John "lakewood" Fegyveresi

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vermont 100 - Race Report

What an absolutely spectacular day I had up in Vermont.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about the race director and all of the people and volunteers involved with the race.  This was my 2nd running of the VT100, and as much as I loved my first stab at it, it was even better this time!  Now...on to some details:

After spending Thursday night getting all of my gear and supplies finalized, I promptly woke up at 3:45 am Friday and headed out at about 4:15.  I spent the next several hours driving along interstate highways as the sun rose up around me.  Normally, the drive does get a bit long after about 7 hrs, but this time I really enjoyed it.  I pulled in to Silver Hill Meadow at about 2 pm, and set up my tent in the designated camping area.  Eventually, I made my way down to the bigtop tent where I dropped off my race drop-bags, signed in, and picked up my number.  I also did my pre-race weigh-in and registered in at 149 lbs.  Lastly, I attended the mandatory race meeting that started at about 4:00 and listened to all of the instructions and course notes.  After the meeting I happily wolfed down an enormous dinner replete with pasta, bread, potatoes, and ice cream.  Yay for carbs.   My pacer Mark showed up around 8 or so and we met briefly over by the tent city to discuss logistics for the following day.  I told him to expect me at the 70 mile aid station some time between 6:30 and 7:30 pm and then I promptly headed to my tent to try to get the best night's sleep I could.  Thankfully nobody's car alarms or screaming children went off at 2:00 AM (like in 2009).

RACE Morning
At 3:00 the loudspeakers began booming the likes of "Chariots of Fire", "Eye of the Tiger", and "Born to Run".  I geared up, walked down to the tent, drank some coffee, ate a bagel, and mingled for a bit with other runners.  I saw quite a few familiar faces.  Chris Reynolds (Finger Lakes Fiftes Director) was there as was Susan Muhaw (the woman I paced at Oil Creek).  I also saw a lot of all-star favorites like Leigh Schmitt, Serena Wilcox, and a few others.  Promptly at 4:00 AM, after a 10 second countdown, the 300 of us runners began our quest to move 100 miles.

Some Race Notes
As I stated in my previous post, my overall goal for this race was to stay conservative much like I did in 2009, while also trying to bring up my total time.  In other words, I wanted to run faster throughout the entire race, but not too fast over any one leg.  I also didn't want to go out so fast, that I became one of those runners that gets passed in the last 5-10 miles.  I had stated in my last post that if I could simply improve my overall pace from ~14 min/miles to ~13/min miles, I would improve my total time by over an hour and a half.  Makes sense on paper anyway.  I carried with me for the entire race, a printout of my split times from 2009.  My goal was to try to improve on each leg, even if only by a minute or two.  I knew that over the course of the race, these several minutes could add up to a significant improvement.  It's hard to gauge how you're doing over the course of 100 miles, but having split times for ~5 mile legs helped me keep the goals down to a manageable sizes.  In addition, if I saw a long split time from 2009 on a short leg, I knew it probably had a lot of tough hills.  Likewise, if I saw a fast split time from 2009, I knew it was probably a very runable section.  I was very detailed-oriented in the logistics and with my approach to this race....and it paid off (as you will read).  Another strategy I told myself I was going to employ for this race was the quick-in/quick-out aid station strategy.  I decided I would take a break at the stations as needed, but would not lollygag.  Get in, get what I need, say "hi" and "thank you" to the volunteers, and start walking while eating.  The one exception to this rule was the Camp 10 Bear station where I had to get out head-lamps, sort through other drop bag items, and pick up my pacer.  I also had decided to talk with my pacer about running ahead of me during the night stations to get my water filled for me so that I could minimize time as well.

