For the uninitiated, this blog is documentation of my ultimate ultra career goal of finishing a hundred 100 mile races. 100 x 100 = 10k. Rather amazingly enough this was something I came up before I had even toed the line at my first hundred miler. As I was getting into ultras, hundred milers had all the cachet and it just seemed like the most ridiculous thing to be able to accomplish. Plus buckles.
As I started out, they were as hard as advertised. I couldn’t even finish the first one I attempted. Rather than being discouraged, I went forward with my second race that I had already signed up for. Oil Creek was initially supposed to be my first hundred, but I opted for C&O instead five months earlier because it’s easier. LOL. Let the learning commence.
My redemption run at C&O the following year was when I realized that running hundreds was really my thing. Not because I had an amazing race, but rather the opposite. Oil Creek has about 17,000 feet of elevation gain compared to 1,500 feet or so at C&O. It’s on somewhat technical trails vs. pancake flat towpath. It’s just a much, much slower race. So when I managed to chop all of 5 minutes off my finishing time, I should have been incredibly upset with my performance. I should have been 2 hours faster, not a measly five minutes. Instead I was very satisfied. Stuff went wrong and I struggled, but I was able to persevere and finish. Hundreds are hard!
So began the long, slow climb to a hundred hundreds.
Buckeye 200 was my 25th finish. When I started I set a couple guidelines. The first is that they needed to be official races. So the 99 miles I managed on my first MDT FKT attempt? Not counted (I totally would have hobbled another mile otherwise). The next guideline is that I’m counting races where I go at least a hundred miles not just hundred mile races. So there’s a 24 hour and a backyard race included in the 25 finishes. The final criteria is I’m not counting multiples of hundreds. So the 200 miles at Buckeye only counts as one and not two finishes. The goal is a hundred hundreds, not 10,000 miles of races.
I’ve learned a lot over the past 8 years, which I’ll detail in the next couple posts. Probably the thing that amazes me most is how much I thoroughly enjoy running hundreds. When I started tilting at this windmill, I had no experience with endurance sports and no idea how I would take to it. Well, consider me taken. While I believe I’ve gotten much, much better at running them over the years, I’m still a long ways from mastering them. My guess is that might take me another 75 races to achieve.