Friday, September 17, 2010

Rio Del Lago 100 mile recap

Here's the gist of the race:)

Throughout most of the race I hung on to 3rd place, about 15-30 minutes behind the 1st and 2nd place runners (Greg Bomhoff and Jean Pommier). My legs felt strong all day, and my energy level was also high, but reoccurring stomach issues continued to force me to take extra time at aid stations and with my crew (Heidi, Tom, and Toshi).

At the Hazel Bluff Aid Station (mile 75) I was about 15 minutes behind Jean, and had been slowly gaining ground. I sat with my crew, and was given a Green Vibrance drink, some chicken noodle soup, and a 5 hr. energy drink. Well, my stomach wasn't ready to take all of that and it resulted in me throwing up a steady stream of the three aforementioned items all over the parking lot. My crew was concerned to say the least, and I thought I had lost any chance of catching Jean. Oh well, Jean always beats me! After having some ginger ale and chicken noodle soup I felt good enough to run. I wasn't deterred by the stomach issues, actually the opposite occurred! I got a good laugh at the comedic turn of events, and the combination of puking and laughing energized me to continue pushing ahead!

Flash forward to Mile 96 (Negro Bar Aid Station) leaving the aid station my pacer Toshi asked the aid station workers how far ahead Jean was.
"6 minutes!" answered the aid station volunteer.

"Damn!" I thought. Jean had been moving fast all day, and I was doubtful that I could run 1 minute per mile faster than Jean to the finish.

Undeterred, Toshi and I continued to pick up steam and I was able to run most of the hills to Folsom Dam Park. Reaching the Folsom Dam Park (mile 97), aid station workers Mini and Lee Jebian informed us that Jean had just left the aid station and we were really close. I led Toshi out of the aid station, and we finally saw Jean's headlamp as he was climbing up the Lake Folsom Levee (Mile 99). Reaching the hill, I muttered a prayer asking for the strength to survive and close out the race. Pushing to the crest of the climb, we caught Jean and then it was an all out sprint down the levee! Running 6 min/mile pace down the levee, Jean was hanging about 10 meters behind me. We dropped off the levee to turn to the finish line, but all of the ribbons had been moved. Jean caught up to me again, Toshi ran to the right, and I instinctively started moving toward the left which was the right decision. The trail was hard to find, but finally we reached the soccer fields and the finish line followed soon after.

My finishing time (I found this out later) was 17:21:57! A mere 24 seconds faster than Guillermo Medina's age group course record of 17:22:21 which was set in 2002! Jean came down the chute ~15 seconds behind me, great race Jean!! Greg Bomhoff, who looked solid all day, won the race with a time of 16:38.

Overall the Quicksilver Running Team had a great showing! We had 6 team members finish the race (Jean, Bree, Greg, Pierre, Jim, and myself), and Bree won the women's division! Way to go Team!!

In conclusion, 100 miles is an unpredictable distance with many variables that threaten to ruin one's day. My takeaway from RDL 100 is to remain in the moment and deal with issues as they arise. Minor issues such as stomach distress can quickly escalate and ruin the best runners race! It is better to take the time and address immediate needs, than to ignore what your body is telling you and risk blowing up! During the Rio Del Lago, I had a few minor inconveniences but by giving them the needed attention I was able to continue to move forward, and finished with a time that exceeded all of my expectations.

Many thanks to my crew and pacers, Heidi, Toshi, and Tom, your support made a huge difference! Finally I want to thank Jean, more than any pacer or crew having you out front kept me moving all day:)

Race Reports:
Farther Faster- Jean Pommier
Clydeologist- S. Baboo