First 15.3 Miles (Start to Taftsville Bridge)
The first 15 miles of the race are without any full-service aid stations.  There are a couple of unmanned water stops, but that's it.  I guess they figure, you better damn well be able to at least make it 15 miles before you need any real help.  This is the longest single mental stretch of the course, but being so early, it goes by rather quickly.  It is so very tempting to go out at the start aggressively.  You are standing there in the dark, cold, full of coffee, having just tapered for a few weeks, and having not run for 2 or 3 days.  Add to that, the fact that it's race day...and the anticipation in the air is palpable.  Needless to say, you are amped to go.  I had to fight every instinct of my being that was trying to tell me that it'd be ok if I ran 8 minute miles for the first 10-15.  No No No.  Go easy John.  So, that's what I did.  I looked at my heart rate monitor and said to as fast as you can, but so that your heart rate never goes over 145, preferably not over 140 (Anything below 157 or so is in the fat-burning aerobic range, but the lower the better).  I fell into a very nice groove early and picked up a few good running partners.  One guy I ran with had apparently seen my old VT100 youtube video and recognized me.  He told me he watched the video 2 years ago when I posted it, and decided to attempt the race this brought an early race smile to my face.  We ran together for a good 5 miles.  After about 7 miles, it started getting light out and I switched off my little clip-on LEDs.  Somewhere in here the first of the horses started passed me as well.  It's hard to put into words just how awesome it is to be cheered on by someone as the trot past you on a horse.  Yet another reason why I love this course so much.  Seeing the horses absolutely makes my day.  I ended up seeing them on and off all the way to mile 80 later in the day.  Anyway...I burned through the two unmanned water stops without really thinking about it and focused on getting to that first "real" aid station.  This was also where I had my first recorded split time that I could compare.  After 15.3 miles, the course dumped me out in the small town of Taftsville, and I ran through the lovely Covered Bridge that was built in 1836 (one of the oldest in Vermont) that goes over the Ottauquechee River.  Right on the other side, I pulled into the aid station and checked my split.   My time was 2:38.  My time in 2009 was 3:08.  CRAP.  As much as I loved the fact that I shaved 30 minutes off of my first split, this concerned me greatly.  Sure, 30 minutes over 15 miles isn't that much, but it had me worried that I did in fact go out too fast.  I checked my average heart rate though and it told me that I was doing fine.  Could it be that I really was 30 minutes faster and doing ok?  I decided to believe the heart rate monitor, and not start second guessing myself and playing head games.  I knew I would have enough mental struggles later in the race to worry about whether or not my first 15 miles was too fast.  Besides, there was nothing I could do about it now, and if I started getting passed at the end of the race I'd know for sure.  So, I clicked "Lap 2" on my watch, grabbed a few snacks, and moved on.
-Race position at Mile 15.3: 103rd place

Miles 15.3 - 30.1 (Taftsville - Stage Rd)
After Taftsville, the course took on a mathematical approach for me.  The longest stretch between any following stations was 5 miles (including unmanned) and the longest split stretch (distance between full manned aid stations) was 9 miles.  I broke down the race into 26 small runs from here out.  This is how I dealt with it in 2009 as well.  I would walk out of an aid station and think, "time to knock out a 5k".  At the next aid station it was another 5k, or perhaps a 4.2 miler.  With 29 stations throughout the race, this strategy is really easy to work with.  It helps too, that as you get further into the race, the aid stations become closer and/or more frequent.  Going from 15.3 to 30.1, meant I ran through 4 aid stations (2 manned and 2 unmanned).  When I pulled into the "Pretty House" station at 21.1, after 5.8 miles, I checked my split again.  This time, I had improved a modest 4:41 over my previous time.  Much better.  This started a trend for the entire day.  I kept vigilant watch on my times and tried to anticipate my arrival times at aid stations.  If I felt I was a little behind, I perhaps pushed a little harder, even if it meant only gaining 5 seconds on the split.  At mile 26.2, I passed a small sign on the course congratulating me on my marathon.  I looked at my watch and it said 4hrs 59minutes.  I had to laugh thinking I had ran Pocono in 3:21 just two months earlier, yet a 5 hour marathon on this course was doing pretty darn well. Of course I also did the math and thought..."this means I should be able to run a 20-hour race right"?  As most ultra-runners know, it doesn't work like that (unless of course you are an elite runner that can run constant pace over 100 miles - which I am not).  At any rate, I came down to the "Stage Rd" station, a short paved part of the course, fueled up, checked my split (5 minute improvement again), and moved on. By this time the temps were starting to climb a bit.  My gear and clothing choices were working great to this point as well.  I had taken a gamble in wearing an old golite shirt that I had that is very light and breathes wonderfully.  I was going to wear the usual merino, but decided on the golite instead.  It was a great decision as it kept me cool all day.  As usual the Patagonia shorts did well, as did the socks.  So far up to this point, my foot wasn't causing me any sort of trouble or pain.  This was something I was very worried about going in to the race (in light of my Rothrock injury).  My feet in general felt good, and the sportslick/hydropel lube combo was keeping away hotspots and other general chafing.  I was in good shape and had settled in with a great group of other runners to keep me company.  I chatted for along time with another 2nd time runner and with a gentleman from Argentina.  I heard some great stories.
-Race position at Mile 30.1: 101st place

