Race report: AlfaDog 40 Mile

AlfaDog 40 Mile

40 Mile #1 / Ultra #12

March 7, 2020

Place: 15/15

Time: 10:15:48

I was excited about this inaugural event from the moment I came up with the idea for it while sitting on a park bench in my hometown of Pretty Prairie on the Saturday of Easter weekend, 2019.

Like all races I host, I was determined to run this one. Especially this one. One day after my birthday, I wasn’t NOT running this race.

First things first, I was hyped about the sweet shirt design. Thanks to our friends at Fincher’s Findings, Inc. I am determined to round up a few more sponsors for next year, but I don’t hate rocking the big Fincher’s logo on the back of these shirts. They earned it for that design.

For those who haven’t heard/read already, the race name and logo come from Pretty Prairie’s most famous ever resident, Carl Switzer — aka ‘Alfalfa’ from Lil Rascals/Our Gang, along with the high school mascot of the Bulldogs.

Yeah, that’s a Bulldog with Alfalfa hair and bow-tie. Freaking awesome.

I gave Brett Fincher a specific vision for the logo and he and his people knocked it out of the park. Kami and I made finisher awards. I designed the bibs. This one had a real small-town, homemade feel to it. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

flat Derrick

Flat Derrick.

bib

Names in gold, plus a monster truck sticker on all bibs (my 2-year-old son, Bryant’s idea).

I got back in town on Friday night — my birthday. We made our way around the course to scope out the roads and get a lay of the land before race morning.

Even had a close encounter with some deer.

Woke up early on Saturday to prep our aid stations, mark turns and all that fun stuff.

And now, for the most breathtaking shot I took on the day…

sunrise 2

Pretty Prairie, indeed.

Greeted folks and handed out bibs and shirts, gave some pre-race instructions and got ready to run. Of course, in all my haste, I forgot my water bottle on the first loop. Oops.

bib on shorts

This bib would be a just a bit more tattered by the end of the day.

Another great shot I’m really happy we took was a pre-race group shot. My logic was wanting to get the group all at once since we didn’t have an official photographer on the course. Turned out to be a nice memento of our first race and a group I only hope will grow from year-to-year.

group shot

2020 AlfaDog participants.

We had 25 people sign up for our inaugural event — 17 in the 40 mile and 8 in the 25K. I’m hoping to grow both those numbers next year. But I’m happy with them for this year, especially with our 40 miler turnout.

I ran too fast and too much in my first loop. Couldn’t help myself. Got caught up chatting with various runners throughout the first loop and a half as I slowed down and they never seemed to.

I didn’t mind. I was enjoying myself and really just wanted to make sure others were as well. I also wanted to capture as much of it as I could and simultaneously pull off RD duties.

I got in a bunch of cool course shots of dirt roads that never seem to get old — to me, anyway.

I got in a couple shots with some friends.

me and Lisa

That’s Lisa. She’s one of my most favorite humans.

me and trio

Krista, Jennifer, Ingrid. They’re super fun.

Some shots with no one.

selfie on course

It was windy out there, man.

Oh, and of course I had to grab a shot with my favorite co-race-director.

me and Kami

I’ve called this woman my assistant for the last time. She’s as much or more a part of putting these things together as I am. Love her.Β 

I got word well before my day ended that we had our winner. He actually passed me at the aid station of my second loop — his third. Yeah, he lapped me. With several miles to go. He’s a fast human.

Sivanich

40M winner, Andy Sivanich (5:22:33)

He was almost twice as fast as I was. Lol. I’m not even mad, I’m just impressed.

Believe it or not, I eventually crossed the finish line.

finisher

Place: 15/15 (DFL) … Time: 10:15:48

All in all, an incredibly fun, rewarding day. I’m so thankful for all the people who joined us and hope many of them will be back and bring some friends next year.

I had the course marked a bit long (better than short) at 40.76 miles, which was good for… well, a whole lot of steps on the day. Thanks for that exhausting information, Garmin.

Already excited for next year — race day March 6, which is ON my birthday this time. Speaking of next year, registration is open!

