Archive | June, 2011

Pippa Middleton London Duathalon Cycling Photo

Pippa Middleton Rocks Highland Cross 50 Mile Duathlon

Royal little-sis Pippa Middleton competed in the 2011 Highland Cross 50 Mile Duathlon in the Scottish Highlands last weekend.

She completed the 20-mile run and 30-mile bike ride in 5:07:58.

Pips finished 15th out of 116 women who competed in the event.

Middleton competed in the BE Blenheim Triathlon Relay earlier this month where she did the running leg. Pippa has also completed a solo triathlon and several running races of varying distances.

Pippa Middleton Finishes GE Blenheim Triathlon (Photo)

Posted in Celebrities, Triathlon1 Comment

Amy Dodson Runner’s World Cover July 2011

Inspirational Amy Dodson on Cover of Runner’s World (July 2011)

Inspirational runner Amy Dodson is on the cover of the July 2011 issue of Runner’s World magazine.  The July issue features four different covers, each honoring a different cancer survivor, that not only survived but is thriving as an endurance athlete.

Amy lost her left leg to cancer at 19-years old. Two years later she lost her left lung to lung cancer. However, that was not the end but just the beginning of how her story would unfold.

From the Runner’s World Editor:

Amy Dodson, 48, lost her left leg below the knee to sarcoma when she was just 19. Two years later, her cancerous left lung was removed. I’ve never met Amy, but I have run with her. We both were among the 75 marathoners in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to run with Dean Karnazes as part of his 50-50-50 quest in 2006. I had met amputee athletes before, but this was the first time I’d gotten outrun by someone with a carbon-fiber leg. And I loved it.

Amy has run Boston twice (she was the first female leg amputee to run that race) and has a marathon PR of 3:35. She’s a four-time national half-marathon champion, with a PR of 1:51:04. She’s also done more than 30 triathlons, including two Ironmans, and is a two-time USA Paratriathlon champion and a two-time ITU World Paratriathlon champ.

As you read this, she’s preparing for her first Western States 100, one of the toughest races on Earth. “One of the great ironies of my life is that because of my childhood cancer, I couldn’t run with two legs,” she says. “But freed from the pain, with one leg and one lung, I can run forever. Cancer may have ravaged my body, but running saved my soul.”

Run It Fast contributor Dallas Smith, author of multiple running books, is a very close friend of Amy. He dedicated his first book, Falling Forward, to Amy.

Dallas had the following to say about Amy’s strength, “Amy went through white-hot fire and come out the other side tempered like steel. If you watch her compete you learn the potential of the human spirit. She continues to be a wonderful friend.”

Congrats to Amy on all of her amazing accomplishments and for making the cover of Runner’s World.  She is an inspiration of what the body can do when the mind takes control over it.

Posted in Celebrities, Marathon, Running0 Comments

Albinos Party

Ultrarunner Albino Jimenez Continues Across Spain

Spanish ultrarunner Albino Jimenez continues his run across Spain on el Camino de Santiago, the Trail of Saint James. His route started at his home in Burgos, Spain and goes west. He has some 329 miles total to run to reach Santiago de Compostela, the location of the tomb of Saint James, 54 more miles if he continues on to Fisterra, the actual end of land. His daily stages range from 30 to 40 miles, and it should take him around 10 days to complete the run.

As of this writing, he has completed three stages, distances of 44, 38 and 33 miles, and is currently spending the night at Leon. Heat seems to be the main challenge. He reports highs ranging in the upper eighties, 88 on the 3rd stage.

As his run unfolds, I’ll tweet his progress from my twitter account at @smithbend, and post his progress on my Facebook page. Albino is posting his progress on his Facebook page as well.

To read the full story click HERE

Posted in Running0 Comments

Kilian Jornet Western States 100 Mile Winner 2011

Spain’s Kilian Jornet Wins 2011 Western States 100 Endurance Run

Kilian Jornet is the overall winner of the 2011 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.

He ran the 100 mile course, the Boston Marathon of 100-mile ultra marathons, in a time of 15:34.

Jornet is from Puigcerda, Spain.  He is the youngest male to ever win the race according to a tweet from ultra marathon god Scott Jurek.

2011 Western States Top 4 Results

  1. Kilian Jornet – 15:34
  2. Mike Wolfe – 15:38
  3. Nick Clark – 15:50
  4. Jez Bragg – 15:55
  5. Tsuyoshi Kaburaki – 16:04

Ellie Greenwood was the female winner of the race with a time of 17 hours and 55 minutes.