Miles 30.1 - 47.2 (Stage Rd - Camp 10 Bear)
Heading out of Stage Rd involved a short paved section.   Somewhere in here a couple of us mentally high-fived the fact that we'd just finished a 50K and had nearly 1/3 done.  I had to quickly force myself back into aid-station distance mode again and try not to think about the finish that was still so far away.  It didn't help that I was also thinking to myself that I was nearly half-way to seeing my pacer.   Camp 10 Bear was now on my radar a mere 17 miles away.  10 Bear is sort of the "master" aid station.  It is certainly the biggest, but because it's visited twice, and once at the pacer-pick-up mile 70, it acts as a major milestone aid station.  Getting to 10 Bear is a big check mark on the race "to-do" list.  It is also close enough to the half-way point on the first pass through that it more or less acts like the half way point.  Mentally, I think of the course as a three stage ultra.  Stage 1 being the start to 10 Bear, State 2 being 10 Bear back to 10 bear (mile 70) where I pick up the pacer, and Stage 3 being the last 30 miles to the finish.  The 2nd stage, 10 Bear to 10 Bear, is often considered the toughest stretch. It is the hottest part of the day, there are lots of climbs (including agony hill), some of the aid stations are 5 miles apart, and you just feel like you're doing a forced clover-leaf style loop.  It can be rough.  But...this was still a ways ahead for me...and for now, it was time to focus on the next 17.  I made quick work of the Route 12 Aid and Vondell Reservoir stations and came down into the town of Woodstock VT where I crossed through another covered bridge.  This time, the Lincoln covered bridge.  On the other side, I checked my split, and again, I had gained a few minutes.  By this point I was over 45 minutes improved on my 2009 time.  I was starting to think to myself that pending some disaster, I should be able to at least maintain to get another sub-24 hour buckle.  Although...I tried not to get too far ahead of myself, there was still over 60 miles to go.  Four miles and some pleasant conversation later, I made my way down the hill to the Lillian's Aid Station.  I vividly remember this station from 2009, as it was the station that I spent almost 15 minutes at....but not for the reasons you might think.  In 2009, I really had to use the porta-potty, but someone was having some trouble in it.  So I waited...and waited....and waited.  Finally I used it and got on my way, but not before dropping 12 places and 15 minutes.   This time I wasn't going to let that happen.  With that said, however, my body decided after 43 miles, that it again needed to go.  So here I was, at the same aid station, with the same problem.  I did have some TP/Wipes with me if I had to make an emergency trail-side situation out of it, but that was certainly not preferred.  When I pulled in to Lillian's, I quickly walked to the toilet, came around front and looked at the door....Dammit!  In-use.  AGAIN.  I was not going to wait 15 minutes this time.  I knocked and was told, "i'll be right out".  I've heard that before.  I went back to the table, ate some food and told myself I'd wait 3 minutes.  After 2, the toilet freed up, and I made quick about it.  Woo 15 minute pit stop this time.  I was back out on the course, only losing about 5 minutes this time.  I felt 100% better, so it was totally worth it.  A couple of miles down the course, I made my way up the hill to the unmanned Jenne Farm water stop and put some ice in my water bottle.  I remembered this stop from 2009 as one of my favorite of the course....just something about it.  Nice views.  Less than 2 more short miles, I was finally making my way into 10 Bear, and into the big crowds.  It was also my first official weigh in.  I knew I would take a few minutes here, but wanted to keep it as close to 5 minutes as I could.  One of the nice things about NOT having a crew, is that I don't spend much time at handler stations.  Every time I leave a big aid station where runners' crews are allowed, I end up gaining several places in the races as other runners lollygag and deal with their support team.  I just pop in, and pop out.  The downside is that I have to carry a little more and prepare drop bags if I need them.  Up to this point, I've left my drop bags alone.  I made the mistake of NOT chugging my water before coming into the aid station.  Every ultra runner knows that before a weigh in, chug water to bring the weight back up.  I forgot to do this and so when I weighed in, I had dropped 4 lbs down to 145.  They asked me how I was doing and told me they were going to keep a closer eye on me, but that I was free to continue.  I knew I'd be all right.  I quickly found my drop bag, chugged a warm ensure drink (yuck), chugged a warm gatorade (yuck), stopped to enjoy the fact that I was nearly half-way, and then started walking out.  I briefly looked for my pacer Mark who had told me he may be volunteering at the station by noon, but I didn't see him.  
-Race position at mile 47.2: 86th Place