2021 AlfaDog 40 Mile + 25K Registration

If you want to see more information on this race, check out our page on Ultra Signup (link above) which also has results uploaded — link here. And don’t forget to ‘like’ our Facebook page — link here.

Next up: (I have had two races, a 5K and 50K, canceled over the course of the next three weeks)Flint Hills 50 Mile — Saturday, April 18 — Manhattan, KS

 

Race report: Salt City Half Marathon

Salt City Half Marathon

Half marathon #30

October, 2019

Place: 73/147

Time: 2:26:05

Second weekend in a row pushing the kid in a half marathon. Goal going into this one was to beat our time yet again, though we knew it would be tough — especially with the pending storm.

We got to the start line, chatted with a couple friends, snapped a couple selfies and got ready to go. No rain early on. We knew it would hit eventually, though.

But it was a good day for us out on the course — which had a small detour along the way, making it just a hair long. Bonus mileage and whatnot. πŸ™‚

course map

This was my 30th half marathon overall, seventh in Hutchinson and third pushing Bryant. Love the half marathon distance because it’s a good workout, but my legs don’t really hurt after, which is always nice.

We got to about mile five before the rains hit. It lasted about 10 minutes before the skies really opened up for a bit, releasing a heavy downpour for a few minutes. Bryant was a trooper throughout the whole thing, getting wet but staying happy. The downpour ended, but the steady rain continued for about six miles.

dark skies

Course along Jim P. Martinez Trail.

We were soaked, but he used my towel as a blanket and we kept soldiering on. Once the rain finally stopped, the sun actually came out. That was a welcome relief for the last few miles toward the finish line.

We got in some snacks, but stopped for shorter periods of time than we had before, which helped our time. We wound up beating our PR from one week earlier by 4:17.

10:57 | 10:38 | 11:17 | 10:12 | 10:53 | 11:05 | 10:50 | 11:25 | 12:36 | 11:49 | 10:45 | 11:19 | 10:19 |Β 7:06 (0.28)

We did lots of talking and singing and making animal sounds throughout the race. I love that kid so much. We have lots of fun.

We did annoy a lady early in the race, who I overheard groaning and complaining about my nonstop talking. I apologize for nothing. We had several other folks mention how much fun and entertaining we were. For the second week in a row, we were the only stroller in the race. I like that.

We flew down the stretch the last half mile or so. Probably the fastest I’ve ever run with a stroller. The legs felt good and Bryant yelled “Go!” a bunch of times, so… I went.

We passed a handful of folks that last half mile or so on our way to the finish line.

Anyway, all things considered it was a great day. I didn’t get any photos with any of my friends who I saw there, like I usually do. But I did get to chat with some folks and got some fun pics with Bryant, so that’s fun.

Not sure when our next race together will be. I fear perhaps not until 2020, but maybe we can find a shorter one or two and get lucky with some weather. Until then…

bib, shirt, medal

Next up: Heartland 50 — October 12 — Cassoday, KS

Race report: Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon

Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon

Half marathon #28

August 31, 2019

Place: 114/177

Time: 2:17:47

This race is usually in January, but there was a sheet of ice on the ground with temps well below zero this past January, so they pushed the race back 7.5 months to August 31, which was just fine by me.

Strollers not allowed, so I was solo for this one. No expectations. Hoped to beat my time from last year, but with the tough course, honestly didn’t care either way. Just wanted to have fun and enjoy the miles.

I ran with my friends Marc and Shane for a few miles before they pulled away.

I missed my time from last year by 19 seconds.

Could’ve definitely ran harder.

But I didn’t.

I’m okay with that.

Ate some pancakes after.

This race probably will not continue after this year.

Not much else to say.

Got other stuff to do.

Here are some pictures. πŸ™‚

Urish hill focus

Conquering the Urish hill.Β 

dirt road selfie

Dirt road selfie.

Next up: Pony Express Half Marathon — St. Joseph, MO — Sept 28

Race report: Rodeo Run 4 + a Half

Rodeo Run Half Marathon

Half marathon #27

July 20, 2019

Place: 31/53

Time: 2:25:53

My seventh time directing the Rodeo Run was a success yet again. Proud of the event and what it’s become, as we’ve raised a good chunk of change for the Pretty Prairie High School cross country and track & field programs over the years.

