A few days have passed since the completion of my 9th 100 mile race. If someone had asked me for a race report at mile 50, it would have been about how self-edifying running is, how digging deep fuels my growth as a human being. I would be profound on how everyone should find their passion and live it to be a better human being. But, as it is, 100 miles is a long way. By mile 80, all I wanted to do was keep from vomiting and make the pain in my knee disappear. All philosophical babbling had long ago dissipated as I sat on the side of the trail with my head between my knees hoping for an end to the suffering.
At mile 50 I was hopeful to finish in under 25 hours, at 90 I needed to finish before the 30 hour cut off. In the end, I finished in 28:39:00. Looking at the results, 30 people passed me in the last mile. Despite this, the overwhelming feeling I have been left with since the finish is gratitude. I am forever humbled to be able to do races like these. This weekend I am reminded of words from a previous race briefing, “we do this because it is hard. If it were easy, there would be no reason to even attempt it.”
I am eternally grateful to my family and friends who stayed up all day and night to crew and pace me in, trying to ignore my bad attitude and pushing me when I no longer wanted to push.
This race was every bit as epic as I had hoped. The course was beautiful, the camaraderie extraordinary, the volunteers the best I have ever seen. Looking back, the suffering has faded away and all that is left is the feeling of being a part of something spectacular.