Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Quick Report on the Headlands Hundred

I'm particularly exhausted after this race, must have really emptied myself - so the report will take a few days. I do have some photos though. I didn't run with a camera so most of these are from friends or shots I took at the start. Speaking of friends, before I say anything else, I want to shout a BIG THANK YOU! to everyone who made this race a huge success and I mean everyone; my crew was on top of it, my pacers were great, lots of friends came down to cheer, fellow runners, their crew and pacers were also so darned nice and encouraging, the volunteers were phenomenal and RD's Sarah and Wendell did an amazing job with the new course. Despite permit issues, which made the course changes necessary, they put on another great Headlands Hundred which is on it's third year and getting more competitive each passing year.

Without all of this hard work and sacrifice, there would have been no 9th place finish for me with a time of 22:06:30. 9th place for my 9th 100, kind of nice how that worked out. To be honest I was surprised to have broken into the top 10 at all. The washing machine loop format, where you reverse direction after each loop, allowed me to see the guys up front. Going out for their third loop each and everyone looked strong, eyes clear and animated and with words of greeting and encouragement as they blew on by.

This was the closet I've gotten to a perfect race. I came away feeling completely satisfied and happy with how the day went. Scary! That is so unlike me.

Headlands Hundred
20,020 ft. of total elevation gain / Same for loss
22:06:30 for 9th Overall
Course PR by 2:31:20

As great as my race was however check this out: Eldrith Gosney, 68 years old with a time of 29:23:04. I got to greet her at the start and she was all smiles as she was throughout the race despite a back that she hurt the week before. Phenomenal, it's a tough and hilly course.

John and Paulette while we were out the day before the race, scouting parts of the course. Paulette was running and her boyfriend John was crewing. They drove all the way from Arizona. The start is just to the left of the lagoon in the background. The hill right behind them was part of the course.

The Endurables' Larissa Polichuk, Nathan Yanko and Brett Rivers. Nathan would win the 100-mile race paced the last 25 miles by Brett. Larissa and I ended up running a few miles together on the first loop when she was out getting some training in. Had to let her go eventually, she was moving too fast.

Old friends and competitors, Brian Krogmann and Evan Hone, just behind Brian is Nathan Yanko and behind Nathan is Ray Sanchez who just finished Badwater. Ray was also at San Diego, my previous 100-mile race. Ray's tough, a former boxer from what I heard, you should see him when he's really healthy.

Your's truly at the start. The shorts are brand new, delivered that morning by Don and Gillian of Zombie Runner who were also running the 100-mile race.

Tennessee Valley Gang
Crew and friends at Tennessee Valley. They were awesome and took me by surprise. The crab signs were Carrie's idea, they say "Go Rick, don't be Crabby'. Nice huh. It's not because I'm from San Francisco and you can get great crab in Pier 39. Photo courtesy of Tina Harrison.

Pacer J.P.
J.P. Sulpizio, my pacer from 50-75 miles. He had a blast out there, I'm glad. J.P. is a fast, strong runner and he grew up in the area, knows the trails like the back of his hand.

Super Jess
Crewchief Jessica Fewless. Photo courtesy of Tina Harrison.

Carrie working that Big Hand
Carrie Sisk, my other crew person, flashing #1. Carrie used to be a cheerleader, college I think, you still got it lady! Note the big blue whistle. The spots are caused by moisture in the air. They are present on most of the night photographs. Photo courtesy of Tina Harrison.

More GGTC'ers at Headlands Hundred
More folks from our triathlon club came down, surprised me at the start/finish when I finished up my 75th mile; Don, Lara, Preston, Daniel and Lisa. With the exception of Don, these guys were also at Western States 100 volunteering and spectating. Photo courtesy of Lara Rafton.

Sam and I
With my 75-100-miles pacer, Samantha Pinney. Sam had never been on a night run, we had a blast. I tried to drop her on the last 4-miles, didn't happen. Hahaha was feeling good enough to run hard and be mischievous. Photo courtesy of Samantha Pinney.

Photo courtesy of Samantha Pinney. With my lovely crew Carrie and Jessice. They were pooped and left shortly after this with Sam. I on the other hand.....

Stayed for another 3 hours, talking, cheering, eating and goofing around with this crazy guy. This was Brian Krogmann's idea - a shot of our Drymax socks for Bob at Drymax. The socks are the best but I didn't realize we were making spectacles of ourselves with the breakfast volunteers. Look at that post 100-mile dexterity, actually Brian was holding me up.

For more pictures, click here.


  1. Yay Rick! It was the most beautiful day/night in a long time. I couldn't think of a better way to enjoy it than running the headlands. You looked damn good out there too!

  2. Congratulations Rick. You're right, the finish times are getting faster each year on that course. How did the re-route affect the times, do you think?

    Rest up, and take your time on the report. We'll be here.

  3. congratulations, rick! you are getting stronger and faster!

  4. 20,000+ feet. 9th overall. Sick. Amazing. Great job Rick !

  5. Hey rockstar! Congratulations again! You are amazing!

    P.S. Great to visit here again. It's been too long!

  6. Congratulations! I'm glad you were able to score a course PR. I'm looking forward to your (usual and comprehensive) race report. But get some rest first!

  7. Great, Great job!! Such an accomplishment, revel in it! Congrats.

  8. It's great to feel satisfied. A job well done, Rick.

  9. great to finally run into you..what place to run. congrats on a super race..heck at mile 30 u gave me a talking tour of the area. rest well

  10. Solid, solid, solid race. I was tracking and it seemed like you definitely paced yourself very well.

  11. Rick, you are the MAN! What a year you are having. Congratulations to you on such a successful race. Amazing job, and recover well!

  12. Wow Rick, that is a seriously fast time! I'm so stoked for you and can't wait to hear all about it! I'm also glad you're feeling happy and satisfied. You deserve it.

  13. Wow...nice PR and post-100 mile balancing act (that's hard for me to do after 30k!). Keep the spirit! Ann

  14. Right on! Congrats on a great race!

    I want to be like Eldrith when I grow up. : )

  15. Dude, you are one blessed guy...with all the friends and a great race...recover well and we look forward to the nitty gritty details....

  16. also I noticed you all in long sleeve shirts and wool hats on...are you freaking kidding me...;-) Never gets below 85 at night...with lots of humidity.

  17. Great to finally meet you out there. Hope to see you again soon out on the trails. Take care.

  18. Congratulations! Great race again for sensei. :)

  19. Amazing! Great job on a perfect race and a great placing!

  20. CONGRATULATIONS!!! 9th is just absolutely amazing!! Are you going to be at JJ100 again?