In the first three years, we had a 5K and 1-mile, then in 2016 switched to 8-mile/4-mile/1-mile for another three years. This year, I opted to swap out the 8-mile for a half marathon, which is always a popular distance. We also added a bike option this year, which was a fun twist.

Participant numbers were down this year, especially in the 1-mile, but our profits were up. When you add a longer distance and charge just a little bit more, it really adds up.

Participants this year:

Half marathon RUN: 53

Half marathon BIKE: 8

4 mile RUN: 52

4 mile BIKE: 9

1 mile run/walk: 53

Results link here: 2019 Rodeo Run Results

Anyway… Always cool to participate in an event I host and get rid of at least a little stress by taking off for a run with my friends.

flat Derrick

Love the shirts this year — and picking my own bib number.

Here are some photos from throughout the day, as I will try to limit the wordiness of this report. Mostly because, well, we have a Facebook page, you guys. [here]

7.2 selfie

Selfie in the shade after aid station at the end of my childhood driveway at mile 7.

1082

Chris Wilson ran Rodeo Run each of the last two years. He died at another race in September, wearing bib 1082. I carried this with me throughout our race this year.

water tower

Love hosting and running a race back home. Cool to run by the old water tower, which will be coming down in the near future.Β 

I finished with my slowest half marathon time ever, but I wasn’t even upset about it. I had a steady pace until the aid station at mile seven, where I took a little break and sprinkled in some walking the rest of the way — not to mention fixing a couple turn markers and all that jazz.

Got the chance to run a few miles with my friends Wyatt and Kristina Clifton, along with meeting several other cool people throughout the morning.

Crossed the finish line, grabbed a root beer (yeah, root beer) and the stroller to push Bryant in the one-mile event.

Spoiler alert: That would also be slow/fun.

Rodeo Run 1-mile

1-mile #12

July 20, 2019

Place: 47/53

Time: 19:51

We rarely jogged and only in spurts. We mostly walked and talked and made animal sounds. Zero hurry in this one. Just hanging out with friends and moving a bit (more).

My legs were pretty gassed after finishing the half marathon run maybe three minutes before starting the one-mile run/walk. Oh well.

With a block to go in the race, we stopped the stroller so I could get the kid out and walk with him to the finish — well, sort of. He only enjoyed it for a bit. So we had a pick-up break in between, before walking again to cross the finish line.

B, Roscoe at finish

The kid finishes!Β 

B hugs mom

And a hug from mom!

I love hanging with the kid. If we hadn’t started so early (had to with the summer heat), I would’ve pushed him in the half marathon. I would’ve been quite a bit slower still, but man, it would be fun. Always is with that boy.

B at HS

Pretty cool seeing him walk around like he owns the place back in my old stomping grounds.

After the races were over, I walked downtown to eat some post-race breakfast and mingle. By that, I mean chat with and thank as many people as I could for participating. This is such a humbling endeavor. I’m always immensely thankful and appreciative to all the people who take time out of their days and pay money to travel to Pretty Prairie, Kansas and participate in an event that I host. I absolutely love it.

Thank you once again to all participants, volunteers and sponsors involved in this event. I couldn’t do it without any of you!

Sheila, Lisa, me

My crazy fast friends, Sheila and Lisa. They rock!

Cyn and me

My friend Cynthia skipped out on the 4 mile (quitter) but still came for the 1 mile and even helped out at the breakfast. She’s the best.

After the races were over and clean-up was done, we got cleaned up and drove to Pizza Hut, where we gave shirts to the store manager and his wife, who are big supporters of our event. They provided a ton of cups to us for the second year in a row. I can’t tell you how valuable such a small thing is.

They have expressed interest in continuing to help us out in the future. It’s become a traidition in the past two years to go to Pizza Hut in Kingman for lunch. What a delicious tradition, you guys.

Oh, did I mention we got Bryant his own shirt this year? It’s a little big — for now.

