Well, I have still not caught up on sleep, and in fact, tonight is not gonna get me out of the hole either, but I felt the urging to get some sort of write-up on the third running of the Mother Road 100 posted. Dana and I decided to not drive to Joplin Friday night, since it is a mere 90 minutes away, and we slept in our own comfy bed at home--got a whopping four hours sleep! We got up at 5:00 am, and drove to Baxter Springs Kansas for the 9:00 am start. Plenty of time, made a couple of stops for gas, peeing, eating and such. We were among the first of our group to arrive. Stormy and Brenna were also early birds.
Stormy was attempting his first 100 miler, having ran a 50 mile training run, and a hot and humid 50 miler during the summer as well as several sufficiently long runs--I felt he was ready. He ran a good race and ran a 23:10. Great job!! Roman and Caroline were giving 100 miles another shot, having worked out a things at Lean Horse back in August. Was today gonna be their day?
Roman had crew babes of his own! Candice and Susan crewed for Roman and Caroline all day and night and day. Caroline made it 100K before calling it a hard day due to blisters.
I guess I just don't run 100 milers unless Kathy runs too. To date, of the 14 100 milers I have ran in, she has ran or paced in all but two of them. We were both tied with 6 finishes apiece. A slip-up from one or the other could put one of us in the lead!!
We got in several group shots, and no more would the shutter snap when someone else would rush up who needed to be in the picture. My camera missed a couple of the re-dos--not pictured in our army are Charlotte and Randy. Randy ran a bigtime PR and Charlotte finished and i dont know any details of either right now. Dana was behind the camera.
After the National Anthem, a prayer, and the pledge of allegiance, the last seconds were counted off and the starting gun was fired. 200 or so runners took off down Military Avenue in Baxter Springs, Kansas following Andy Griffith in his squad car.
One of the things I liked a lot about this race was that whenever possible, it veered onto the original OLD Route 66. This kept us off a lot of the more heavily traveled and more modern sections, and at times, you could really feel the spirit of the old Mother Road.
Cold overcast skies did their best to threaten, but 40 degree weather is what runners really love. Could have been a lot worse, as the day before we had heavy rain!! This dead tree doing it's best to look scary against an ominous sky caught my eye, and also the camera lens of another runner in my proximity.
A mile later, the clouds began to break, and we had postcard pretty weather for the rest of the race.
Entering Commerce, Oklahoma, where a month ago, I ran the Mother Road marathon (put on by different people. This race had ran from Commerce to Joplin, Missouri--the other direction. It was a good preview of what this race had to offer, but it did not give me any sort of home field advantage or anything.
During the day, the skies got bluer, and the breezes were just enough to keep the sweat at bay. Most of the run we had a nice wide shoulder to run on. Most, but not all! A couple of sections after dark (for me anyway) had NO shoulder and lots of traffic including 18 wheelers that would blow you right off the edge of the road! But it was not as bad as you might think. (I do now wonder if sometime during the wee hours of the morning when I was sleepwalking, maybe one of those trucks ran over my feet?)
Downtown Commerce--home of Mickey mantle.
An old landmark gas station. I think it was still operational.
There was not a lot of crowd support along the way. Many of the runners had their own crews, and all would offer words of encouragement, ring cowbells, offer water or food. This race is unique in that regard. There were also canine and equine support. No biting dogs this time, fortunately.
Here's a stretch of the old road that was just like it was 80 some-odd years ago. The center section was paved, and had concrete curbs. I am thinking the gravel shoulders were added in later years as automobiles got wider. I did not know we would be running on course gravel, or I would have probably wore my trail shoes. I ended up with massive blisters and the last several miles were way painful.
After a few miles of gravel, we turned out onto pavement again. A majority of this years edition was on asphalt, which is marginally softer than concrete.
I love the sound of a distant train, and we had 'em all day and night, and day. This particular crossing had a train hold up runners behind me for a few minutes. As you can see by the long shadows, it was getting late in the afternoon. I was nearing Afton at mile 35. Here, I hit the first major aid station where I would be weighed. I actually don't think anyone was sweating enough to lose much body weight, but they have always used this procedure despite it being a winter race. The Thursday before, I had gotten a bug and was a little sick for 24 hours. I was nauseated, and had a bout of diarrhea but had recovered and all was well. But a mile before getting to Afton, I had a scare! I managed to make it to the aid station and I needed to GO! But, they wanted to weigh me. I was in a bit of a bind and asked the guy if I should weigh before or after using the bathroom, as it would most likely make a significant difference in my weight. He pondered that for a moment, and then quickly cleared way for me to get on the scales! Well, all was fine--I was good on my weight-only down a pound, and the bathroom stuff was all sound affects. I was good to run.
So thankful to have a wife who is willing to be out there for hours and hours helping me get these things done. Thank you babe!
I picked up my first pacer, my friend Arena. She wanted to run only 10 miles, since she is running the Rt 66 Marathon this Sunday. We had a great time chatting about life, running stuff, movies, food, her fiancee, our friends Jason and Lisa, and all kinds of stuff.
The sunset was not a disappointment. At times, the sky was ablaze, but few of the sunset shots turned out good. Arena ended up running a half marathon--13.1 miles. Another friend, Deborah along with her daughters Amanda and Jessica were my next three pacers. Amanda took over near Vinita and ran like a gazelle. My pace had settled into a 13 minute mile counting the bathroom stop and the aid stops--can't stop the clock just because you use the bathroom! But with Amanda, we shaved a few seconds off the overall.
