The reason I expected failure was write in the race handbook. The race had a 33 hour time limit (20 minutes /mile average) but the early cutoffs were at a much faster pace (around 18:44 pace). This left me with an almost impossible task. Instead of going out at a conservative pace, I was going to have to go out hard and run a lot more than I wanted too or that I am capable of.
- Out of Wrightwood, we climbed to the PCT: 2150 feet in 3.51 miles (2150 / 18585 = 11.6% Climb).
- Then at mile 14, we climbed from Vincent Gap to Mt. Baden - Powell: 2500 feet in 3.77 miles (2500 /19906 = 12.6% Climb).
- Inspiration Point; 9.3 miles / 8:15 am (20:58 pace)
- Vincent Gap: 13.9 miles / 9:20 am (20:09 pace overall).
- Islip Saddle: 25.9 miles / 1:05 pm (18:44 pace)
The cutoff time at VG was 9:20 so I could not spend any time at the aid station before the climb. Plus the next aid was 12 miles away and it was hot. I filled my bottles but did not refill my Nathan and I knew that was going to be an issue.
I was in dead last and had been since the start. Running the first 14 miles solo was hard and if I had been with people, I would have run the first 9 miles quicker like I did in the training run. On that day, I stayed with some runners to the top and was able to follow them down to IP. On that day, I got to VG in 4:20 so I was 10 minutes faster on race day but I had 85 miles to go instead of 12.
.So I headed back on the trail to try and make the IP cutoff of 1:05 pm. I had 3:55 to get there (Needed to do 19:35 pace.). On the training run, I caught 5 or 6 people but today no one was in sight. Plus there were no hikers for the most part so I was heading up on my own. This was my third ascent of Baden-Powell and in the past, I have hiked all the way to the top strongly and did not stop at all.
But in the race, I felt weak and even stopped a couple times to catch my breathe. Things were not looking good and I felt my dream slipping away. But I kept plugging away and when I was near the top, I finally caught a fellow competitor. I was almost 18 miles into the race and this was the first time I had someone to run with.
With 8 miles to go, we mainly had downhills and eventually I could not keep up with him and realized my race was done. My bad left knee would not allow me to run them and with 2 miles to go to the mile 26 checkpoint, I only had 24 minutes to get there. So I just cruised into Islip Saddle and accepted my fate: DNF.
My official time into the station was 1:24 pm (cutoff was 1:05). If I had tried to run in, I would have maybe gone 5 minutes faster but it was pointless. The runner I caught got there with a minute to spare and then timed out at mile 30 along with a couple other my training partners. A few others made it to Cloudburst (37.5 miles) and there day was done.
In the end, the stats for the race were:
- 75 Finishers
- 41 Did Not Start
- 50 Did Not Finish
Now most 100s that I have looked into do not start time cutoffs so soon and if you made the mile 26 cutoff 26 x 20 minute miles, that would have given us 35 more minutes. Instead of the cutoff being 1:05 pm it would be 1:40 pm. with this extra time myself and my friends could have taken it a little easier on the big climbs and spent a little more time in the aid stations as well. I spent one minute in each because of time constraints.
The Vincent Gap AS (mile 14) was a critical one because it was 12 miles to the next one and you had to climb to 9300 feet and stay there for awhile. I ran out of with a couple miles to go and I heard others did as well. so even if we had survived the cutoffs, we were digging ourselves a huge hole early into the race.
Now I am not asking for changes in the race and even if I and others did, I doubt they would happen. I think of the Angeles Crest 100 like the Masters in golf and the world needs unique events. As far as me returning, I doubt I will until I can run sub eleven for a trail 50 miler. At my current speed, I think it is impossible for me to finish this with the cutoffs they have.
What I plan to do in 2013, is run the training runs so that if I do return someday, I will know the course.
too be continued ...
|I basically flunked the medical.|
|3am race morning.|
|At Chilao waiting for the leader to run by.|