Thursday, October 13, 2016

IMTUF 100 2016 Race Report

Figured I would write a brief overview of the IMTUF 100 2016 race I participated in last month. The course is a beautiful loop, with well stocked aid stations, better than average marking, a finish line at a hot springs, and a volunteer/race staff that know what they're doing. I would classify it as a mountain run, with a mix of runnable trail, along with sections that present very difficult footing. I would highly recommend the run.

Approaching Bear Pete, mile 98

Ultimately, this was easily my most 'fun' 100. My race was essentially the tale of two 50 milers, that couldn't have been more different. The first half of the race I felt great, and really didn't have many issues. The second half of the race involved numerous issues that all held me back from performing my best. I've since spent time thinking about how to neutralize those issues moving forward.

The most frustrating aspects were the fact that I couldn't shake the issues that affected my two other 100 mile finishes. Exercise induced asthma hit at mile 75, and my right arch gave me tremendous pain at roughly the same time. These combined to turn me into a hobbling, shallow breathing mess of a human being that proved capable of walking it into the finish.

The best parts of the day, were sharing the entire experience with my crew. My girlfriend Kristin and brother Paul were a fantastic crew and my friend Matthew was a great pacer. All of them had more fun than I think they expected, and getting to share the adventure with them made for lasting memories.

Goals for 2017 currently are to apply to Hardrock, run Bighorn 100, and then depending on how healthy I am come late summer, run IMTUF 100 again, this time in the counter-clockwise direction. Ultimately, I want to be able to finish a 100 mile race feeling as if I executed it to the best of my abilities, and I don’t think I've done that yet.

trail condition: smooth, beautiful along creeks and rivers. fall colors and the sunrise was incredibly beautiful.
company: ben for 10 miles, then ran with McCall local Thom for close to 10 miles
mindset: happy
physical status: low effort. slightly concerned with right IT band, as it was tight in the cold weather, and I was worried it would lock up.
execution: ideal. not pushing and easy effort. was able to maintain a conversation with anyone.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (honey stinger GF waffles and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour

trail condition: smooth, with one major climb. the course is gorgeous.
company: mostly solo. jumped back in forth with the same 4-5 runners.
mindset: happy, positive.
physical status: IT issues are essentially gone as I warm up, and Matthew does some amazing massage helping to 'release' the issue!
execution: ideal. all miles feel very comfortable, mixing in jogging/fast walking on hilly terrain, controlled descents, and efficient movement through power hiking on the climbs.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (honey stinger GF waffles and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour
notes and stories: Got to the 32 mile aid station as my crew arrived. I was obviously ahead of schedule, though, schedule had not accounted for how smooth and runnable the first 1/3 of the course would be.

trail condition: smooth and rolling to duck lake aid. forest road up and down to 50 mile aid. steep, steep, steep up to snowslide summit, then a nice downhill that is mostly runnable.
company: matthew joined in at 50
mindset: confident, patient
physical status: felt fine, by mile 55 I felt better there than I ever have at that distance.
execution: close to ideal. steady progress, but could have descended from the top of snowslide more efficiently
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour - started mixing in Kristin's Rice Bars (raspberry mint, and a red bean option), 20-32 ounces an hour
notes and stories: made it to 50 around 11 hours. felt amazing and pace was easy.

trail condition: steep up to top, and many climbs/descents that were technical and wet and muddy. storm was in full effect.
company: all matthew all the time
mindset: determined, realistic.
physical status: very cold, very wet. asthma starting, legs start to feel like lead by 65.
execution: not ideal, somewhat inconsistent, too long at aid stations.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (rice bars, lots of broth, and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour
fun story: at mile 80 aid, matthew puts his gloves by the fire to dry off/warm up. upon leaving fire, matthew realizes he has burned a massive hole in one glove. matthew now has one glove.

trail condition: rough and jagged rocky forest road, then 'no trail' that is flagged, then easy forest road.
company: matthew
mindset: apathetic, frustrated, angry, pissed off, wanted to DNF. 
physical status: exercise induced asthma extremely prevalent. hacking cough. right arch in extreme pain. completely dizzy at mile 85.
execution: very poor an inconsistent. stayed at aid station for 15-20 minutes. slept on side of forest road for 30 minutes. I wouldn't even characterize this section as a walk, it was a completely inconsistent hobble. arch on right foot was in dire pain, and top of left foot was hurting. cured this with some Biofreeze, that at least numbed my feet for 3-4 hours.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (Kristin's raspberry mint rice bars, broth, bacon, and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour
fun story: took a 30 minute nap on the side of the forest road at mile 85 while wrapped in a space blanket. felt much better, but was determined to drop when I saw my crew at 89. met crew at said aid station, had a beer, told them I wanted to drop. in true crew fashion, they didn't listen to me at all, made me eat, and made me get on my way.

trail condition: climb to cloochman is straight up. after the aid its very nice runnable trail. down after bear pete is very steep, and then flattens out and is very runnable to the finish.
company: Kristin
mindset: happy, content. mentally done, though.
physical status: body heat regulation non-existent. high fever/shivering/not sweating/sweating. left foot felt better, right foot started to hurt as biofreeze wore off.
execution: very slow walk with many stops to sit or lean over my poles. jogged last 1-2 miles in.
food/hydration: 200+ calories an hour (honey stinger GF waffles and Huma gels), 20-32 ounces an hour
fun story: upon arrival at mile 96, they tell you that you have 11 miles to the finish. I laughed at this, and told them it was only 6, thinking they were joking. the aid station captain simply looks at me, and matter-of-factly says, 'I've run the course, it's 107 miles.' My watch had 105 at the end of it all. The course is probably between 102-107. ultimately, it's a legitimate 100 mile course.

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