2011 Western States Top 5 Women Results

  1. Ellie Greenwood – 17:55
  2. Kami Semick – 18:17
  3. Nikki Kimball – 18:17
  4. Tracy Garneau – 18:22
  5. Rory Bosio – 18:37

Reports are surfacing that 2nd place female finisher Kami Semick was delayed 7 minutes by a mad mama bear. She waited for runners behind her to catch her. They then passed the pissed bear as a group.

Western States 100 Website

[image: @irunfar]

Posted in Results, Running, Ultra Marathon0 Comments

Marshall Ulrich Running On Empty

‘Running On Empty’ Leaves Runner Full of Inspiration & Motivation

REVIEW: Running On Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America by Marshall Ulrich (PURCHASE)

As a long-distance runner, it’s both intriguing and frustrating to read about the athletic achievements of famous ultrarunners. On the one hand, it gives you insight into the inner workings of the ultra athlete in his element, his thoughts, passions and fears. On the other hand, it makes the act of running a marathon seem puny by comparison. But that’s the toll you pay when you open the pages of books such as Dean Karnazes’ Ultramarathon Man or Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run.

I must first admit my ignorance as I had never heard of Marshall Ulrich prior to seeing this book at Barnes & Noble. Like most core runners, I was familiar with Karnazes, Scott Jurek and Josh Cox because they’re the big names that most people know. However, after the foreword, written by McDougall, I felt like a running tyro for not having erected an altar to Ulrich’s impressive athletic resume. This guy ran the Pike’s Peak marathon and the Leadville 100 back to back, which is almost logistically impossible because they happen so close to each other. He won the Badwater 135-mile ultramarathon in Death Valley several times, ran it unassisted, and is famous for running it four times in a row. He’s scaled Mount Everest, participated in adventure races all over the world and holds numerous ultra running world records.

Also, he’s almost 60.

Running on Empty is a recollection of all of his most intense feats, from mountain climbing in the Himalayas to his personal struggles with romance and fatherhood. But the centerpiece of the book, around which his life’s story gravitates, is his last great accomplishment, the transcontinental Run Across America. My first thought was that the book was going to get tedious and repetitive. How much can you talk about running from coast to coast without getting bogged down by tales of running injuries and the frustration of monotony? However, Ulrich does a great job of balancing the narrative, using particular nuanced moments to reflect on previous events in his life, athletic or otherwise. He also intersperses local, idiosyncratic stories into the mix, talking about the history of local food establishments as he runs by them or reminiscing on charities close to his heart to forget about the pains in his feet.

Even though I can’t possibly comprehend how someone can average 50-70 miles a day for 52 days, I still found myself identifying with a lot of Ulrich’s stories. It seems like those who get into running passionately don’t only do it because of a drive to improve their health, but also as a means to unearth one’s hidden qualities. Ulrich shows that long-distance running can say a lot about one’s character, ambition, strength and resilience. The fact that he ran from San Francisco to New York in his late 50’s only reinforces that fact that age shouldn’t deter people from challenging themselves in extreme ways.

I’m not quite yet an ultrarunner – the marathon is still my biggest accomplishment. But if I keep reading books like these, it won’t be long until I break the 26.2-mile barrier into what all but the most dedicated runners call “insanity.”

Daniel Solera
[Daniel’s Running Blog]


Posted in Celebrities, Reviews, Ultra Marathon1 Comment

Charlie Reagan Memorial Video (Runner, Big Milan Bulldogs Fan)

This video is a memorial video tribute to Charles ‘Charlie’ Reagan about his life as a first class runner and as the biggest Milan Bulldogs (high school) fan ever.

Charlie was brutally murdered at his shop, Supreme Muffler, in Milan on June 16, 2011.

Read More About Charlie and His Passing

“How ’bout ‘dem Bulldogs!” – Charles Reagan

Posted in Celebrities, Running, Video2 Comments

Joshua Holmes – Andrew Jackson Marathon

What’s 314 Miles? I’m in for the Last Annual Vol State 500K Road Race

I started 2011 with two BIG running goals (to me at least).  One was to run and complete a 100 mile ultra marathon. Back in February, I was able to finish my first 100 miler down in Texas at the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile Trail Race.