Miles 47.2 - 70.1 (10 Bear to 10 Bear)
Leaving 10 Bear meant that Agony hill was just up ahead.  This is a brutal climb at the hottest part of the day.  To be honest, the 23 mile 10 bear loop was rather unremarkable.  I did a lot of head-down shuffling, while trying not to notice the heat.  Thankfully the humidity wasn't too bad, so the heat was bearable.  I had found a great running partner, Mark (from Mass), who kept me company for over 15 miles of the 23.  We just sort of plugged along, admiring the course through this section...thinking about how much closer our pacer pick-up was getting.  When I crossed the 50 mile mark, I checked my time:  10 hours exactly.  Perfect.  If I ran the same time for my 2nd fifty as I did in '09, I would finish in 22:15.  There were some highlights in this section for sure, like the Margaritaville aid Station, where they blast Jimmy Buffett music and grill burgers.  There was the hill top water stop perched on Prospect Hill, and the long 5 mile stretch back into 10 Bear at the end.  Coming in to the Tracer Brook Aid Station at mile 57 something rather unexpected happened.  I checked my split time, and had come in 2 minutes slower than in 2009.  I had noticed on the previous split (Birmingham) I had come in exactly on my split too.  I had felt like I was running well, but this had me a little concerned that I was beginning to fade.  It was the first time all day that I had lost time on a split. It was also a real kick in the pants to get back to focusing on the goal: Buckle and break 23:15.  After Margaritaville, I made an assertive effort to stay strong and gain back those precious minutes.  When I finally came down the hill back in to 10 Bear, I had gained back 5 minutes on the previous two splits and was feeling good about my race again.  As I pulled in, I looked at my watch and it was 6:25 pm. I was over an hour ahead of my 2009 pace at this point (I pulled in at 7:30 in 2009).  This was fantastic!  Mark was there waiting for me, we grabbed our headlamp gear for later in the night, he eagerly filled my water bottle, and I walked over to the scale.  This time I remembered to chug lots of water before my weigh in. I had also been eating a lot more at the stations and this time weighed in back at 147.  Perfect!  We said goodbye to Mark's wife and began the final leg of the race.
-Race position at mile 70.1: 68th Place

