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Wheres Waldo 100K - RunUltra Marathon

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Willamette Pass, Oregon
United States
73F / 23C
Total Time = 13h 47m 55s
Overall Rank = 46/88
Age Group = N/A
Age Group Rank = 0/0
Pre-race routine:

I have no pre-race routine for a race like this. We picked up my packet the day before the race after driving around the forest looking for the different place I wanted Courtney to be. We checked out the half way point and hiked a short bit. After picking up my packet we headed back to find the hotel about 10minutes away. Grabbed some food/pasta at a local lodge on Odell lake then back to the hotel we went. Sorted everything out and got all my stuff ready for the next morning.

Originally I was in the 3AM EARLY start group, but changed to 5AM original start after thinking it over a bit more. Set the alarm for 4AM and finally got to sleep around 9pm.

I slept horribly. Woke up multiple times, then one last time around 2:30. Didn't really go back to sleep after that. The alarm went off at 4am and i quickly got up to make a pot-o-coffee and have a clifbar. Downed a PB&J and a small cup of coffee, then it was off to the races. We left around 4:30 and arrived around 4:40.

Once we were there I changed into my running shoes, put my race belt on, grabbed my flashlight and I was ready to go. It was REALLY cool, like 38 degrees cool, so we headed into the ski lodge for about 10mins. I did my pre-race boom boom, and by the time I got back outside I heard the race director shouting 3mins TILL THE START! Everyone (w/ their flashlights and all) started heading out the doors to the base of the ski run right by the ski lift.

I kissed Courtney good-bye and took my place among the other crazies. I was just a few rows from the back. I definitely didn't want to go out too fast. Everyone was cracking stupid jokes and trying to stay relaxed. Then someone shouted GO! and we started running.
Event warmup:

Stood in the lodge.
  • 13h 47m 55s
  • 62.14 miles
  • 13m 19s  min/mile

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Well... I guess this all started with running. We took off and headed up a dirt road/ski run/cat walk that obviously didn't have any snow on it. This was really steep and I had heard a lot of people talk about it before. Most told me that everyone walks this section. It's about 1.25-1.50 miles. So as soon as we hit the cat walk everyone started walking! Haha. I was still in total awe of what was going on.

Here it was... 5:00AM in the heart of the Oregon mountains and 120 nuts are running off into the darkness to god knows what. It was sheer stupidness and I loved it. As soon as I saw everyone else start walking I joined in and just followed suit. It was INCREDIBLY dusty. Everyone was kicking up a lot of dust and it got reallly annoying. I could taste the dust in my mouth. It didn't bother my eyes too bad. So we walked up this incline for about 25-30 mins. I kept looking ahead waiting for the turn off to my beloved single track. Man was I ready for some good single track. Every bit there would be a glow stick coming out of the ground or attatched to a tree to help us stay on track.

Finally I saw the turn off, and it was amazing seeing all these little head lights heading off into the woods. I found a nice little group of 3-4 traveling around my speed and just followed the feet infront of me. It was still stupid dark so my flashlight was a must.

After this initial uphill it's almost all downhill to the first aid station. I just ran at what was a comfortable pace and stayed with the person in front of me.

Picture this.... at one point the course crossed over a big ski run then switched backed along the run. It was totally dark and all I could see were these little lights zig zagging across the run. It was so beautiful. The weather was still feeling great and I was just trying to enjoy this incredible experience.

I couldn't stare off too long because this was a PERFECT time to twist your ankle or fall because it was so dark. I heard a few people fall behind me and I didn't want to be next. The sun was slowly creeping up and the light was becoming more and more unecessary. I kept my on as long as possible. I didn't want to take any chances, plus, I didn't like carrying it in my pocket becaus it bounced quite a bit.

I finally got into a group heading the perfect speed for me. I followed these guys all the way into the first aid station that was among a quaint little campground. This is when I got my first taste of the aid stations that this race would produce. It was AMAZING. People were offering me everything under the sun and filling my bottle for me. I chose to start the race with one bottle and pick up my second when I saw Courtney at the 20.5 mile mark. I also chose to run in a long sleeve tech shirt which was a wonderful decision.

We pulled out of the aid station and this is when the climb up to Mt. Fuji started. Let's preface the first climb by saying that I underestimated these mountains. My mentality was that I've climbed Pikes Peak up to 14,100 feet in 3hrs I can climb these wheenies under 8K. Boy was I wrong.