The other big race this year I wanted to run (and hopefully finish) is the Last Annual Vol State 500K Road Race (yes, that’s 314 miles) that takes place every July in Tennessee.  Well it starts in Missouri and finishes in Georgia, but 300 of those miles wind through the Volunteer state. Which can get rather toasty in mid July.

The race was started by Lazarus Lake (Gary Cantrell) in 1981.  Runners have a maximum of 10 days to finish the race and end up at ‘The Rock.’

I needed several dominoes to fall into place before I could commit to Vol State.  All the dominoes have fallen.  The planning has begun.  This is my public confession of my insanity and confirmation of my intent to be at the starting line in Dorena, Missouri on July 14th for the 2011 Last Annual Vol State 500K.

My cousins Erick and Blake from Kansas are coming down to crew me for the week.

I have no clue if I can complete this race. I’ve done 100 miles before, once! This will be 214 more miles on top of that.

I believe I can, but it’s the unknown and makes me a bit crazy in the head thinking about it.  I stay up late at night looking at maps and attempting to come up with a strategy on how to attack it. I will have to be very disciplined and run within myself until I reach the finish.

Any friends or runners who want to join me at any part, and run that day or several miles that day with me, are welcome to join me.  Email me or tweet me @bayou and we will set it up.

I am going to try to live blog the race (while competing) here on Run It Fast and also on my Facebook Running Fan Page (Like it HERE).  You can also follow me on Twitter @bayou if you so desire.

Who Benefits From Such a Selfish Act of Running 314 miles?

I have few policies in life. One of those policies is that if you are going to do something that could result in your death, then you should raise money in the process to help benefit those less fortunate.

So here is what I’m going to do in connection with running a 500K.  I run a lot of races.  Runers at all of these races, even half-marathons and 5K’s, almost always rant and complain because there wasn’t enough water or a water table close enough for them.  Runners will have the biggest hissy fit if they go more than 15-20 minutes without a volunteer standing there offering them water.

So I’ve decided to raise money through Charity: Water to help build a water well in one of 17 developing third world countries. The well will provide actual clean drinking water to men, women, and children who desperately need clean water for survival.

With your help, we will raise $5,000 over the next couple of months. With that money, we will provide a permanent water source to 250 men, women, and children in need.  That’s 50 families which usually makes up an entire community.

The reach of clean water doesn’t stop at hydration. It allows more time for other essential things that can be done instead of walking for hours to find water. Women and children can spend more time learning to read & write and developing skills needed for survival in the 21st century.

View my Charity: Water page to help build a well to give water to 250 people for life.

DONATE HERE: 314 Miles – Water for 250 men, women, and children!

If you don’t have much today then donate a little. Then come back and donate a little more. Just like 314 miles, we will help build a well a little piece at a time.
Thanks in advance for your truly amazing support!

– joshua

I will be running the 2011 Last Annual Vol State  500K in memory of Charlie Reagan (Read More Here).

A great running friend who was murdered on June 16, 2011.

Unofficial (Official) Last Annual Vol State 500K Website

Posted in Running, Ultra Marathon6 Comments

Charles Reagan – Milan Bulldogs Elite 5k and 10k Runner

Legendary Tennessee Runner Charles Reagan Murdered

Charles ‘Charlie’ Reagan, one of the best runners from West Tennessee, was brutally robbed and murdered this afternoon at his muffler shop in Milan, Tennessee.

Reagan was found brutally stabbed to death inside his business, Supreme Muffler Center.  He was pronounced dead at Milan General Hospital.  He was 54 years old.

Milan police have arrested a 17-year old boy on charges of 1st degree murder and especially aggravated robbery according to The Jackson Sun.

Charles is survived by his wife, Trenia, and three daughters.

Charlie was a good running friend and one of my favorite people.  We always knew when Charlie showed up at a 5k or 10k race that we were racing for second place.

Reagan ran mostly 5k and 10k’s of recent but was an accomplished marathon runner as well.

He ran the Rocket City Marathon back in December 2010 in 3 hours and 7 minutes.  Earlier this year he ran the Germantown Half Marathon in 1:24.  His best marathon time I could find was a 2:52 in the 2002 Rocket City Marathon.

He was still knocking off sub 18 minute 5k’s this spring.  I had last run with him at the Medina Hornet 5K back just last month.  That day for some reason he went into great detail about how he ‘got fast’ and shared with me his speed workout that had helped make him speedy.