Miles 70.1 - 88.6 (10 Bear to Bill's)
The first thing that course does out of 10 Bear, after picking up your pacer, is climb.  It's a nasty one too. I remember feeling bad for my pacer in 2009 as well.  Here you are, mile 70, just picking up a fresh pacer, and you basically have to walk for over a mile.  I told Mark that I would speed-hike (16min/mile), but not run this nasty hill.  He was fine with that strategy.  Mark had a great pacing attitude...very different than Chris back in '09.  When I ran with Chris, I had a feeling as though he was passively pushing me to go harder.  I'm not sure what you call that, but it was certainly effective.  It was more of a coach-like feeling, and I felt compelled to run as I didn't want to disappoint him (in a sense).  With Mark, he was more about me running my own race, giving me more of a feeling that I was calling the shots, BUT, all the while giving me huge confidence boosters.  He was constantly telling me that I was doing great, or that he couldn't believe how strong I was doing, or that I should try to "pick off" the next runners.  It was great.  Running with Mark allowed me to truly believe in myself and my abilities.  He also helped me a lot at stations by not letting me dawdle around and by running ahead to fill my bottle before the station.  When we pulled into Seabrook at mile 74.7, I had gained 7 minutes on my split.  I was feeling very confident and strong....and it was still light out!  3/4 of the race done, and less than a marathon to go.  I kept thinking..."I got this!"  At West Winds, Mile 77, I had gained another minute and was still doing ok.  I spent a little too long waiting for a grilled cheese sandwich at this station though and was sluggish getting out.  I finally did get going, but a couple minutes later than I had wanted.  As we ran past the Goodmans unmanned water stop, the sun was finally setting and the headlamps were coming on.  We had been passing several runners, but also leapfrogging several others over the last 10 miles.  It was hard to tell if we were actually gaining any positions or not, but as long I was still running, I was content.  At the Cow Shed station at mile 83.6, I had lost almost 2 minutes on my split.  I wasn't too concerned this time though as no one had really passed me, and because I had spent at least 2 minutes too long at West Winds.  We did our thing and headed out for the last long split...a 5 mile stretch to Bill's.  Based on my '09 split time, I figured this stretch, while long, was very runable.  After some beautiful early evening shuffling along on some remote Vermont roads and trails, we pulled into Bill's at mile 88.6.  I looked at my split and began to panic.  I had lost almost 4 minutes.  Dammit.  I was losing it.  I calmly stopped for a minute, looked at Mark and said..."don't let me lose it now.  Keep me going".   I zipped into the barn, weighed in at 148lbs (good), and started looking over the food.  This late in the race, none of the food looks appetizing.  Mark said, "Grab something and let's go.  You're lollygagging!"   Yes....yes I was.  I was grateful that Mark made that comment.  I gritted my teeth, put on my mean face, and said, "bring it".  We were off.
-Race position at mile 88.6: 53th Place

Miles 88.6 - 100 (Bill's to Finish)
Leaving Bill's I was on a mission.  I would not lose any more time.  I was still an hour ahead of my 2009 pace and a small hint of a thought began creeping into my head.  That thought was, could I possibly break 22 hours?  For the next 3.4 miles, I pushed hard.  I had the thought of that damn 4 minute loss nagging at me.  I was pissed off and motivated.  I had finally began drinking the coke and mountain dew at the aid stations and so had some caffeine in me too.  I had been forcing myself to avoid it all day, so that I could pound it over the last 12 miles and get a nice boost.  It was working.  After muscling it out to the Keating station at mile 92, and passing 4 people in the process, I checked my split again.  I had gained 8 minutes!  8 damn minutes!  Hell yeah.  I was back, and now with only 8 miles to go.  8 miles...that's a one-block loop around State College.  Mark and I methodically picked off 4 more runners on our way to Polly's at mile 95.5, the last full service aid station.  Somewhere along this stretch is also where I think there was a lovely mile long meadow run that was so intimately lit up with green glow sticks.  It was probably my favorite stretch of the entire course this year.  Having a full moon overhead made it even more spectacular.  I actually stopped at one point in this field just to take in where I was, what I had just done, and how close I was to finishing.  It was one of the magical moments that come so rarely, but when they do, can touch right down to your soul.  When we pulled into Polly's, I had gained another 2 minutes and knew that I was going to finish well under 23.  But...could I break 22?  It was going to be close.  If I ran my split from 2009, I would finish somewhere around 21:58.  Somewhere before the last water stop at mile 97.7, I made the decision that I was going to give it everything for the last 4 miles and break 22, with authority.  None of this 21:59 crap.  We picked up the pace.  Surprisingly, it didn't hurt.  I had energy.  I felt good.  It almost made me wonder, could I have run harder all day?  I shouldn't have this much energy at the end of 100 miles.  Well, I could ponder these thoughts forever, but at the moment I had one goal: break 22 hrs, and break it substantially.  We got to Sargent's water stop at 97.7, one of my favorites, and I topped off my bottle.  I knew I had just over 2 miles of nice trail left to go.  I was going to do it.  I was going to buckle again, I was going to PR, and I was looking to break 22.  Then I took off, and I mean I took off.  I ran, and I ran hard.  Mark kept asking me how the hell I had energy to run so hard at mile 98.  All I could say was that I could taste that finish.  I saw the sign indicating "1 mile to go" and didn't even stop to admire.  I just ran right past it.  By this point I was actually gaining distance on Mark.  He yelled up ahead and said, "Man, you're working me hard!  Where are you finding this energy!  Well, whatever it is....keep doing it and don't wait for me! Go Go Go!"  The afterburners turned on and I was gone.  On Friday night before the race I had walked up from the finish line a half-mile just to admire that last bit of course.  Now, as I passed the "1/2 mile to go" sign, I recognized the trail from the previous night and knew exactly how far it was to the end.  I kept checking behind me to make sure no one was coming up to pass me.  In 2009, someone passed me in the last 1/2 mile.  It was a bit aggravating and deflating.  So far, I had only been passed by one person since mile 92, and I didn't see anyone behind me besides Mark.  I knew I was golden.