At the Vinita aid station, I heard a familiar voice, and turned around to see my friend Bill Richardson. Bill is fast! He has tried his hand at a couple of hundred milers before, and both times, has gone out a little too fast and had electrolyte issues, and it sounded like it had happened again. He had gotten sick, dizzy, and had diarrhea himself.(HAHA! Got to say diarrhea twice in the same post! No, make that three times!) Bill had came into Vinita in bad shape, and the doctor there put him on an IV to rehydrate him. Bill expressed a strong desire to continue on and finish the race, and after a couple hours rehydrating and eating, they let him continue. Bill asked if he could run it in with me. I was ok with that, but obviously concerned that our paces were miles apart. I had pacers all the way to the finish, but I enjoy Bill and his company. So we were a team, and Dana and I made sure Bill ate and drank, and Bill kept the conversation going. He was a lot of help to me, and after my feet blistered up so bad, the dreaded thoughts of dropping entered my mind--but not wanting to disappoint my pacers and Bill, I put that nasty idea out of my mind!
Amanda ran just a little over 10 miles before passing the duties to her big sister Jessica. Jessica ran 4 miles or so, and she caught Bill and I up on what she has been doing on her mission trips. Sorry for no night time pics, but I handed the camera off to Dana at dark, as it does not take good night pix and I did not need to be jacking around with the settings. After Jessica got her four miles in, Deborah took over and ran around ten.
TATUR puts on an aid station in these Mother Road races--usually around mile 70-80. This year, at mile 78, they were an oasis in the night taking up shop in Foyil. They had a roaring camp fire, comfy chairs, belly dancers, warm soup, coffee, other drinks, and it would have been so easy to just stay the night. After 15-20 minutes (way too long, I know) we headed out. My feet were badly blistered. Maybe I was not drinking enough. I had used my Blister Shield, and maybe a reapplication would have been a good idea. Every step hurt. I could run slow about as easy as walking, and did a lot of both. Bill was so good to stay with me, and we had picked up my running buddy Race Horse Tom Robinson. The miles seemed to just crawl by. Eventually my second Garmin died, and every time someone would tell us how far it was to the finish, it would be way longer than we thought. Funny how it takes just a few minutes to drive the distance (and I do often drive this route in my work.)
Here we are running somewhere in Claremore. Bill's wife and daughter came out and helped with crewing late in the race. At this point, we were around 12 miles away. Three miles out from the finish, a barrage of friends came out to meet us and cheer us in. It was awesome. Finally about a half mile from the finish--from the football stadium in Catoosa, we decided to run it nonstop to the finish line. Might have started that run a little early, as I had very little gas in the tank! But we made it in, and Bill, although he could have dusted me at the finish line, hung with me right to the end. Very cool. Love you, Brother! In a small way, I helped Bill get his first finish, and in a big way, he kept me in the game. My pacers were also awesome. I am so blessed to have such good friends.
Tom ended up running right at 30 miles--maybe not the best idea for someone running a marathon next Sunday. (Of course I am a fine one to talk about tapering!) Tom, buddy, I owe ya!
Bill and I flashing our bling--very cool belt buckles! After that, I ambled over to the gymnasium to eat. Juicy burgers were on the menu, and were delicious!
A big thank you to Thomas Hill aka T2, and Bret Sholar aka Mav who did a superb job marking the course and organizing what was the best of the 3-race series. David Wood, also was all over the course helping out here and there. I know there are others who were vital to the race, and thanks to them too.
My friend Ken Saveth aka K2 was giving another 100 miler a go. He DNFd Mother Road 2, and DNFd again in Heartland last year. He wanted in the worst way to get in a finish, but his training for this race was really light. To make matters worse, he had been battling some soft tissue injuries behind his knee.
But with a LOT of heart and a LOT of determination, he finished this race around an hour after we did. I was amazed, and so proud of him.
And Roman, who had his first DNF at Lean Horse, managed to keep going, and he never quit. So many of our RunnersWorld friends came out and walked with him, and drove a few blocks ahead to cheer him in every step of the way. He had a small army with him for the last 6-7 miles!!
It was so awesome to see him get a finish!!!
Another friend Arnold Begay finished another 100--and his 3rd Mother Road. Finished it in 20 hours and change--not too shabby. Way to go!!!
My buddies Bobby and Susan also helped in crewing me when Dana was shuttling pacers. Thanks, guys!!
There were so many other people who helped here and there. TATUR was blessed with lots of volunteers. Dee and Aaron met me out on the course and lied to me telling me how good I looked. :-) They took pics and I can't wait to see em.
And so the count now is TZ-7 and Kathy-7. I had Dana text her last night to see if we could call a hundred mile truce. Kathy seemed responsive to that--but nah--that'll never happen!
Still, 100 milers beat me up!! I am still so wiped out! Here, I sit in Derek and Laurie's car, and I guess I crashed. They had some fun taking a bunch of less than flattering pictures of me. Hmmph!! This is the best of the best. I'll spare the usual blister pictures. I do have a gross video on my FaceBook page if you wanna see that kind of thing.