I had picked up a medal for him from a previous 10k a few weeks before that he had to leave early. I gave it to him that day. He looked at it a couple of times and told me, “This thing is puny!” He then found a small child to give it to.  The little boy lit up!

Charles would often wear all purple for his hometown Milan Bulldogs (high school).  After a win, he would famously shout out “How ’bout them Milan Bulldogs” or “Go Milan Bulldogs!”

A lot of us just run, but Charlie would truly Run It Fast!

He will be missed!

Read More About Charlie Reagan’s Death and Life

Charlie Reagan Memorial Video

Posted in 5K, Celebrities, Marathon, Running4 Comments

RUTS – Carson Park Horse Track 103 Laps

Run Under the Stars 10 Hour Endurance Race (RUTS) Race Report

Run Under the Stars 10 Hour Endurance Race – June 11-12, 2011

This was my second year running the Run Under the Stars 10 Hour Endurance Race in Paducah, Kentucky put on by the West Kentucky Runner’s Club.  Race director Steve Durbin does a great job putting on this race as well as the Land Between the Lakes trail races.

The race takes place at the Carson Horse Park there in Paducah. It’s a half-mile horse track that is composed of crushed limestone.  The track is wide and more than accommodated the 75 or so runners that took part this year.

The race uses chip timing and keeps track of every lap you make during the 10 hour race. You can run as much or as little as you want. You can even run, rest, nap, camp out, then run some more if you want. Race standings are posted throughout the race to help track the competition.  A TV monitor also posts your lap count every time you cross the tracking mat under the race tent.

An aid table is positioned right there on the track that you naturally pass every 1/2 mile. This made the need to carry a fuel belt or water bottle less important. The table was fully stocked throughout the night with water, Gatoraide, and Heed for drinks. It then had an assortment of foods that included watermelon, oranges, candy, potato chips, and even pizza & ice cream as the race grew long.

Runners that show up for this race often have varying goals. Some want to run something as short as a half-marathon while others want to tackle a long ultra-distance of 50+ miles or more.

Weather for this year’s event was cooler with temperatures in the 70’s for most of the race after a storm front had moved through the area earlier in the day. Last year it was in the mid 90’s at the start and never dipped below 84 degrees.  So the weather this year was a lot more ideal for running.

Last year, I had found the race online and thought it sounded unique, quirky, and fun. It was within driving distance so I said what the heck. I had a blast obviously as I returned this year for more. I was also excited that I was able to persuade other tormented souls into joining me in the rat race around the oval track this year.

The theme song for the race, that got stuck in my head after hearing it on the radio on the drive up, was the Smashing Pumpkins lyric, “Despite all my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage.” It was and is the perfect song and lyric for RUTS because we were all rats out on that oval cage running off our rage and whatever eats at us and drives us to push our bodies to the limit.

At RUTS you are always doing one of two things, either lapping someone or getting lapped. You actually get to know your fellow runners unlike most races where you might only see the competition at the start, finish, and perhaps for a few seconds in between as you run.  So you find yourself talking to the other runners, who are friendly and eager for any opportunity to distract him or herself from the 10 hour clock that is ticking down.

For that very fact, it’s a great race to run with friends that are faster, slower, or normally run a different distance than you since you can spend time with them every few laps as you make your rounds.

My good running friends Chris Estes, Scott Stader, and Naresh Kumar trusted me enough to take my word to join me for the race this year.

I showed up at the horse track at 6:30pm for the 8:00pm race start. See that is the other thing. This race starts at 8pm and then you run throughout the night until 6am, hence the ‘Run Under the Stars’ name.

After arriving, I quickly put up my tent, along with Naresh’s help.  Inside the track’s infield there is ample space to park, pitch a tent, roast marshmellows or do almost anything one desires.  Estes and Stader arrived soon after and quickly joined the ultra party.

Upon check we received our race bib along with other great goodies like a West Kentucky Runner’s Club running hat, tote bag, tech shirt, and fuel belt.

The tent and our vehicles were just 35 feet or so from the horse track. The tent was in front of our cars. Then in front of our cars, just a foot or two off the track, we placed our lawn chairs where we placed all our race gear we thought we might need throughout the night. This way we could just step off the track, grab what we want, then step right back on without losing valuable time tracking inside the infield to get personal belongings.