I made the last turn and saw the 1 gallon glowing water jugs and knew I was coming down the final chute.  That little annoying finish line dizziness was starting to creep in but I fought it away.  Mark had sprinted to catch back up and we ran down the last bit of trail together.   At the final turn I told him that I was sprinting all out, turned and sprinted towards the finish line up ahead and crossed under the glowing neon sign that read "Finish Line"

I had done it again.  I finished the Vermont 100.  This time, no intense foot pain, no passing out at the end, no oxygen jammed in my face, no medical tent.  Just me, standing on the grass staring at my watch not believing that I gained 10 minutes on my last split and finished in 21 hrs, 48 minutes, 16 seconds.

I shook Mark's hand, thanked him immensely for the great pacing, made my way to the food tent, ate some hot ramen, drank a coke, and sat in the grass.  It was awesome.  I was ecstatic.  What an absolutely perfect and wonderful day.  When doubt crept in earlier as I was losing split times, I fought back and won.  I know that I will have some bad races, and probably even some DNF's at some point....but not this day.  This day, I had the race I'd been hoping for.
-Race Position at Finish: 46th Place

Official Results:
Time: 21:48:16 (A new 100-mile PR by over 1hr 25 mins)
Place: 46/197
Age Group (30-39): 22/50

Thanks to the race director for putting on such a great race, the volunteers for all of their smiling faces, motivational cheers, and hard work, and to Mark for being such a great pacer and running partner.  Also, thanks to Chris and Joe for the great company both pre- and post-race...and for that celebratory beer.  Mmmmmmm.

Some Stats:
After compiling my stats, I learned a couple of things.  First off, I maintained or gained my position throughout the entire race (except a 2 person loss due to the porta-potty).  This was very satisfying to know that I was not one of the people that gets passed by everyone at the end.  Also, for the split that I lost the most time, I also had the lowest heart rate (111 bpm).  This tells me that I simply got a little lazy over that stretch.  I absolutely could have pushed myself harder, but was simply tired and needed a little motivation.  Overall, I actually feel that I could have run the race harder and finished a little faster, but I am not going to think about the what-ifs.  I'm thrilled to have done as well as I did, and have a fantastic new 100 mile PR.  I gained 87 minutes over my previous time.  My goal was to improve my overall race page by 1 minute.  My race pace in 2009 was right about 14min/mile.  My race pace this year was 13:04, so I did exactly what I set out to do.  I finished the first 50 in 10hrs, the 2nd 50 in 11hrs 48mins (as compared to my 2009 times of, 11hrs and 12hrs 15mins).  Two days later, I actually feel great.  My legs are working fine, my foot is ok, my post-ultra nausea is ok, and my kidneys are normal.  I may even go for a short run today!

some race stats

What's Next John?:
So the real big question.  Looking at my "race schedule" in my sidebar, it seems pretty open until September when I'll return for my 3rd VT50.  I have been very quiet on this blog about my post VT100 Summer plans.  It turns out that I've actually had something planned for a long while, but haven't really talked about it.  Without dancing around the point, I'll just come out with it.  I am registered for, and will be running again, the Leadville Trail 100.  That's right, in five weeks, I'll again be making my way towards another 1/2 Grand Slam.  I had such a blast the last time in Leadville, that when I got back from Antarctica in February, I quickly signed up for it again before it filled.  I haven't talked about it because I honestly wasn't sure I was going to do it.  Not only have I decided to definitively do it again and go for another buckle there (and try to break my time of 29 hrs 11 minutes), but I will be making a very little vacation out of it.  I can't wait to spend a few days playing in Colorado again and I'll have some good company coming with me to boot.  YAY!  So...Leadville......Here I come, again.   Bring IT!

