You would think I a 3100 word race report would be enough to cover all the details of a race. Normally, it would however there were many things that I ended up leaving out. In no particular order:
- Race organization. I can’t say enough about how well run this race was. The aid stations were well stocked with whatever I wanted, the volunteers were very helpful, and the course was well marked. They had medical professionals at most aid stations and I was “checked up” on several times in the most unobtrusive way possible. They asked me a couple questions and then were on their way. I can’t imagine the logistical hurdles that comes with running a race in this remote a region, but they did it flawlessly as far as I was concerned.
- Course markings. I was never fearful of going off course. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. There was a 1-2 mile stretch along these power lines (easily 100 yards between each side) and I missed the turn. We were running up the left hand side and I just assumed we would turn left so was looking that way and missed the row of flags on the ground leading off across to the right. The race director said several times that if we were running in knee high grass then we were off course. Guess what I was running in? I kept looking around, but didn’t see any markings. Luckily, a guy was following me and called up when the person behind him yelled that he missed the turn. Total extra mileage here was under a half mile so no big deal.
- Swag. You really do get your money’s worth from this race. Not only do you get a shirt, but they also had socks, hat, and a nice backpack to carry it all in. Everything with the ES100 logo on it. This all provided an extra small motivation to finish the race as I doubt I would have been able to wear/use any of it as the reminder of a DNF would have been too tough to deal with.
- Wildlife. I saw a rattlesnake during the power line section. Several runners ahead pointed it out and the guy right in front of me got quite close. I was more than happy to pick up my speed and pass it in a flash.
- Fat fingers. I guess I wasn’t taking enough salt because I was retaining a bit of water Saturday afternoon (though it could have been Sunday now that I think about it). I know this because my fingers started swelling. Not to the size of balloons, mind you, but they were a little uncomfortable. I started running with my hands above my head and flexing my fingers and that seemed to drop them back to normal size after a couple minutes. I upped my salt intake a bit after that and never really had a problem again.
- Heat. It was hot, but I never really noticed it after about mid-morning on Saturday. It was very humid when we started running and I remember sweating quite a bit right off the bat. I think I just got acclimated to it after a while.
- PRs. I set 2 personal records during the ES100 – distance and time. This race was 2 miles more than C&O Canal, however the really big PR for me was time. It took me 8 hours 20 minutes longer to run this race than my first two hundreds. Looking back on it, I am amazed that I could keep moving for almost 35 hours. Leading up to the race, it was almost inconceivable that I could keep going for more than 30 hours. I figured either my body would be too exhausted to keep moving or I would require sleep. Or both. I probably could have kept going for a couple more hours if I really needed to (though I am extremely glad I didn’t). I may get the chance to beat this at my next race, which has a 40 hour cutoff.
- Sleep. I got less drowsy during the ES100 than either of my other hundreds. I’m not sure if this had to do with getting in one overnight run in training or whether it was getting coffee earlier than normal (about midnight). Any time I started to feel a little tired, I would take a sip of coffee and that would do the trick. I didn’t even end up drinking more than half a cup over the course of the night. Just a couple sips here and there did the job. The ironic thing is that the most tired I got was after I left Blackwell about 7am. I had dumped all my coffee heading into that aid station so had no caffeine with me at the time. Luckily, the water in that bottle still tasted a bit like coffee and that was enough to chase away the sandman.
- Goals. I had laid out 3 goals heading into the race and I’m happy to report that I met all 3. Not only did I finish the race, but I tool 12 pictures (10 was the goal) and picked up 9 or 10 pieces of trash (goal of 5). Honestly, I probably could have picked up another 10, but I had already met my goal and the effort to bend down was starting to increase as I went along. I think both B and C goals were beneficial and am likely to keep these in one form of fashion as I continue on.