Showed up for the Free State 100K in a weird state. I had been battling the start of a head cold and no time to rest the week prior, other than reduced mileage, so I was really pretty antsy. After an hour of the usual pre-race chatter we headed off. This was my first time at Lake Clinton, and I was surprised by both the volume of mud and the topsy-turvy terrain. Yes, all of it IS runnable, unless you're me. Anywho, started extremely slow and the first five miles didn't suck so I ramped it up just a bit. Finally caught up with Willie and we rode into the start/finish at around four hours. Quick stop and back out for the second loop, which was markedly slower, around 4:15/20. I had some stomach issues by then, and if I am proud of anything it's that I was asked "Are you sure you want to do this loop (the third)?"
Yes! I was prepared to walk, which I mostly did. Willie and Colleen did a good job of being there for me and later allowing me some time to regroup. I kept repeating to myself one of my favorite quotes: "Do the thing and have the power". I kept this up for awhile while formulating the new plan: make it to KUS aid station, jog/walk to final A/S, save enough to haul ass to the finish. I was still talking to myself when the rain and lightning started to get interesting. I couldn't have been more pleased with the cooling rain, I had been feeling muggy for a bit.
Somewhere around mile 48 I found Willie waiting for me. I knew he had been holding back a bit and we trudged toward the KUS folks. Willie mentioned that they'd probably call the race if the tornado sirens kept going off. I hoped they didn't, namely because I felt like an animal running around in the woods in a hailstorm with severe lightning adding to the fun. About a mile later we see Phil Sheridan running down the trail, game over.
Good call. If my family had been out there I would have pulled them, too.
Couple of quick mentions: the volunteers were outstanding! Thanks so much for your hard work!
Nice work, Dave Wakefield, winner of the 40-miler.
Deb Johnson: "This is my third 100K, and we've had tornado warnings during two of them!"
Lee: "So, are you excited about Leadville, Gary?"
Gary: "Not right now I'm not." (around mile 45).
Willie: "These shoes don't handle mud very well!" (the man who has the most techncial knowledge of gear in our area, said around mile 51. He is a quick study.)
Lee: "I thought you said we were going to take it easy here!" (from around mile 36 to mile 40).
Willie: "And I thought you said we were going to do the first loop in 4:20!" (went under 4:00)
Willie: "Well, do you wanna try run 2/walk 2?"
Lee: "You can if you want." Pitiful.
Berryman is next...
11 hours ago