Last year it took me five minutes to get there. I look at my watch and I think we can do it. I just try to pick out the best running surface and try to keep going. Darla is to my side now. But then her dog comes down the road and about jumps on her. I stop and wait. Good we both cross together. We thank each other for pushing each other.

wait, i don't know our time??? 12:56:51 sawwwweeeeettttt. that last split was only 3 minutes faster, but it got it done.

next year it will be my fifth Waldo. Already looking forward to it. Will Jeff run it? It will be his fifth along with Ed Willson and Chris Thornley. Only Mike Burke as done them all. What a stud.

craig and curt had an awesome plaque made commemorating the 100k Masters Championship.

Already running splits and times through my head for next year. I think I might train for this next year. What a novel idea.

more youTube stuff that smucker did (i'm in the one after burke, right behind penny)here



USTAF RESULTS HERE



RACE RESULTS HERE





4 comments:

Meghan said...

Hi Tom,

Nice to see you blogging again. It sounds like you had a great time at Waldo. I also liked reading about your experiment at the PCT 50 miler. Not that I like to read about your pain and trauma, but it's a fascinating experiment.

What be next for you?

Sarah said...

Nice job! Too bad about the trail marking vandals, huh? I hope I can be slow like you some day. ; ) : )

Despite my inexperience, if my season starts out well I think I'm going to try Waldo next year. Gotta start trying sometime, right?

Makita said...

Way to go! Just think what you'll be able to do next year with training. :)

OCRunnerGirl said...

Happy to see you are around again! I missed reading your posts. Congrats on the finish!