The field had 66 runners this year and 4 relay teams. The relay team runners were often easy to spot because they zipped by me because they had only been running for an hour or short distance. It’s always hard to gauge who is running hard or the furthest on a 1/2 mile loop because you never know the other runner’s goals or if they are going to run the entire time. Someone is naturally going to run harder and faster if they are just running a half-marathon distance or are part of a relay team. You also never know if this or that runner has been resting the past hour in their tent as you’ve been downing more miles.

I came in trying to have no expectations, to just run well and listen to my body…but in the back of my head I wanted to run 50 miles. I also wanted to top my 50.5 mile distance of last year.

When the race began I started at around a 9 minute/mile pace and ran the first three miles at this pace before I realized it was probably too fast a pace. I decided to slow down a bit and let my heart rate come down to help me find a comfortable rhythm. I didn’t want to labor, especially just 30 minutes into a 10-hour event.

I didn’t eat anything the first couple of hours. I just drank water and Nuun. The Nuun is good stuff and about 100x better than Gatoraide.  After the first hour I had finished approximately 6.5 miles.

I hit 12 miles at 1:57 and the half-marathon mark at around 2:08. I would talk with friends and strangers as I continued to put down miles. I brought headphones in case I wanted to listen to music at some point, but I never broke them out. I don’t like having to wrestle with headphones, cords, and sweaty ear holes while trying to run.

With an ultra you can’t just worry about hydration. You also have to worry about nutrition and replacing the calories and carbs you are burning up.  You will wilt and die if you refuse to eat. Of course eating when you don’t feel like eating is usually just as difficult. I started with simple stuff like watermelon and oranges. I also would take a Gu Roctane about every 40 minutes.

After 3 hours I was at 18 miles. After 4 hours, 23.2 miles. My runner never really slowed as the night progressed, but I had to walk for a 1/10th of a mile once or twice a lap after the first couple of hours as my ankles became extremely tender from some of the divots in the track from the horses.

Around midnight the pizza arrived!  I took two slices and neatly stacked them on top of each other as I took off for another lap. I ran the next mile while slowly eating both pieces of pizza. The pizza tasted great and provided several hundred calories that would come in handy later on.

I reached the marathon distance (26.2 miles) in 4:35 and had 28.2 miles banked at 5 hours, the half-way point.

At 6 hours I had finished 33.3 miles. I knew I had a good shot of reaching 50 miles if my body would hold up. My ankles, tender and sore from very early in the race, made me wonder if my running would turn into a March of Dimes walk-a-thon. I was hoping my short walk breaks every half mile would be enough to allow me to continue to run it fast until the end.

When I reached 32 miles, I came across Estes on a lap. He looked a bit beat up and told me he had developed a painful blister on the bottom of one of his feet. He had tried to tape it, but the blister seemed determined to slow down Estes or end his night….which it did.

Estes, to my shock, told me he was going to finish another lap and call it a night with 34.5 miles.  He was going to play it smart. Something runners, and especially those like Estes and myself, rarely do.

He made the right call.

So Estes retired to the lawn chair near the track and did a great job of offering the rest of us encouragement and support for most of remaining 4 hours.

35 miles came at 6:22 and 40 at 7:23.  I had over 2.5 hours to do at least 10 miles. I had my iPhone out to recalculate the pace I would need to reach 50 miles ever so often when I’d hit a milestone (marker).  I stayed strong and the pace I needed continued to become a larger and larger number….a good thing!

One of the best things that happened during the race took place took place with just a few hours left. I had been expecting and waiting upon it as well. I finished a lap and saw three volunteers standing there, each with a separate box. One had Bomb popsicles, the other Nutty Buddies, and the third had fudgesicles. I grabbed the chocolate one and that ice cream, that had  naturally melted a bit in the heat, tasted like fresh cocoa milk off a cow’s udder. It was heavenly and so yum!

Those magical volunteers from the big RD in the Sky were there for several more laps with all three ice cream options. I turned it down after the first time for fear my over-indulgence might cause a stomach problem that would turn me into Cary Morgan around mile 20 of a marathon.

With 22 minutes left, as the clock hit 9:38, I reached my goal of 50 miles. I felt good though so I kept running.  The miles weren’t easy at this point, but they weren’t hard either. I was still running 80% of each lap at a 9:10ish pace. I’d walk just long enough to catch my breath, bring my HR down, and rest my ankles.