The incline started and I could feel it, but wasn't having any problems. A few people were already deciding to walk, but I had no intentions of that just yet. The sun was up by this point so I turned the light off and just held it. So far I was doing gels every 45mins and I was sticking to my plan pretty well. The course leveled out a bit and there was a great section of straight running. Saw some gorgeous untouched natural lakes and some HUGE trees.

I ended up running solo for a bit here and that was amazing. Running by yourself through some of the most beautiful terrain I've ever seen was awesome. Around this point was when I started walking the good uphills. As soon as it would level off or go downhill I was running. This was pretty much my strategy for the rest of the race. Soon I came to a split in the trail where we hit an out and back section. Here is where I saw the front runners for the first and last time. DAMN! They were running. I mean like hella runnin. Like their shorts were on fire. :)

It was around this point that something stung my lateral right ankle. It felt A LOT like something I'd gotten stung by a few weeks ago... but had no idea what it was. I thought it was some plant, but then someone mentioned a horse fly or something like that. I guess it's even possible it was a bee. A lot of people were having problems/stings w/ bees. I tried to shrug it off and carry on.

I continued on the incline till I caught up to a few guys infront of me. I just hung with them all the way into the next aid station which was the Mt. Fuji AS. From here it's a few miles up to the peak of Mt. Fuji, then we come back down the same way through the same aid station.

I refilled my bottle and began my way up Mt. Fuji. This part of the course was just stunnnnnning. The trail was a lot like a goat trail on the side of the mountain w/ LOTS of trees. Everyonce in awhile when there weren't people hauling ass at me I'd glance off the mountain and take in the awesomeness. The trail was serious single track, and we had people coming down the same way. Everytime I'd see someone coming I'd just hop off the trail and let them by.

I soon caught up to who I thought was David Goggins (Spelling???). You know... the marine or SEAL that does all the distance races.. (Badwater, IM hawaii,etc.. Ended up not being him) I finally struck up a convo with the guy and turned out his name was Francis. We chatted our way straight to the top of Mt. Fuji. Lots of walking here. I'd say it was 90% walk, 10% run. The trail got more and more rocky as we climbed. We finally took a hard right turn and I got my first view from the (near) top of Fuji. WOW. Absolutely incredible. The sun was just over the horizon and the view was awesome. I could see Waldo Lake perfectly. We continued our way up this rocky ridge until we came to the peak where a few people were taking numbers. I stood up there for a minute or so to take in the beauty. One of the guys pointed out the other peaks around. This was the first time I got to see "The Twins", the second big climb, and "Maiden Peak"... the 8,000ft beast at mile 51.

Francis and I turned back and enjoyed some RUNNING! Man it felt good to run after walking up that mtn. We had to be really careful due to the people coming up along with the rocky terrain near the top. We took it nice and easy but still maintained a nice tempo. We reached the aid station again and refilled. I think I popped a gel as Francis ran ahead. I left the aid station a min or so behind him and quickly caught him again.

Francis and I ran our way through the woods just having a good time. He told me about his first hundred miler, and we traded stories about how most of our family and friends thought we were "nut jobs" :)

The trail was mostly downhill right here. The previous aid station was 14.9 miles in and we had 5.6 miles till the Mt Ray aid station where Courtney was!! Awesome. Francis maintained the tempo in front of me and I just followed. We leveled off a few times but the majority was downhill. Soon we came to a steep downhill around 16.5-17 that crossed a little waterfall/creek. I hesitated for a bit as Francis easily navigated the obstacle. Finally I found my footing and made it across with little water penetration.

We continued the steeep downhill till it flattened out again. Soon we came to an awesome meadow. I couldn't believe how awesome this was. The trail went directly across it. The grass was a little wet... just enough to clean the shoes off a bit, but not enough to get my socks wet. We got to the other side here and continued on some great single track. I could tell Francis was ready for the next aid station, so I kept giving him our estimated time left. I was calculating a ten min pace most of the time but it turned out that we were running a bit slower. Around every bend I'd look ahead for the road cause I new the aid station was on lake waldo rd.

Something that I started to notice as the race went on was that I kept seeing things that weren't there. NO... NOT hallucinating, but just turning things like shiny dead logs in the sunlight into aid stations from a distance. It was definitely frustrating towards the end...