All in all, a very successful Rodeo Run yet again. Already looking forward to next year.

shirt, bib, medal

Custom race medals to boot. Get it? Boot? It’s a rodeo joke, you guys.Β 

Next up: Urban ICT 50-mile — Friday/Saturday, July 26/27 — Wichita, KS

 

 

Race report: Heartland 50

Heartland 50

50 mile #7

April 27, 2019

Place: 34/37

Time: 13:59:28

Heartland logo

Two weeks after completing my sixth 50-miler at Flint Hills 50, I went for number seven at Heartland — the site of my first 50.

Being so drastically undertrained in 2019, I’m in “just happy to finish” mode and I’ve found myself more capable of simply enjoying the miles lately. Don’t get it twisted — I definitely need to get in better shape and plan to do so. But I’m happy, so that’s what matters at the moment.

I got into Cassoday Friday evening to collect my shirt and bib. I considered skipping the drop bags this year and almost certainly will next time around. I’ve found them to be a waste of time at this point. I stress about what to get out of them and piddle around while I try to make a decision, until I ultimately don’t utilize them much, if at all.

I did send one drop bag to the turnaround at Teeterville, but that was it.

I hung out and chatted with Jason Dinkel a little bit, along with other runners who stopped by to collect their race stuff.

bib table

I grabbed a chair. People thought I knew stuff. Ha.

I then made my way to my hotel in El Dorado. That’s the one really unfortunate thing about this race — the 25 minute communte to the race. Maybe I’ll take up camping in the future. But the night before a race? I dunno, man.

At the hotel, I laid out flat Derrick and got as mentally prepared as I could for the miles to come. I had a new hat that Bryant helped me pick out. Had to rock it for this one with the buffalo on it.

I watched some playoff basketball, some Simpsons, did some work and had a pretty tough time getting to sleep. Probably close to midnight with the alarm set for 4:30. Woof.

But I made it to the race in plenty of time to see a few folks and chat a bit.

I overheard a guy named Dan talking with Jason in a panic about not having his shoes. He forgot his main pair, I believe — and had already sent his backups with his drop bag. Something like that anyway.

I asked what size he wore. Lucky enough, size 12 — same, brother. I offered him my second pair and he took me up on it. I was pretty excited to help out another runner and about the obvious joke that my shoes would run 100 miles that day.

I didn’t find out until the aid station at Battle Creek when he caught up to me that his shoes showed up just a few seconds before the race had begun. So he didn’t need mine after all. Ran a mile or two with him and chatted some. He’s from Wichita. He wound up beating me by quite a bit — just like most others.

But that’s okay by me.

My favorite shot of the day is actually a selfie I took as I meandered through the winding roads approaching Battle Creek.

selfie hills

Whoa.

I had the pleasure of sharing the course with lots of other cool folks throughout the day. But I found myself thinking of Chris Wilson this year, as I ran some miles with him last year and he later passed away in September at another ultra race.

Loved seeing Brent Larson out there for yet another year. He and a friend were running the 50K and I got to snap a selfie with Brent after they flew by me, but before they turned around and headed for their finish.

me and Brent

Me and Brent Larson at the Lapland aid station.

Anyway, I enjoyed the course more this year than ever. I took lots of pictures and took it all in more than ever before. Not sure why. I just noticed more about the course and simply enjoyed it.

Enjoy a bunch of random shots of the course — then I’ll get back to the talky part of the race report.

There was even some water along the course. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I ever noticed a drop of water at Heartland before — except for the year we ran through a monsoon (2017 DNF).

water 1

This course is something, you guys.

This was the fourth 50 I’ve run solo. Crazy to think more than half of them have been alone now. But that’s okay. As much as I love having Kami out there — Bryant hasn’t been to one yet — it’s nice to not feel like I have to hurry because someone is waiting on me.

I did feel bummed that I forgot to pin a pic of me and the kid to my pack like last race, but I FaceTimed them at one point during the race and even took this next pic for them.

It was kind of like they were with me, without being with me.

selfie love

SHADE, too?! What? Nice.

As always, there was a good photographer out there — and for the second year in a row, he gave me a ride back to my car after I finished. Talk about working overtime.

Here are a few of his shots — including when he caught my hat falling off. I caught it.

