“I understand that doing this run with Luis and Caballo might not be a good idea. If I get bitten by a rattle snake, lost, injured, or die, it is my own f’ing fault. Amen.”
And so began the Born to Run 100K.
The day was outstanding thanks to the attitude, atmosphere and efforts of its fearless leader Luis Escobar. The event, which consisted of a 10-mile, 50K, 100K and 100 mile distance took place on an 8,000-acre working cattle ranch in Los Olivos, CA. The course consisted of two ten mile loops that met in the middle. Picture a figure 8. While that isn’t totally accurate, it is close enough. The start, finish, main aid station, and runner check-in all took place in the middle of the figure 8. One or two additional aid stations were placed around each loop, but they were minimally stocked (water, electrolyte, and a handful of snacks).
“The pink loop is marked by pink ribbons. They’ll be on your left hand side, so always keep them on your left side. If they are on your right you are going the wrong way. Except for sometimes. Sometimes they will be on your right. If you hit blue ribbons you aren’t lost, but you are about to be. So stop! And look around because blue is bad!”
I count my blessings every day for my great running friends. They are really like a second family. Five of us went out for this event, four running the 100K and one completing the 50K.
Carrie, Kevin and I stuck together for 50 miles, which I find incredible. Kim ran almost the entire 62 miles on her own, which I find even more incredible. Carrie continues to amaze me with her athletic prowess. She was 3rd place female, complementing her win at her first 50-miler. I came in 7th, which was great. The female finishers placing 3rd-7th were all on the final 2-mile lollipop loop together, separated in total by less than 25 minutes. (In case you didn’t do the math, Kim came in 6th about 5 minutes before me.)
Had we cared, it would have been a great race to the finish line. The two women who came in fourth and fifth were new friends Tiffany and Christi. I bet we ran off and on with them for 30 miles. At one point, TIffany ran with a 35mm camera strapped to her back! Some of the photos I am posting here are from her kickin’ effort to run and photograph.
Craig, our partner-in-crime who ran the 50K, was awesome. After running 31 miles, which is amazing in and of itself, he stuck with us as crew and support. Every time we came to the main aid station he was up, “What can I get you? How are you feeling?” When I ran in at mile 60 our exchange went like this:
Craig: “Are you OK?”
Julianne: “No. I am tired.”
Craig: “I will run the last 2 with you.”
Julianne: “Thank you.”
And bam, he was right there seeing me through to the end. Not a moment of pause.
Our little crew of UltraFreaks do a lot of talking and guiding for new people in our community who want to try the ultra distance. We often talk about going slow and how it isn’t that hard. But the truth is you must respect the distance. We were out there for over 13 hours and we climbed 7000′. We were all really well trained. We had a lot of miles and ultra experience under our belts, and we trained specifically for this event for about five months. Our discipline paid off. I was incredibly proud of us. Nobody got injured, sick, or even thought of not finishing.
The obvious next question is, “What about the 100-miler?” Well, Kevin and I made a pact at mile 55 that we would not run a 100-miles. Three days later we broke that pact with this text message exchange:
Julianne: “Kev. I am thinking that making a pact at mile 55 of a 62-mile race isn’t the best idea.”
Kevin: “I wondered who would crack first. I just thought it would take more than 3 days!!”
Julianne: “Yay! 100-miler here we come!”
Feels like Born to Run 2012 might be the place to give it a go.
Born to Run Ultras on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_143807819012403
Born to Run Ultras Website: http://web.me.com/luisescobar/born_to_run_ultras/Welcome.html