Soon enough though I heard the road ahead and knew we were close. Francis and I picked up the pace quite a bit once it leveled out. I think we were both ready for the aid station.

As soon as we reached the aid station I immediately started looking for Courtney. We were at mile 20.5 and I was needing a familiar face. The body felt ok but not great. I coulndn't pin point what was wrong. She was anticipating a much earlier arrival so when she saw me it was like, "WTF"... Don't do that to me! :)

I think I first told her about the sting on my ankle cause it was hurting like a biatch! Not bad bad... but just annoying. The people at the aid station had some benodryl (Sp?) spray because so many people were getting stung by things.

Court asked me if I wanted to change clothes... how the shoes were working.. how my new shorts were... if I needed body glide, etc etc. She was AWESOME. I went ahead and grabbed my other bottle at this point, along with changing out of my long sleeve tech into a short sleeve tech. I also took a bite of a clif bar, replaced all my gels, and gave her my flashlight that I'd been holding the entire 20 miles. (Thanks to KALEN for the awesome flashlight!!!)

After maybe 5-6 minutes I gave Court a kiss and big hug and was off into the wilderness again. This is where the race started for me....

I was NOT prepared for this section. For some reason, I had this idea in my head that the race only had three actual climbs. The truth is it has three mountain climbs... haha. This course is either going up.. or going down. That's all there is to it..

I started off feeling ok here but that quickly changed. The course took a right turn to head towards the next aid station. It's a slow gradual climb here all the way to that aid station which is 6.6 miles from the one before.

I grabbed onto the heals of a girl that passed me and just focused on staying with her. She was running STOOOPID slow though. Like I could walk as fast as she was running. So I ended up walking for a bit, then running till I caught up.. then walking for a bit... then running till I caught up. Finally I was wearing down and had to walk too long to catch back up. This was unbelievably frustrating and demoralizing. Here I was at mile 23 something and I was dying.

All I could think about was how I still had 39 miles to go. 39 freaking miles. Not to mention the two mountains to climb along the way. This is when the doubts started creeping in. As I walked alone through the woods I kept thinking how dissapointed everyone would be if I didn't finish.

I then took a right turn onto the PCT (Pacific Crest (?) Trail). Apparently this is a really famous trail that I should have known about... It was really nice here but I still was feeling like S***. I walked up to a person sitting in a chair and he said "Left turn!" ... Then about 100 yards later I saw someone else sitting in a chair that said, "Left Turn!". How cool was it that these people were sitting in the middle of the woods helping out :) Regardless.. this didn't make me feel any better.

This section from those turns up to the Twins aid station was ugly. U.G.L.Y. I was feeling sorry for myself and was having serious doubts. This was definitely the low point. I kept thinking how I hadn't even run a marathon yet. UGH. Then I'd glance at my watch and think wow. 4 + hours. The only upside was I wasn't getting passed and actually passed 1 person. Who happened to be walking barefoot with his shoes in hand and was planning on dropping at the next aid station.

Then on top of how I was feeling I was feeling bad because I knew that if I went on Courtney would be waiting for probably close to 16 hours. I just felt bad. I was thinking about what I'd say on BT. I was thinking about what I'd tell my Uncle when we got back to his place.. But most of all I was thinking about what I'd tell Courtney. I stopped eating gels and didn't drink much at all. I figured I'd make it to the half way point where Courtney was and tell her I'm done.

I kept thinking in my head that Waldo was better than me today. That I wasn't good enough. The negative thoughts kept flowing as I'd occasionaly run for a minute or so. I'd say by this point I was running 15% of the time. The uphills kept coming and there was no letting up. FML.

Finally I hiker passed me saying 1/2 mile till the AS (aid station). Oh GREAT I thought. Only 10 minutes left. haha.

I finally reached the Twins aid station. This aid station TOTALLY rocked. These people were all dressed up in biker/leather gear and were having a blast helping us. It was incredible. Here is where I started drinking coke and enjoying the layout of food they had for us. I grabbed a few pieces of watermelon, a banana, and some cherry tomatoes, along with a cup or two of soda. Yummmmmy :) After refilling i headed out walking.

