Great Eastern Endurance 100K :yes: (Read 919 times)

You'll ruin your knees!

    Sept 17th, 6 am pre-dawn, after an uneventful GO!, we padded out of the Rockfish Gap Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Nervous, I dropped back near the back of the pack and coasted into the first aid station feeling great. A cup of water and off the parkway onto a rural road for the next 6 miles down into the town of Sherando. The steady downhill pulled me through a few groups of runners and down into the valley. Another mile and a half before we leave the roads and find the trails that make the races in Northern Virginia famous...narrow, steep and rocky. I coast into the Sherando Lake Recreation area after some highly technical and rocky downhills. This is a very beautiful campground area and the setting of our fourth aid station at mile 16.8. My mother, brother and sister-in-law surprise me as I come in about 20 minutes ahead of my optimistic schedule. A quick hello, how ya doin and back on the trail. Time passes quickly and I find myself back on the parkway for another aid station and more family sightings! A quick loop on a trail that had several waterfalls (all dry Undecided) and then a stiff climb into the 7th aid station prior to a "lolipop" section where we head out on a rough jeep road for a 17 mile loop. Just out of the aid station, I meet up with the overall leader (and eventual winner), Annette Bednosky. A quick greeting and exchange of "you look great" (she was lying) and I am alone again. After passing several bear hunters training their dogs (interesting), I reach another backroad for a three mile gentle climb into the 9th aid station. I meet my wife here and eat everything in sight, as the next aid station was 8 miles away and almost all of that was climbing. The watermelon didn't mix well with the sustained energy I was using and about 2/3 of the way up the climb, I encountered a new experience...I was chummin' fer chipmonks on the trail. After about 4 really strong expulsions I felt ready to run, however, I had lost a lot of fluid and was concerned now with dehydration and low electrolytes. I tried to take it easy, drinking as much as I could (water only at this point) and taking down some Hammer Gel (expresso). I hooked up with another runner and his pacer for the next 4 or 5 miles and pulled away from them at about mile 46. Darkness fell and I was running alone with nothing but my thoughts and a handheld flashlight. Lot's of negative thoughts creep in when you're alone in the dark, but I pushed most them back just out of reach of my flashlight and continued...relentless forward motion... Into the next-to last aid station with about 8 miles to the finish, mostly climbing. The full moon was now enough, given the course was back on the rural dirt road and there were few clouds, I was able to turn off the flashlight and run with my pacer, my moonshadow. He matched my every step, changing pace just as I did, although he looked better than I did. Back on the parkway with just over two miles to go, my thoughts changed to thankfullness for a God that gave me the ability to experience His majesty this way and thankful for a family who thinks I am absolutely crazy, but still supports me in my endeavours. I finished at 11:12 pm, 17 hours 12 minutes after the start. This was in my projected finish window, although closer to the slower predicted time than the faster. I was very happy to be done, my wife waiting to greet me with a kiss! Still thinking of the next one! If you're interested in pictures, here is a link...just copy it and paste it into your browser window. http://www.photoworks.com/share/shareLanding.jsp?shareCode=AA381A2BE76&cb=PW Anyway, thanks for listening and your support! Lynn B

    ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

    Into the wild

      Hey, well done Lynn. Inspirational. You made it sound a bit too comfortable!! Did you have any problems other than the puking instance? How did your legs hold up? Oh, at the end of your report you said "still thinking of the next one... it isn't clear whether you're talking about the next kiss....or the next run.. Wink What have you planned for the next run..? Johnny

      Shut up and run

      Mile Collector

      Abs of Flabs

        Lynn, Thanks for sharing your experience with us! I am in complete awe of what you've accomplished. How many people were in the race? The pictures came out great too. How do you find time to take pictures? So what's your next race? eric Smile

        You'll ruin your knees!

          Johnny, no real problems other than the sour stomach. I did have some minor issues with the threat of cramping in my legs, but careful attention to intake of electrolytes and fluid helped keep full scale cramps at bay! Eric, there is nothing to be in awe of...maybe a little shock, though. As for pictures, there's plenty of time during the course of a 17 hour race! Up next, 50K in October, volunteering at my club's 50K in November, then a little thing we call the Texas Trilogy, which is a 50 miler in Dec, a 100K in Jan and a 100 miler in Feb. Only the 100K would come close to rivaling the GEER in terms of challenging trails. Take care, Lynn B

          ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

          gimme some sugar, baby

            wow that's really far. I thought running a half-marathon was hardcore... good work.
            George: Runner/Law Student
              Great report! Well done! And,thanks for sharing the pictures.
              My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48