Friday, May 7, 2010

Miwok 100K

Sometime last year the lottery for the Miwok 100K opened up.  Rick emailed me asking if I wanted to try to get in.  Sure!  Leap first, ask questions later.  A few months later, we are both in and I'm finally asking him about the course.  His description..."there's nothing flat, all hills.  big hills. but it's pretty!" 
So, Saturday May 1st, we ran the Miwok.  And gosh it was pretty.  The race started in the dark at Rodeo lagoon.  Mother nature cooperated and gave us great weather, so at the start, while it was chilly, it was nothing like last years race, which I heard rivaled the Chimera.
Running thru the sand then up and around the first hill to get a glimpse of the bay as the sunrises. picture time!
This first part of the run is a short out and back, and we get to see the big name front runners still looking fresh, easily loping along a stretch of pavement.  Anton Krupicka, Hal Koerner, Jenn Shelton, Krissy Moehl and Kami Semick were among the few I recognized. 
The first major aid station we stop at is Tennessee Valley at mile 12.  We're still feeling good, grab a quick bite and get going.  Up, up and up(this hill out of the AS i'm naming it "Ricks Hill") out of the valley, then down to Muir Beach.
Rick took all of the great pictures, sorry if I've gotten them out of order....I think he'll understand though, after running with me for a few years he knows how directionally challenged I am.
Beautiful picture perfect spots everywhere.  It's hard to concentrate on running! 
The next stop is the Pan Toll aid station at mile 21-ish. The first place we can get to our drop bags.  This becomes a major stop, we leave warm clothes and empty Heed packets behind and pick up fresh supplies.  Rick mentions his stomach is starting to act up again.  The run out of pan toll is grassy singletrack, flowers and miles of green blades all swaying in the breeze.  There is no shade and the temps begin to rise.  Still, it's an easy run and not too hilly.  We are making good time and try to catch up with runners we know are ahead somewhere.  Next is Bolinas aid station.   As we near Bolinas, Rick's stomach is really starting to hurt, I could tell there was something wrong because I was keeping up with him.  Usually he runs ahead and stops when he can't see me.  But I was always in sight and catching him on the downhills.  He had to stop a few times to let his stomach settle.  We arrive at Bolinas and see Scott Jurek working, handing out gels and encouragement to the runners who are returning from the Randall turnaround. We see signs with the cutoff times posted.  Randall's is 2:30, I don't really remember what time we left Bolinas but it was going to be a push to get to Randall before the cutoff.  The trail is dark, tree covered and rooty.  It's slow going and we stop often.  We get to the turnaround with 30 min. to spare, hand off my water bottles and hit the porta potty.  It's another long stop, but we get out before the cutoff and it's up hill back to Bolinas.  Poor Rick looks miserable, but refuses to give in and being the veteran ultra runner he is, we continue on.  I don't know what the cutoff is for the return to Bolinas but I see another lady ahead suddenly crank up the speed.  She'd been slow and steady for most of the hike back, but she was starting to run again.  I was worried we were getting close to another cut off so I tried to push our pace a bit.  We get to Bolinas (mile 42-ish) again just in time to see them starting to pack up, but they don't stop us so we must have gotten in just in time.  Next is pan toll 7.5 miles away and we must get there before 6:30pm.  Another big push.  Up a hot hill out of bolinas-Rick struggles with his stomach.  We get to the grassy single track again and make up time even with the stops for heaving...
Mentally I'm struggling here-I'm not sure if we should go on after we get to pan toll.  I ask him about it, he wants to continue.  But we stop every mile or so as the dry heaves and vomiting continue.  He hasn't been able to keep any liquid or solid down since after mile 25. and we are approaching mile 50, with more to go after that.  In my mind, I called it quits around mile 47.  I slowed down, let him pass me.  Took in the views and thought about what to do.  We arrive back at Pan toll with 40 min. to spare-seems like a lot of time.  We rummage thru the drop bags-business as usual, look for head lamps and warm clothes for the last 12 miles.  I use the bathrooms again and when I get back I see Rick crouched over some bushes, pale and shivering.  We look each other in the eyes, I ask him(more like told him) is it time to drop?  It is.  We make it official and find a nice man with a Prius,  I think he said his name was Kent, and get a long ride back to the finish.
Warm heaters and hot soup are waiting for us.  Rick manages to get the soup down...I'm a little wary as he eats cuz I'm sitting next to him...but it stays down and he's looking better. We see runners we know and chat for a while.  We watch as the sun sets and see a few more runners with lamps make their way down the long downhill to the finish. 
Rick feels bad, thinks we should have continued.  But, deep down I know it was the right decision, the safe one.  Miwok will be there next year and lottery willing, so will we.