The trail was still heading upwards. Ugh. I got passed by a few people and couldn't help but start thinking about the time I'd been out there, and what I was going to tell Court when I got to the halfway point. I figured I could walk the 100 yards to the car and we could head back to my Uncles for an early dinner. I literally could not imagine finishing this race by this point.

Finally. The course took a turn slightly downhill. It was 4.9 miles to the 32 mile mark where the lake Charlton AS was along with Courtney and my ride home.

Suddenly with the downhill sections I was running again. I was trying to enjoy the course a bit more and just take it all in before I was done. I was running when I could but was still walking parts, especially anything that was uphill. Soon I came to a nice switchback type section with a nice downhill. I used the downhill to my advantage and really started feeling much better.

Whatever I thought. I can't do all of this. Soon someone passed me again but I hung with him till he pulled off the trail to answer the call. He soon caught back up and I stuck with him again. I kept glancing down at my watch because in my mind I had an idea of when I'd be rolling into the AS.

Well the time kept ticking by and no Charlton lake. I figured I'd be able to see it at some point. Well it turned out that I didn't see it till 20yards before the AS. I rolled into the aid station after 6:36:35 of trail running and walking. 32 miles in 6:36:35. I couldn't have been too much more dissapointed.

I quickly glanced through the crowd of people at this gorgeous lake for Courtney. I found her and got over to her as soon as my bottles were filled by the gracious volunteers. I'm not too sure why I let them re-fill my bottles since I was planning on quitting, but I just don't think I had the heart to tell the people "I quit".

Once I walked over to Court she asked, "Are you OK?". I of course replied, "NO".

The last 2 hours I was planning what I'd say to her when I got there. I was going to tell her how I was done... and the race had beat me....

But as we sat together on the ground next to Charlton Lake I just couldn't tell her.

She finally asked me, "Do you want to quit?"
I reply, "Yes".

She then went on to tell me it was my choice. That no one else could make that decision for me. I proceeded to tell her about the last two hours and how beat down I was. We then pulled out my map and assessed the rest of the race together. As I pointed at the next two mountains we had to climb I couldn't help but drop a few F-Bombs.

Courtney told me exactly what I needed to hear. I knew good and well that I couldn't drop this race. For one reason I was still able to walk, and while I can walk, I'm not quitting anything. She also told me what I knew.. that I wouldn't be able to live with not finishing what I came to do. She knows my personality well enough to know that if I didn't finish this race the next few weeks/months would be miserable for me.

She got up and grabbed us a cookie of the table for us to split. We shared a cookie next to this amazing lake, among the most gorgeous trees I'd ever seen, while I contemplated my next move.

"I'm gonna finish... It may be 9pm when I come in so I don't want you to worry.."

It was totally amazing having Courtney there. Her confidence in me gave me the confidence to get this done. The day before the race we had driven to all the aid stations that I wanted her to be at, plus did the 1.5 mile hike to another aid station that I wanted her to know how to get to just in case I needed her there around mile 44.7. (Twins AS)

She then told me that she'd see me again at the Twins AS. I said heck no.
"If you show up there, i'm definitely more like to quit... It's better if you're not there so I'll keep going." I promised her that I'd be ok.

I stood up and knew that I wasn't quitting until I couldn't walk. I gave her a huge hug and told her I'd see her in a bit. After sitting there for 14 minutes and 45 seconds I was hitting the trail again. As I started to walk away I turned around and asked her if she'd like to walk w/ me for a bit.

We walked for about 200 yards down the single track until we said our goodbyes again.

As soon as she turned away I started running... and run I did. This section to the next aid station FLEW by!! It was still slightly downhill so I took FULL advantage. I was suddenly feeling amazing. I was once again enjoying the scenery and on my way to the next AS. The next aid station was 5.2 miles from the last and the total mileage at that point was 37.2. I passed a few people and just kept running. The terrain was a bit different back in this section. I'd heard a few stories about how this section can get "boring" and "hot". Well neither of those were true for a Texan!! There were a few sections where the trail would get reallly skinny among these smaller close knit trees. One thing that did become a problem in this section were the bees! I didn't get stung but they would not get out of my face. 1 hour and 5 mins after leaving Charlton Lake I pulled into the Rd 4290 AS.

Here I grabbed some more coke, along with bananas, watermelon, and a few s-caps. I'd say I spent a good 5 mins making sure I was totally ready for the next section. After applying a bit of sunscreen I was off.