I ran somewhat consistently, though I hit a few obvious walls, as to be expected. What wasn’t expected was what happened after Battle Creek on the way back in. Sitting at mile 42.95, I was struggling. Duh. Struggling to breathe, to stay cool, to stay hydrated, to move, you name it.

The biggest issue was my legs just deciding they were done. I knew my brain would carry me the rest of the way, but the miles from two weeks prior were hitting hard at this point.

selfie sitting

Had to sit a time or two.

My legs had nothing left — until they did.

I sat for a bit, chatted with my buddy Jeff Grabbe and another girl at the aid station whose name I can’t recall — and ate bacon. Three amazing strips of bacon. A couple cups of Coke and I was off and running.

No, really — running. Not walking, not shuffling. I actually did some real running that next few miles. I’ve never been able to run like that that late in an ultra.

My 47th mile was my fastest since mile 14. How insane is that?

Not only was I not going to have my worst time ever, but I had a chance to actually pass a few folks in those last few miles. I was tied for last place at Battle Creek, but passed three runners in the final stretches. That was a new, yet welcome feeling.

I ran almost the whole stretch of pavement to the finish and was feeling good. Well, as good as possible and as good as I ever have at that point, anyway.

Very happy to have crossed another finish line — and did so running, no less.

My seventh 50-mile finish. Kinda weird to have finished just two 50K races (2 of 4), but seven 50-milers (7 of 8). I dunno, man. I like the distance, I guess.

Still not quite ready to shoot for another hundo, but hopefully I’ll conquer that one eventually.

Next up:

  • Tonganoxie Library Run 10K — Tonganoxie, KS — June 8
  • Father’s Day 4-mile — Kansas City, MO — June 15

 

Race report: Flint Hills 50

Flint Hills 50

50 mile #6

April 13, 2019

Place: 17/17

Time: 12:15:18

 

Back for another year at my favorite race — Flint Hills 50. Drastically undertrained and overworked, but anxious to get out there and see how far my legs and brain would carry me.

The motivation for this one was simple: Become the first/only 3-time finisher. Spoiler alert: Mission accomplished.

I arrived in Manhattan Friday afternoon and went straight to the hotel, where I wound up doing a little work from my iPad. We’ve been understaffed lately, meaning I’ve been putting in some extra hours. I genuinely love my job, but yeah — I was ready to get out and move.

I then went to get my packet and some supper.

Manhattan Running Company

Chatted with Adam and Todd a bit at packet pickup before finding some food.

Qdoba

Qdoba — yum.

Back at the hotel, I tried to relax — wound up working quite a bit more, but nothing too stressful. I took some company along, since Kami and Bryant couldn’t be there.

Frank at hotel

This is Frank. Hi, Frank.

But I made sure to take Bryant with me — I actually had the photo still in my car from my hundo attempt in October.

me and Bryant

Pinned this to my hydration pack.

I got my stuff ready to go and stretched out with some mindless television — my favorite.

Got up in the morning and headed for the start line at Green Valley Community Center.

Took a pre-race selfie — then another with Adam over my shoulder talking about something. Probably tips on how to run fast or something. I clearly missed it.

There were 21 of us who signed up, 18 who showed up and there were 17 eventual finishers. What a great day of weather we had — a real blessing after the last two years were … well, not as pleasant.

Chatted with a few folks early on, like usual. You know, before things spread out.

Layton start 1

Mile 1 — or 0.4, more accurately.

Got in quite a few miles (probably 25+ in all) with my buddy Jeff Grabbe, who I met last year at Heartland 50. Jeff is a beast, man. He had just run Prairie Spirit 50 two weeks prior. Having him with me (and leapfrogging it at times) was a huge help to my day.

I even got a couple really cool shots of him early in the race — at one point petting a horse. Lol. Gotta love ultra running, man.

As seen in the shot above, William Layton Photography does a phenomenal job at this one. He’s always so positive and encouraging out there. Oh, and he’s really good at what he does, which is also pretty neat.

Layton wave

This is on the second loop, probably around mile 37.

Jeff and I got to the start/finish turnaround together, made some necessary changes and refreshments before leaving the loop at around the 5:21 mark — a little slower than I’d been the last two years, but that was to be expected. I was also moving more steadily than I had expected, which was nice.

late race selfie

Had to rep the SHMS XC shirt. Good motivator.

