Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Real Quick

Just popped in to say hello and give a quick summary of the past weekend. Will be back with the usual details with videos and pictures. I'm embarrassed to admit but I've been lounging around today like I was the one who ran 100-miles. Was exhausted and dragged my feet all day. I woke up this morning feeling like a Sumo wrestler had sat on me; felt crumpled, creased and broken down. No major pains or injuries though, just fatigue unlike Tony, Wayne and Kira. Those three runners I shared a room with were probably hating life today.

Overall I had a great time. Never been to Texas and Rocky Raccoon so it was a good opportunity to experience both. From a spectators standpoint I thought the race was well organized and well run. Knew hardly anyone but the people were friendly. Weather wise it got warm but never hot on the course, there was some cloud cover and a breeze. Nevertheless some people did suffer with the heat and it no doubt contributed to some of the dnf's.

Tony, the runner I crewed and paced for, went out too fast and too hard on the first loop despite knowing better. He pulled back on the second and third loops and came in at the 60th mile mark looking strong, alert and in very good time. His goal was to come in under 24-hours and he was on pace to do so. I paced him on the fourth and the final fifth 20-mile loop. Shortly after we left for the fourth loop he started to really struggle, worse he tweaked his knee around mile 70 stumbling on a root. Exacerbating our situation was our powerful handheld lights stopped working despite fresh batteries, all three of them. We still had our headlamps but my own was quite dim. It was like running by the light of a candle, on rooty trails! I was fine being fresh and used to technical trails but Tony kept nailing this root or that root which only made the knee and his mental state worse. We kept losing time to the point that he was in real danger of not achieving his sub-24 finish. Things were not good between the both of us either. He became stubborn and unresponsive. Then at mile 86 he did something remarkable. He pulled himself together and made a terrific come back. He hauled ass as best he could and came through the finish line at 23:24. There were 239 starters, only 162 finished and he was 53rd. Race director Joe Prusaitis personally gave him his race buckle and what a sweet buckle it was. Engraved underneath the star and the state of Texas were the words "Sub 24 Finisher". Frankly I'm kind of jealous. I don't have a buckle that says anything like that.

About three hours earlier Gunderson had finished. Wayne would finish almost 2 hours after Tony. We were at the race tent by the heater waiting when he came in. Kira would finish after sunrise. They all had a rough time but every one finished. A very successful outing and I'm glad to have been a witness to all of it. That said it might be awhile before I crew and pace at another hundred again. It's a lot of time, hard work and an emotional roller coaster.

Waiting for Tony to come in from his 3rd loop, mile-60. I don't know if you can tell from my eyes but I'm ready to do the opposite - plop down somewhere and nap. I got up with the runners, watched the start and spent my time away from the race getting supplies and eating. Dressed to pace - "let's get this show started already!"


  1. "He pulled himself together and made a terrific come back."


    I owe 98.75% of that to you. You pulled me out of the funk I was in and made me work hard for our goal. I learned a hell of a lot out there with you (again), and to me, that is very, very important. I can take what I learned from you and use it next time.

    It is also a big example as to what a pacer can do for a runner. Without you I would have never reached my sub-24 hour goal. You are a true friend, and a fantastic pacer. I hope we get to do it again sometime.

  2. For those who sit and wait we salute, crew, pacers, spouses, kids, etc!

    Looking forward to reading more I know two folks who dnf'd so it will be interesting to read what it took!

  3. that's just wonderful Tony way to ruin a potential pacer for me on future 100's....thanks a lot -- LOL

    Rickkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk way to get Tony in under 24, and Tony great job getting ur chitt together and closing it out strong...

    I can't wait to get to Umstead and go for a Sub

    (wait for it)

    Sub 30 --hahaha

  4. Wow sounds like a great race ;D Whoot! Congrats to both Mr Pacer and Mr Runner ;-)

  5. Sissy, hard work to be a crew and pacer...what did you think??? :) Love the honesty. And would you look at your legs!

  6. Awesome!!! Sounds just amazing! I can't wait until you come and pace me on my next half. ;>)

  7. Yes, you are already looking a little peaked in that picture-- but it sounds like you really paced like a champion. Pacing seems like a way to REALLY get to know someone at their, um, most real level.

  8. Way to go, Tony and Rick! Way to bring it home and achieve a goal. That is so cool, Rick, and I am constantly impressed with your generosity and selflessness. I can't wait to hear more about it!

  9. good on ya, rick for going all the way to texas to pace! :)

  10. I'm glad he stuck it out and accomplished his goal. And I'm more than sure it had a ton to do with you and your attitude. ;)