This next section was dreaded. By dreaded I mean it was from mile 37.2 to 44.7 and started around 5,500, then we topped out for this section on the Twins around 7,250 if not higher. After that there is a NICE downhill mile or so back to the Twins AS that I had come through earlier on the way up to Charlton Lake.

I ran out of the aid station and played cat and mouse with a guy for a bit. He'd pass me.. then I'd pass him.. etc etc. He fell off a bit then I caught up to a guy that I struck up a convo with. Ended up he once lived in Richardson, Texas! Wow... So we talked about White Rock lake and stuff like that. He asked about Ironman and we talked about that for a bit. He'd sometimes pull away from me for a bit, but I'd catch back up on the small inclines. The course was still fairly flat to mild uphills. We were definitely gaining slowly but surely towards the twins.

We ran together for maybe 20-30 minutes, till he finally pulled away for good. The bigger inclines started and I was just focusing on running anything that was flat/downhill and walking anything uphill. I'd say I was still running 80% of the time here. The course was really nice here as we began the initial climb up to the twins.

I was staying strong to my run/walk plan but the course was gradually getting more and more difficult. At one point I passed someone, then caught up with someone but couldn't ever get the steam to get around them. So with that I just settled in about 20 feet behind him and followed suit. If he ran I ran, if he walked I walked.

To be totally honest there was a lot of walking here.... but I was MUCH better with it here than I was earlier around mile 23. In my mind I knew what I was in store for, because I'd already climbed one peak, and knew that walking was often the only choice If I wanted to finish. There was a long patch of walking here, then the course opened up a bit so that I thought I could see the top of the twins. (Most of the time you can't ever see the peaks you're climbing because the tree cover is so dense) For some reason I thought we HAD to be close, but once I glanced up I could see the peak was stilll a ways up.

On our left there was a guy on horseback that asked us how we were doing. He was reallly nice and was out there on horseback volunteering his time to make sure we were ok. Definitely appreciated that. Only was out from that section was on horseback.

When I saw the peaks ahead I asked the guy infront if he knew how far and if we had to go allll the way to the top. He said maybe a mile and "No... we cross in the saddle.

Awesome!!! So we didn't have to go alll the way. This picked my spirits up as we continued the trek uphill. I walked the rest of the way up. After hitting up some more good single track the trees opened up again and I could see the saddle back. I crossed over and knew it was downhill allll the way to the Maiden AS.

The trail was good here but a bit technical at times compared to the rest of the course. I took full advantage and grabbed some time on the way down into the Twins AS. I had been there before so I was feeling confident and ready to get to Maiden. My legs were feeling fresh on the downhill so I was feeling MUCH better and much more confident that I could tackle Maiden.

Finally the signs showed up that led us into the Twins AS. I rolled on in and was happy to see the same people still working SO hard. Someone filled my bottles while I sat down on a log. I pulled out my map and re-assessed the situation. I saw it was all downhill to Maiden AS and everyone kept saying how good the trail was. I figured I'd make good time to Maiden then do what I'd have to do. After a few minutes I slowllly got up to grab some watermelon, banana, and cherry tomatoe, along with some coke iced! :) I ended up spending 6:50 total at the Twins AS and was then on my way once again. Thanks for everything Twins AS!

I had walked part of this section earlier that day, only heading in the other direction, so I knew good and well there was a lot of downhill running to be had. After walking for a minute or so to get my legs back I started running toward Maiden peak. Goal here was to run as much as possible and only walk any uphills.

It was during this time that I realized what I was going through earlier in the race. Thing was that mentally I wasn't ready for that small steady climb. I thought it was going to be flat and runnable for me, then when it wasn't I kept wondering why i was so tired, and why I wasn't running. The uphill sections were rough.. but man did it feel good to fly downhill.

I kept the speed up and passed back by the people that had told me, "Left Turn" earlier. The each pointed me in the right direction and once again I was on foreign terrain! The trail slowly started to level out a bit and I noticed something possibly in my shoes. I figured it was nothing but soon had to pull off the trail and sit on a log to check it out. Once I pulled my shoe off I saw I had a big hole in my sock! Dang... that sucks. Those socks were still fairly new. Pulled out a small stick and put my shoe back on. After a min or so I was back on the trail. I passed a few more people and walked rarely.