I always say “Start the second half feeling positive mentally and I’ll be fine.” I was still cracking dumb jokes through nearly the entire race, so I’d say that part was a success.

I hit a wall around mile 29.5, where I sat down at the aid station to refresh a bit. A chat with a couple friendly aid station folks and a few Nutella wraps and I was on my way.

Comparitively speaking in terms of the rest of the day, I flew from miles 30-42. Eventually caught back up to and passed Jeff and a couple others. I was feeling great and knew I had a real shot to beat my PR from last year. What? But, how?

Just kidding, though. Hit a wall just after that point and struggled to battle back. Regrouped a bit more at the 43 mile aid station, chatted with Michelle Coleman, who was super friendly — as were the other aid station folks throughout the day.

Basically, I told her I was giving up — not on the finish line, but on the PR. I simply needed to regroup again. I did so, and was on my way. It was almost entirely walking from that point on, but I made my way to the finish line.

Just a couple more shots from those later stages of the race.

A girl passed me in the final 2/3 mile or so, putting me in last place — again. My three finishes at Flint Hills 50: Next-to-last, LAST, LAST. Thanks for the reminder as soon as I sat down, Adam. πŸ™‚

But since they haven’t suspended me for being too slow, I will continue to be back at this race as long as they’ll have me — and I will continue to recruit others to join as well.

Glad I got to see Jeff out there and share some miles with him. Also, Jason Dinkel and his wife Krystal signed up at the last minute and did incredibly well. They passed Jeff and I somewhere around mile 22-23 and wound up finishing more than an hour ahead of me.

Bummed I missed out on the RD photo op.

Jason and Adam

Heartland 50 RD, Jason Dinkel (left) and Flint Hills 50 RD, Adam Dolezal. 

Adam predicted a week or two before that I would run a 12:15. I hoped he’d be wrong. I had higher hopes — although I should have known better. But check this out.

Adam prediction

Wait for it…

result time

Wild.

But as I tell the kids all the time — RUN YOUR RACE. Once again, I did that. I didn’t do as well as I have in the past or perhaps as good as I could have. But I finished and had a good time. That’s enough for me.

shirt, bib, buckle

My XL shirt that fits like a medium. Ha.

Three times at Hearltand + three times at Flint Hills = 6-time 50-mile finisher.

50 x 6

Bling x 6.

Mile 1-10

2017 – 11:29/mile | 2018 – 10:40/mile | 2019 – 11:29/mile

Mile 11-20

2017 – 13:25/mile | 2018 – 11:59/mile | 2019 – 13:04/mile

Mile 21-30

2017 – 14:57/mile | 2018 – 15:30/mile | 2019 – 15:33/mile

Mile 31-40

2017 – 15:43/mile | 2018 – 16:43/mile | 2019 – 15:08/mile

Mile 41-50

2017 – 15:45/mile | 2018 – 15:45/mile | 2019 – 18:12/mile

  • 7,025 calories burned
  • 10th ultra finish
  • 7th longest run

Next up: Heartland 50 — Saturday, April 27 — Cassoday, KS

May or may not drop to 50K distance this time around. Stay tuned.

 

Race report: KRT 100 (DNF)

KRT 100

October 27, 2018 β€” Ottawa, KS

Place: DNF

Time: –:–:–

krt

Kansas Rails to Trails

Well, it’s only taken me nearly four weeks to write this. One of these days, I will conquer 100 miles. Or maybe not. After this one, I’m not sure when I’ll muster the courage to try again. This recap will be short.

I went in on extremely well rested legs. Read: Busy AF with little time to run. But I still thought I had a good shot at it, with the easy terrain and tremendous forecast for race weekend.

Before leaving town the day before the race, I double and triple checked my items — both necessary and un. I said goodbye to the family and hit the road — only about an hour drive to Ottawa.

I arrived in Ottawa and went straight to packet pick-up. I was certainly the first runner there, as I was actually a couple minutes early (I’m always early) and they were still getting set up.

I took the opportunity to collect my things, get checked in and take a look around.

