"What I have to run 100 miles?" is what my face says LOL. Just kidding because this was my 10th 100 mile endurance race. The day before the race I had the opportunity to talk to RD Robert Gilcrest. This guy put his heart into this race and wants everybody to have a good time.
"Really, I have to run 100 miles?" my face still says, hehehe. It's pretty common to take some quick medical tests prior the race include the weight. My weight was 170 and they'll re-check it during the race. If it add up more than 8 pounds they would stop me until it goes down. I would only gain 2 pounds though.
It was great to see my friend Troy Lesovsky. I believe this will be his 6th 100 miler.
Pre-race pasta dinner.
Linda and I were sitting with Tiffany Guerra, Ken Michal, and Steve Ansell. Tiffany will finish as first female winner, Ken would finish his first 100 miler and Steve will do what he does best: flying the course super fast!
Robert gave us a very detailed course description and answered all the questions we had.
At 8:30 PM it was light out in the car time to sleep. Yes, this is in the back of our car :) I literally slept from 9 PM to 5 AM waking up only twice.
Race morning Friday 5:30 AM. Prior the race we all gathered in a circle for a blessing led by a local Chumash Elder. I really enjoyed that moment reflecting on our journey as we connect with nature and running with a compassion for the land.
I hope Robert will keep this blessing for future races because I am sure everybody found great value in it.
On race morning the race bibs were still missing so they improvised it giving us this wrist band. We eventually would get the bib at mile 30.
My wife Linda is joining me at this race crewing for me. I am super happy to have her around because I know I'll do much better!
10 minutes prior race start RD Robert gave us last minute instructions.
Everybody is ready to go.
Good to be around friends.
A few minutes before the race I had the opportunity to ask for a picture with Geoff Roes. So far he ran 7 100 miler and WON ALL OF THEM! He will finish this race in 16 hours and 32 minutes! That's about 13 hours faster than me.
Sharp at 6 AM we were all off.
Ken having already too much fun! What I truly appreciate was that he is always smiling. It can be cold, dark, windy, hilly with lots of rocks and he's still smiling.
About 54 minutes after the start we gained lot's of altitude. You can see the ranch, where we started, down below.
Arriving at the first aid station seeing my wife waiting for me. She is such a trooper supporting me on those mad events.
Along the way we saw a lot of empty gun shells. Better watch out around here LOL
The first 8 miles were all uphill covering over 4,000 feet already.
Enjoying the trails and a beautiful day.
About 25 miles totally were run on pavement which makes it easy for my crew to catch up on me.
This race has incredible views down to Santa Barbara, the ocean and inland. Just the views are worth running this race. This was my 99th race and it's in the top 5 most beautiful runs I've done.
I felt strong and sometimes even ran the easy uphills; something I usually never do in a 100 miler.
What an incredible beautiful race.
Running on the ridge was never flat. It either went up or down.
Coming down to the 2nd aid station Angostura Pass, about 10 miles into the race.
The next section was a 10 mile fire road down to the bottom and then turn around and come back up all the way to the Angostura Pass aid station.
I was at mile 15.5 going down to the 20 mile turn around while Geoff and Scott Hambly already came back up at mile 24.5. Scott would drop out of the race at mile 91 (in 2nd place) due an injury.
Did I mention the views? Here we running by a big dam.
Steve feeling strong flying the trails.
Just right after Steve Troy came along going back up to the ridge. He would fall in less than a mile to the finish line busting his nose open :(
I finally made it to the 20 mile Red Rock Gate turn-around aid station. It took me 4 hours and 12 minutes to get here and currently I'm on a sub-24 hour finish time.
Coming by the Devils Canyon aid station at mile 25.
Linda is patiently waiting, for almost 4 hours, for me at the to of the ridge. Best wife EVER!! Crews are not allowed on this 10 mile down and up part of the race.
I finally made it back up. It took me 4 hours for those 10 miles traveling 4,500' downhill and then the same amount uphill. I had the pleasure running with Drake Tollenaar the last mile to the aid station. He got lost on his drive to the race and started 45 minutes late. Unfortunately he dropped later on in the race due injury.
Miles to see - miles to run!
13 hours into the race and I'm having a good time.
The hardest part will be cutting the belt buckle in half because Linda definitely deserves it. Best crew person ever! BWT, as of writing this (June 2011) she already ran 8 half marathons too! Way to go!!!
Approaching Romero Saddle 36 miles into the race. Unfortunately, there's no crew access for the next 14 miles to the 50 mile turn around. That means I won't see Linda for 28 miles.
This face says it all. In front of me laid the hardest part of the race. 28 miles with super strong winds and no crew. Plus it would be night before I make it back. Also, the picture looks like it's incredible beautiful weather there but it was not. Sunshine yes but strong winds and it was cold; hence my warm outfit.
But what can you do? Once you make a commitment you have to fully fill that commitment. With that I was off down the trail.
After a mile of downhill the uphill started. I swear there was no level ground on this stretch; it was either uphill or downhill.
As closer I got to the 50 mile turn around as harder and more technical the trail got. BRING IT ON!
The punishments kept on coming after each turn with more steep up- and downhills.
Tiffany already was on her way back looking happy as usual.