I came around on lap 102 (51 miles) and saw I had plenty of time to attempt another lap. So I did, but I noticed quickly that my arms and fingers were tingling and going a bit numb. I quickly decided I didn’t want to die on a horse track in Paducah and walked a good bit of that last lap.

I finished with 51.5 miles in 9:58:42.

Naresh finished with 51.5 miles as well. We tied for 6th out of 66 solo runners. Stader finished his first ultra, a 50K.  Estes completed his third ultra with 34.5 miles.

103 Laps on a 1/2 Mile Horse Track (via Garmin)

103 laps around an oval horse track, in the middle of the night, might like a bad idea to some people, but RUTS is a great race that allows you to run with and alongside your friends until the race clock runs out of tick-tocks.

I’ve run 204 laps around that horse track the past two years.  I’ll likely be back next year for more.  I plan to bring even more running friends with me next year!

Joshua Holmes

[Other runners I enjoyed running with, spending time with, and seeing once again included Sulaiman Seriki, Diane Taylor, John Price, Mike Youngblood, Bruce Tanksley, Gary Cantrell (Lazarus Lake), and Stu Gleman to name a few.]

[photo: Scott Stader]

Posted in Race Reports, Ultra Marathon8 Comments

Beth McCurdy Accepting Finisher’s Belt Buckle at KEYS100 Mile Ultra Marathon Race in Florida

Beth McCurdy’s Intense Keys100 Mile Ultra Race Report

KEYS100 Race Report: May 15th-16th 2010
by Beth McCurdy

As I sit here writing this report only 4 days later, I’m thinking about how fortunate I am that I do not have to work this week. Taking care of Grant, preparing dinner, and all the usual stuff, takes a lot of effort right now. Running 100 miles in the extreme heat affected me more than I had anticipated, both physically and mentally. But it was completely worth it in ways that I had never imagined.

Beth McCurdy

Making the decision to run a 100 mile race wasn’t all that difficult. My decision involved making a verbal commitment to my friends in Tampa, Florida on a Half Marathon race weekend in addition to posting it on facebook. I knew deep down that until I officially sign up, I could always back out. A few months went by and when I felt fairly secure about this decision, I decided to sign up. Never in my life have I ever felt so much nervous energy-even more than right before the gun went off in the Boston Marathon. I felt exhilirated, anxious, and down right scared. After all, the most I have ever run is 50 miles in cooler climate. Running a 100 mile race in the Keys in the month of May would not be easy and I wasn’t even sure that I could finish. But isn’t that I why I signed up?

I stayed focused on my training leading up to the event by completing 70 miles in a 12 hour event, plus some other ultra and marathon distances. I felt confident that my training, my crew, Stacey, Whitney, and Dave, and the mental preparation necessary for this distance, would carry me through to the finish. Of course, the heat and humidity was always the unknown factor that weighed heavily on my mind-and for good reason.

The week before the event I was less nervous than I thought I’d be. In fact, I was in an incredibly positive mood and happy. I was about to embark on the most exciting adventure of my life. I had so much support and encouragement from friends and family-they seemed just as excited about the event as I was.

After a fairly decent night of sleep, my crew and I headed to the start line at the 101 mile marker in Key Largo. The gun went off at 6 a.m. For the first several miles, I talked to Christian and Cyndi. The company helped keep me relaxed and it was nice knowing that I was not the only one on the planet who was about to run 100 miles. Those early miles were an adjustment. I was running at an incredibly slow pace for me and sweating profusely. On a cool day, this pace would feel completely different. So this was my first wake up call of what I had in store for the rest of the day.

At the first few crew stops, I just wasn’t sure what I needed. In fact, I made the mistake of telling my crew that I didn’t need them for 7 more miles. Wow, what was I thinking? I ended up getting water from another crew during that stretch and realized that I need to accept help from my crew as often as possible. So, I surrendered to them and thank goodness I did. Every 2-3 miles, my crew was there with everything that I could possibly need and came out to me so that I could keep walking. Whitney had the cup of strawberries and oranges, peanut butter sandwich, and bag of washcloths. She would squeeze the ice cold water on my head, drape washcloths over my shoulders, and encourage me to eat. Stacey had the refilled handheld water bottle, salt tabs, pain relievers, and the new bandana filled with ice to wear around my neck. Stacey would go over with me what was ahead and where they would be at the next stop. This information was extremely helpful-especially knowing when a bridge was ahead which I ended up looking forward to rather than dreading.