I figured it would be about an hour to Maiden AS. The last AS was at 44.7. Maiden AS was at 49.9. That was about 5.2 miles. After about 55 minutes the course changed abruptly and it went uphill. Hmph. Fine. Maiden... here I come.

I started walking then reached a small flat. I saw two people up ahead and started running to try and catch them. Once I was almost to them someone popped up around the corner and I saw I had reached the Maiden AS.

A realllly nice guy took my bottles and helped me out. I sat down on a small dirt incline and relaxed for a min or so. The two people in front of me where there and they seemed like fun people. After having a cup of coke or two and some more bananas, and watermelon I joined the trail behind the two people. I asked someone if we'd started the climb to maiden. He said it starts now. It's about 3 miles.

I walked out of the aid station with those two people and immediately struck up conversation. I figured I really didn't want to do this climb alone. We talked, and talked, and talked. I pretty much told them my life story. I found out that the guy was Chris Thornley, the Co-Race Directors brother! How cool. Chris also had a pacer which was awesome, cause I didn't have one. So... now I did. :) We walked our way up Maiden peak together. Talking really took my mind off of the epic task at hand. I was 51-52 miles into a 2,000ft + climb and still had over ten miles to go.

The thing about the Maiden climb that I'm sure most of you have heard, is that it doesn't have many switchbacks. It's pretty much straaaaight up the middle. WTF. A few times I found myself walking on the sides of my shoes. I was well on my way to an all downhill finish.

After about 45mins of 99% walking we walked up on my friend Francis! Awesome! He was looking rough but hung with us at our snail pace for a bit. I offered him so encouragement and continued on with posse. haha.

After over an hour of walking we were nearing the top. Chris had done the course before so he knew quite a bit about it. He let me know that once we got to the near top there was a split in the course and a small O&B section to the peak. There was no way to see the top because the tree cover was still heavy.

Finally we made it to the split in the course. A few nice guys were standing there and directed us to the top! He said about 8-10 mins of walking and we'd be there! Freaking awesome. I was 10 mins away from running home. The terrain got awfully rocky. I mean like big rocks, not to mention they were slipping all over the place. We carefully manipulated our way up the trail until we got our first view from the near top of Maiden. We walked up a small ridge just like on Fuji and reached the peak of Maiden Peak.

Amazing. Someone wrote down my bib number and I just stood in awe of what I'd done so far, and what I had to push through to get there. I reached into my bag on my hip and pulled out something I'd been thinking about the last two hours. A bag of Caffeinated Watermelon SportBeans. I sat there on the top of Maiden and enjoyed my SportBeans while taking it all in. Three peaks had been taken, and all I had left was about ~9 miles, with about 95% being downhill. After maybe 5 minutes I began the run downhill.

I had to be REALLY careful here because the rocks were so unstable. I quickly passed my two friends and flew by the two guys on the way up that were directing runners. This section of the course was bruttal after 53 miles on foot. The dirt was unstable, the rocks were unstable, and the trail was technical. The sand/dirt was fairly deep at points, so when my foot would land in it the sand would come over the top and into my shoe. This sucked because I was wearing my Newtons that have a mesh toe box... not designed for trail running :)

I figured this technical terrain couldn't go on forever so I just pushed on. This is when I noticed my left knee was bothering me right above the patella. I figured it was my patellar ligament pissed off because of the downhills, preceded by rouggggh uphills.

I didn't get to open up too much on the really steep downhills, but once it leveled off a bit (still downhill) I really opened it up. I had A LOT left and I knew it. It was time to rock-n-roll. I flew past 2-3 people and couldn't WAIT to hit that next aid station. I was loving the downhill. After 10-15 mins of constant running I could see the final aid station. I flew into it and was greated by SUPER friendly people.

Of course my bottles were immediately taken away from me to be refilled. Some lady came up to me with a wet towel in hand and asked if I needed to clean my face. I said "no.." I'm fine. Then next thing I knew she was wiping down my face for me as I sat on yet another log. Few mins later someone was rubbing my shoulders!! Unbelievable! I grabbed my usual food. Melon, Banana, and coke, then enjoyed a few more minutes off my feet. After 5:55 I was outta there and ready to try and break 14 hours.