Some More VT100 Details:
Gear/Hydration Setup:
Shoes - Brooks Cascadia 5's
Shirt - Golite Ultralight C-thru shirt
Shorts - Patagonia Nine Trails
Socks - Vermont Darn Tough Merino Cush 1/4 Socks
Hat - Headsweats Cap
Nathan Mutation X-Trainer belt (1 bottle) with modified added extra pocket for gear
(Extra Merino Shirt in Drop Bag)
(Extra Socks in Drop Bag)

Carried Supplies (Or in Drop Bags)
Aid Station List and Split Times with various calculations
Small sportslick balm jar
Extra nip-guards
2 bandaids
small roll of sports tape
some ibuprofin 
small amount of TP
some ginger chews
Hammer Endurolytes
2 Clip-on Photon Micro Lights (Morning Dark Running and backup for night running)
Petzyl Myo Headlamp (Night-time Running)
Extra batteries

Food Carried/Drop Bags
Honey Stinger and Hammer Gels
Nathan's PB Packets
Ensure Drinks (Chocolate)

Food Eaten at Stations
PB and J sandwiches
Salty Chips
Gummy bears
Lots of Fruit
Heed Drink
Milky Way Candies
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Ramen Soup

Heart-Rate Info
Total Calories: ~12,500
Avg Heart Rate: ~130 bpm
Max Heart Rate: ~158 bpm
Highest AVG Heart Rate Split: ~139 bpm
Lowest AVG Heart Rate Split: ~111 bpm

Some Pics
My lonely tent in tent-city

One of the "other" 100-milers

The event tent

The weigh in

The Starting Line

Awesome Pasta Dinner

Hanging out at the finish line cheering on the last of the finishers.
Not quite sure how I was even able to stand at this point

1 Official Race Photo

More "Official" Race Photos Coming Soon...


Derunzo said...

Awesome job man! I just found your blog about a week ago.... very inspiring! I'm thinking about running the VT50, but I'm more than a little intimidated.

Derunzo said...

On a side note.... this guy just finished the AT.

EJ said...

Great report and amazing race. Thanks for all of the details about the race and your race strategy. Very cool the way you were racing your 2009 self in 2011. 2009 John really laid a good foundation for you didn't he? Nice guy;-)

Jeremiah said...

Hey Lakewood!

Awesome time and race! Simply amazing! Glad to see you didnt almost die after this one!

Thanks for the race report! It really motivates me to try to run a 100 miler...though my wife just rolls her eyes at me! lol.

Guess I need to start off with a 50K first and progress to a 50 miler...then see how much I like it!

Good luck at Leadville! We might be in Denver during that time on a travel assignment! That would be cool to go and root for ya!

God bless,

UltraChris said...

great report and superb race, john! way to knock it out. it was good to see you again and to celebrate with a beer with you; you've got me motivated that i may try another 100 miler again. great details - very useful information that i will tuck away. best of luck to you at Leadville ... make sure to have that celebratory beer waiting! nicely done, man.

Michelle Matys said...

I gravitated to your blog just before running Vermont 100 this year (2012). I decided to utilize your race plan but slow it down a bit and plan for about 24 hours. 24 hours was my lofty goal. Sure enough something happened and I managed to keep it on the dot with how you went about it. Only my first 30 miles were slower. In the area where you said your heart rate was fine but you got slower I pushed through. I ended up finishing in 21:41:31. Thanks for the plan, which I have no idea how it happened. I got PR by 10 hours and 52 minutes, but note that the previous PR was Massanutten two months prior.

Now I find myself back on your blog scoping out your 2011 execution of Leadville. I still plan on hiking Mt Elbert Thursday. Post race let me know if that really did hurt or help. Take note that I also plan to run Wasatch three weeks later, so I am not going to destroy myself at Leadville. My current plan is 28 hours.