I then went to check in at my hotel and get some food before trying to relax — that never pans out well.

As you can see, Bryant loaned me Thidwick for the weekend. He brought me some comfort the night before, but ultimately Thidwick wasn’t going to run the miles for me.

It was on the chilly side on race morning, but I knew that wouldn’t last.

Wound up needing the headlamp for longer than expected with the tree coverage and all, but no worries there. I had fresh batteries.

 

Lined up next to a couple of ultra running legends there at the start — Will Sprouse and Rene Villalobos. Definitely felt and looked out of my element next to them — and it showed with our collective results. Oh, well.

My legs felt good early. I was moving fairly well, but not fast. That was fine, as 100 miles is sort of far, after all.

Once the sun started coming out, I started noticing just how pretty the course was. Lots of crunching leaves underfoot as well.

sunrise

Somewhere between mile 7-9.

Hit the first manned aid station (Princeton) at mile 9.2, ate a couple things, refilled and kept on.

At this point, I was still feeling chilly, but comfortable. Got to the next manned station (Richmond) at mile 15.73 and still felt okay. Same protocol as before. Although I couldn’t drink the water after this station — worst water I’ve ever tasted in my life. Something was in that, man. Several others commented the same. Something akin to what I imagine foot sweat might taste like. I don’t intend to find out.

But I kept moving.

Approached Garnett (mile 25) starting to feel warm. Passed it off as no big deal, as I figured I could simply recharge and keep going.

That’s what I did, but as the next few miles ticked by, I got warmer and warmer and warmer… I knew the temperature wasn’t exactly “hot,” but when I went from chilly to warm to hot pretty quickly, I grew concerned.

Temps seemed to go from 40 to 74 pretty rapidly. Insane to think that at just 74, I could overheat as badly as I did. Looking back, I never really recovered from this.

By mile 32 or so, I felt like I was in trouble. I tried not to let it show, but it wasn’t easy. I did throw up for the first time around mile 33, which helped clear my airwaves, at least momentarily.

When I finally — slowly — reached the Welda aid station at mile 33.44, I felt like collapsing. I laid down under some trees for what felt like a year. It likely wasn’t more than 15 minutes, but in aid station time, that’s an eternity.

I got some ice in my hat, which cooled me off for a bit, but it wouldn’t last.

I eventually kept moving on toward the Colony aid station at mile 41.35, where I met my pacer, my good friend Lisa Johnson. She was great. I wish I could have put in a better effort for her. But I appreciate her greatly, nonetheless.

The camera man here captured a comical shot here — I took too long to realize he was standing there, then once I noticed him, I had a hilariously slow reaction time that makes it appear as though I might murder him.

what are you looking at

I was not doing great, but not as angry as it appears here.

Anyway, Lisa and I ventured onward and into the darkness — although I was mostly only able to walk from this point on. I was struggling to stay cool, struggling to breathe, struggling to eat… just struggling.

I threw up several more times — at mile 46.6, 54.6, 56.3, 58.3 and 60.7. Only the first two times made me feel better/cleared airwaves. The ensuing instances did not feel good.

We eventually made our way past a creepy abandoned building and a pack of coyotes and to the turnaround at mile 51.51 in Iola. With just a few minutes before the cutoff there, I knew that even moving at my best, I’d likely get cut off at some point soon. I was not moving at my best or even close to it.

That was super demoralizing, to be honest. A bit of “What’s the point?” kept creeping into my mind. Lisa was doing a great job of trying to keep me positive, but the damage had been done by that point. I was just not doing well physically or emotionally.

We did make our way back to Colony inbound at mile 61.96, where my next pacer, Adam Dolezal was waiting. I knew I was past the cutoff and was ready to be done. However, he had darn near convinced me to change my shoes and keep trying to move forward toward the next aid station when I was told they were pulling me from the course.

I didn’t blame them a bit. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little relieved. Not sure I truly had anything left to give.

If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure what I could have done differently to earn a different outcome.

Maybe I’ll try again someday. Maybe I won’t. I’m now 0-2 in my 100 mile efforts. For now, that’s just not where my focus is. And that’s okay.