The Lean Horse Haiku
Summer all around.
The limestone path straight ahead.
Step. Then another.
Date : August 23-24, 2008
Race : Lean Horse 100M
Location: Hot Springs, SD
Time : 26:50:26
All photos in this report courtesy of Scott who finished this race, his first 100 miler, in 25 hours!
Thursday, Aug 21
I left work around noon to head to Oakland airport for my 2:03 p.m. flight to Denver from where I had a connecting flight to Rapid City at 9:40 p.m.
I parked my car in Long Term parking and boarded the shuttle bus only to get off one stop later! All I had climbed on board the bus with was my backpack!! I had forgotten the large suitcase filled with my race stuff behind!!!!
I trudged back to the car, got the bag and duly got on the next bus. That's when the phone rang. It was a recorded message from United Airlines informing me that my 2:03 p.m. flight was now delayed until 4:45 p.m. Not one to fret unduly about things I checked in my suitcase and made my way to the gate. I ate a sandwich for lunch and had a nice Starbucks espresso. Read on and off. Dozed a bit. Finally it was time to board.
The plane landed on time in Denver and I soon found myself waiting in line to board the connecting flight. My checked in bag arrived soon enough on the carousel in Rapid City and I lugged it outside to wait for the guy from Casey's Car Rental to pick me up and take me to his rental agency which was in town. After 30 minutes or so, I was on my merry way driving the 59 miles down to Hot Springs. Last year I had felt a bit strange at around the same time. I had not been in a "rural" mid-western town for almost 20 years (I left Grand Forks, ND in 1988) and it had seemed a tad "alien". This year I felt like I was coming home so to speak.
I fell asleep, after watching a bit of the Olympics, at around 2:30 a.m.
Friday, August 22
I woke up around 9:45 a.m. on Friday, made my drop bags and went and deposited them in the Mueller Center.
I still had a few hours to kill so I found my way to a spa where I got a nice one hour massage. Just before the massage I found a local pub where I had a pretty good local brew and some simple spaghetti with marinara sauce.
The race briefing was short and it was time to eat dinner before hitting the sack. Pizza Hut it was for dinner.
Saturday, August 23
I had been so proud the day before, when making my drop bags, about how meticulously I had planned them until I realized that I had forgotten to pack enough of my Perpetuem+Heed mixture for the first 16 miles of the race! Oh well!! Que sera sera.
The race started off at 6:00 a.m. sharp.
(Listening to Jerry Dunn, the RD, before the start)
I found myself walking/running with Molly Sheridan and her husband Bill. Bill had finished his first Badwater race earlier this year and Molly had missed the 76 mile cutoff in the TRT 100M earlier in July. They are both wonderfully nice people, always smiling and in good spirits.
My two hand bottles were filled with water and my intention for the first 16 miles, until my first drop bag in the Argyle Road AS at mile 16, was to rely on gels.
(Runners up the first climb on Argyle Road, just past the 5 mile mark)
The left ankle never bothered me much throughout the race. This time around it was a tight right Achilles tendon, brought about by tight glutes & hamstrings, that bothered me for almost 90 miles.
It was around mile 9 or 10 that Bonelle caught up with me and we got around to talking. She remembered me from last year's race when she, Nattu and I had run briefly and about the same point. We were together until the Argyle AS. I quickly filled up one of the bottles with the P+H mix and quickly left the AS after downing half a bottle of Ensure. It was here that I asked Bonelle if she wanted to run with me. She asked me to go ahead but told me that she would keep my yellow shirt in sight for as long as she could.
I had set my watch timer for 5 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking. I kept this up until the next drop bag AS, Pringle, at mile 24. Mother Nature had been calling for quite a few miles now so I gladly took the opportunity to make a pit stop in the toilet next to the AS.
Bonelle had surged ahead and I caught up with her after a mile and a half or so. I passed her again and this train now wound its merry way to the next drop bag AS (Harbach). Along the way my peeing had become more frequent - 2-3 times an hour. I was taking salt tablets now and then though not regularly. The Achilles tendon would tighten a bit and I would do appropriate stretches and the tightness would disappear for many miles until it woke up again.
I had made up my mind to not linger too long in Aid Stations. I was out of the Harbach AS in 6 minutes despite having to take care of an incipient blister in my left pinkie toe. This was now the section that had been very hot last year.