The first longer bridge came at about 15 miles. As I crested the hill on the bridge, all I could see was beautiful clear greenish-blue water everywhere. Even though the cars were speeding by me at 50+miles per hour, I was able to block them out and had this sensation that I was running on water. I was grinning ear to ear and thanked God that I was given this experience to run the KEYS100.

When I approached the 50 mile check-in, I realized that I ran the second 25 miles faster than the first. This was a confidence booster for sure, however, my blistered feet were beginning to concern me. I told my crew that my feet were a mess but that I will not be taking my shoes off to treat the blisters or change socks because I was fearful that it may make me sick if I see the damage. They listened to my wishes and I hoped that my feet would be able to withstand the duration of the race.

The 7 mile bridge approached soon after the 50 mile check-in and I stopped at the SUV in order to take in a significant amount of water and gatorade. I held two handheld water bottles and headed on the bridge with Stacey. Even though there was a nice breeze on the bridge, I had already gone 54 miles at this point and it was approximately 4 p.m. so the sun was strong. Having Stacey lead so that I didn’t have to focus on vehicles flying by was extremely helpful.

After the 7 mile bridge, I returned to the SUV to regroup and suddenly found myself very dizzy. I lay down on the ground and my crew covered me with ice cold washcloths. I believe that running the 7 miles without my crew cooling me down affected me more than I thought but luckily after about 10 minutes, I was back running again and felt fine.

One of the best parts of the day was when the sun started to go down and it wasn’t nearly as brutally hot. I started to finally feel some heat relief and despite my hurting feet, I was able to keep running. I started thinking that if I continue to feel this way, I may actually finish this thing by 2 a.m. But without any notice, I started to go downhill (not literally).

After the 75 mile check-in (time was a little over 15 hrs), I realized how much pain my feet were in and at that time, it seemed to be more difficult to walk than to run. I also realized that running in the dark was going to be more of a challenge than I originally thought. Being in pain, tired, not being able to see ocean, trees, or people, and having to dodge vehicles, was almost too tough to take and Stacey at that point agreed to stay with me for the remainder of the race. I thank God for Stacey.

Unfortunately, I had another “issue” to deal with soon after the 75 mile mark which was nausea and vomiting. I had to accept the fact that I would not be able to eat or drink gatorade anymore. I knew this would be tough but I was still able to process water. My kidneys were still functioning properly and I was able to keep moving forward so with Stacey’s guidance, this is what I did. She encouraged me to run if I could, but the majority of the time, I could only last 5 minutes or less without needing to walk.

With 6 miles left to go, I could no longer run. I had no energy left and my feet were in too much pain. At one point, I had a strong desire to close my eyes. I felt extremely tired and thought that it might feel good to close my eyes. So, Stacey and I walked arm in arm while I took a little “walking nap”. I did this again with Whitney even closer to the finish.

I pictured in my mind that the finish would be the finish of a lifetime. Even if I’d been walking leading up to the finish, I’d make myself run with my crew by my side and be overwhelmed with emotion. Well, I did finish with my crew by my side but I was in such a fog that I really didn’t feel anything. I wasn’t able to run through the finish because my feet were beyond painful and my thoughts revolved around sitting down and taking my shoes off. My finish time was 22:52. 9th overall, 3rd female, 30 finishers total out of 70 starters.

Things that I did not expect

1)The support and love from my family and friends was unbelievable. I know that people love me but I guess running 100 miles reminded me of this.

2)That my feet would get so damaged with swelling and blisters. I thought I might have a few lost toe nails but nothing close to this.

3)That my crew would be 100% perfect. I knew that they were going to be great but they were impeccable. The selflessness of Whitney, Dave, and Stacey was incredible and believe me, they were tired, too!

4)That I would have lost so much weight. I’ve lost weight due to dehydration before from events but I hardly recognized myself afterwards. LOL.

5)That I would feel this much satisfaction out of accomplishing my goal of finishing my first 100 mile foot race.

Thank you!
Mom and Dad and the rest of the family for being so supportive
My running club buddies
My GUTS friends
My neighbors, childhood friends, and facebook friends
And to Whitney, Dave, and Stacey, the best crew ever.

Beth McCurdy

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Ultra Marathon2 Comments

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