After running the 1st 2 races of this 4 race series I had to go for another one. Getting a buckle for running 4 60k's at night on tough trails is definitely a motivator but more so is just the allure of mental training on how to function during the night when tired. I had never ran the course so I started asking questions and really all I heard was how hard it was and that it had lotsa rocks. Typical trails in central Texas but after reading old race reports I knew there were several good climbs involved as well. Bonus work!! Last week I was given the opportunity to run Mogollon Monster 100 in September so hills are definitely a plus for me this month!
I've been traveling to these races with my buddy Dale but after his recent Badwater 135 finish he had other obligations so my friend Eric decided he'd run the 30k and drive me back so I could catch a nap afterwards. Great guy! We made the trip and got down to Lampasas at 4. Like 3 hours before the race but it gave me time to catch up with friends I only see at races. The people is what running trails is all about! The only goals I had was to finish, run on mostly the nutrition I had brought and lastly was to not finish before the sun came up. That sunrise gives you a burst of energy and until I totally trust that, I'll struggle at the 100 mile distance. These night runs I view as great training. I'm too old n slow to race it so I'll let the fast ones have that battle.
The race started at 7 and I hung out in the rear. At 1st with my friend Janiel but I knew she wanted to push harder than I planned on so I let her go. The 30k people started at 7:15 and soon began catching us and I just didn't get pulled into their speed and gave them as much room as possible. This week I've had some things on my mind so I ran mostly alone doing the thinking thing. The 1st loop was easy with my nutrition and energy levels spot on. I noticed that the 1st and last 3 miles of the loops were just mostly a graveyard for rocks but the rest of the course was fairly easy. The major climbs were on jeep type road stuff and the only other tough section was at about mile 9 to 10.5 but then it kicked you onto a gravel road for a 1/2 mile to recover. The easy parts were really good running if a person wanted to run it fast.
1st loop was done and I grabbed my Tailwind and the last 4 Gu's I'd brought and downed an Ensure I had and I headed back out. I guess that Ensure really wasn't good for me because at the 1st aid station (mile 21) I really wanted to just puke it out but couldn't. Fortunately the aid station had Coke and Ginger Ale and I got some down n headed out. Soon after I was fine and life was good. Good til I kept hearing a noise behind me. Some huge dog/coyote thing was tailing me. I'd turn around and put my light on it and it'd freeze. I'd go and it'd go to. We played this game for a mile or 2 until I started shouting at it. It got on out of there and I was alone again. At mile 27 I ran into my friend Nancy who pulled a glute and was just trying to get through it. I tried staying with her but with me wanting to see the sunrise, I knew I would be cutting it close on time. No finish=No buckle so I wasn't happy but had to push on. As I was on the last 3 miles, the sun came up and I got to put up my headlamp and run it in just as I had planned.
Takeaways- I'm really not sure. This was a race where nothing went wrong and I followed my plan and had a big grin when I finished. Nothing spectacular about my time but I wasn't there for that. My nutrition was almost spot on for over 11 hours. I took Coke twice at aid stations, 2 cookies, 2 pieces of watermelon and a banana which I promptly spit out. I learned I can go a little while unsupported except water and be fine and I learned even more how much energy a sunrise gives you! Nancy did finish in time. The girl is a warrior!!! Props to Scott & Melanie Rabb! You guys ran a tight aid station! Thanks for being out there supporting the trail community! Brad Quinn, you put on another stellar event! More people should run these races and experience the thrill of running through the night! Great racing and for guys like me, it's awesome 100 mile training. As I'm writing this, my friend Gia finished the Bigfoot 200 today with 1st place female and I think 5th overall. I had planned on pacing her but couldn't get the time off work. I'm proud to call her my friend n Gia, I owe you a pacing gig! Runners like her keep me motivated! Til next time, #RunStrong