Somehow I did not feel that the race was as hot as last year so this section too went by smoothly. It was a nice treat to come upon a 2 foot garter snake slowly crossing the trail from one side to the other. I spent a minute admiring its beauty before getting on with my run.
(Beautiful vistas of the Black Hills surrounding the George S. Mickelson trail)
I reached the 40.5 mile AS only to be asked if I had started late? I was informed that since my name, on their list, was highlighted in yellow it meant that I had not started the race! Duh! I guess I was supposed to check in before the start but had forgotten to do so!!
They noted my time and I left as soon as I could. I soon passed the Crazy Horse monument on the right of the trail. It was such a beautiful sight.
(The Crazy Horse monument)
I reached the next AS, Oreville at mile 45.3, where I requested one of the volunteers to call Jerry Dunn, the RD, and inform him that I had forgotten to check in and that I was indeed running the race.
Lo and behold! I met Jerry in the turnaround AS. He was there, doing his rounds, and we shared a laugh!! I reached 50 miles 11:32 into the race, the same as last year. I left that AS at 11:49 into it, 11 minutes earlier than last year.
5 miles into the return journey, things just started to slow down. I was peeing way more often, once every 8-10 minutes or so (obviously I was drinking my P+H and water from the other bottle). I had found some salt on my ears an hour or so earlier and had taken a few salt tablets.
The frequent peeing was with me all the way back to almost mile 85. After that it slowed down but only because my intake of fluids had dropped drastically.
I reached Oreville, mile 70, and shared half a grilled cheese sandwich with another runner named Scott. It was after this sandwich that my stomach started feeling queasy. Ah! The familiar 100M friend was back.
This queasiness was not as bad as in TRT or my previous 100 mile races. It still made it difficult to get enough calories in. My pace slowed until I decided that walking was the best option. That decision came at around mile 84.
Bonelle, by this time, was kind of either a few hundred yards behind me or ahead of me (depending on whether I had spent minutes peeing by the side of the road). We were on Argyle Road and I knew that the next 11 miles were undulating hills that were going to be tough.
A few miles into it and I was weaving all across the road. Sleep was coming in waves. I swallowed a caffeine pill and that seemed to help some. I eventually rolled into the 90 mile AS a bit ahead of Bonelle. Jeff, her husband, had been with her all day. On his bike here and there on the Mickelson trail (miles 16-84) and in his car during these last 16 miles, he was one of the best crew persons I have ever seen. He was kind, considerate, caring and very, very supportive. He not only looked after her but asked after me too!!
Thank you Jeff. Congratulations on your 2008 Leadville 100M run finish and good luck with the Furnace Creek 508.
I tried to sleep for about 20 minutes in the AS and finally left its warm confines. There was no sign of Bonelle or Jeff. Right about the 90 mile marker, Jerry Dunn drove by in his Lean Horse Productions school bus. We smiled at each other. It was soon after that I spotted Bonelle and Jeff far ahead. The rolling hills meant that I would lose sight of them now and then.
I finally caught up with her around mile 94. I asked her for permission to run down the hill (I felt like running down the easy grade) to the turnoff from Argyle Road to the Coldbrook Camp AS. She willingly gave it and I forged ahead briefly before starting to walk right after the right turn.
I walked it into the AS, grabbed some water and a few chips and soon found myself on the climb up from the AS.
I knew that there were only 2-3 small climbs left before we started our descent into town. At the bottom of the descent, I stopped for my usual pee and I spotted Bonelle come running down the slope. Good for her!!
We decided to run the last 2 miles to the finish together, Hardly had I started to do so that the chafing in my groin got worse. I asked her to go ahead. I ran when I could and walked some more. Sweetheart that she is, she would stop yards ahead and look back for me. I waved her on a few time. Jeff finally caught up with her with about 0.75 miles to go and they started running together. I too started running and caught up with them with about 0.3 miles to go. We finished together in 26:50. Sweet success.
It was after the race, during the awards ceremony, that I learned that Naresh, a friend, had dropped at mile 67 owing to muscle problems. Good luck to you in your next race Naresh. Lisa Weiss too dropped at mile 70 in this race. Fighter that she is, she is taking on RDL next month!!
Thank you Jerry for a wonderful race. Your volunteers are wonderful.
Jon Olsen won the men's race. Way to go Jon!!!
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