When I stepped out of the last AS my watch read a total of 12:38:26. I knew I 1hr 22mins and 34 secs to break 14 hours. All I had to do was cover 7.5 miles in that time. I pulled out my map one last time as I walked away. It was almost alllll downhill from here. I felt confident I could do this, but wasn't 100% sure. I was at mile 55 and this was all so new to me.

I started running here and never looked back. Everytime I'd get to a solid downhill I'd open up and let gravity do its work. My body was feeling great and I knew I was going to have a strong finish. I was still power walking the tough uphills but those were very scarce here. I was passing people about every 5 mins or so.

I started to notice the sun was getting pretty low, and when I'd have a big ridge on my side I was totally in the shadows. I really started taking in the scenery and just focused on maintaining the pace all the way to the finish.

At one point I was walking uphill and heard something directly ahead of me about 40 feet away behind a huge dropped tree. I glanced up just as a big BLACK BEAR was looking back. It immediately stopped whatever it was doing and darted away from me.

This was absolutely frightening and amazing all at the same time. I just saw a live WILD bear at mile 57-58 of a 100K. It hit me that, that bear was not caged and could have come the other direction had it wanted. Courtney had told me a hundred times that there were probably bears out her... but I always shrugged it off and told her there's no way I'd see a bear. Well dang. I was hella wrong.

The bear went down the ridge we were on away from me, but was heading in the diretion of the trail! :-/ As the stomped off it was SO loud. With each paw hitting the ground it sounded like someone jumping up and down with all their force.

I had two choices here. Continue on the course and just hope that the bear was as scared as I was... or turn around and wait for another runner.

Ha! This was nothing but motivation. I continued on the trail and was running like I hadn't run all day. I was constantly glancing around keeping an eye out for a black shape. This really took my mind off the fact that I was approaching mile 58. (where we turned onto the PCT one last time)

A few minutes later I passed a woman and let her know that I'd just seen a bear. She about shit herself and started running behind me :)

Finally I reached the PCT and was seriously hauling some ass. Me legs were feeling awesome and I was on a serious high. The trail was really nice and mostly downhill. I kept increasing the pace gradually until I was about 2-3 miles from the finish. I really started passing people here. A huge gorgeous lake (Rosary Lakes) appeared on my right. I passed a woman as she said, "Someone left something in the tank"... man did that feel nice to hear. I had to be running sub 8s right then. HAD to be.

The next few miles took forever. I kept glancing ahead around every corner looking for what I thought was an opening. I passed some hikers with backpacks at one point and knew they'd only been on the trail for maybe 1-1.5 miles and thought how weird would that be to be out hiking and have these nut jobs running past you after 60+ miles of running.

FINALLY. I could hear the road with trucks on it to my left. This meant I was close. I was flying. Not running... flying. I was running past people like they were walking. I knew I had maybe 3-4 minutes left.

I looked up to see the end of the single track.

The trail opened up and I passed the shed for the ski run equipment. I was on a gravel path now. I rounded the corner and I could see the lodge.

I was now running like it was the sprint to the line for a 5K. I could hear the announcers and people clapping as I approached the line. As I neared the line I slowed and walked across the chalk line in the gravel smiling. 62.5 miles after starting, in a total of 13:47:55.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I had the time of my life.
Post race
Warm down:

Someone was taking photos, then the race director walked up with my choice of finisher hats. Man... WHAT A DECISION! I chose my green lettered "Where's Waldo 100K" hat.

Then it was all about Courtney. She was right there at the finish line. She had set up a chair right there and was waiting for me. I told her I was OK and she immediately offered me her chair.

All I wanted at that point was a hug. :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Running for 13:47:55 can get very lonely. This was something I had to deal with on and off all day. Having Courtney there was so awesome, but it was also a bit difficult when I was feeling horrible and had to leave her while I trekked back out into the middle of nowhere to walk through the trees. :)

The altitude was really never a problem as far as I could tell.

What was a problem at this race was the climbing!! 11,000 feet is no joke. These climbs were rough and I definitely underestimated them. Us Texas men don't do a lot of climbing... haha.

All in all, the only thing that probably limited my ability to perform faster was myself.

Event comments:

Overall production of this race was amazing. I mean it's gotta be UNBELIEVABLY difficult to organize 140 people as they run through the Oregon Wilderness on a 62.5 mile one loop single track course as they climb three peaks. My hats off to the race directors and all the amazing volunteers.

Last updated: 2009-03-20 12:00 AM
13:47:55 | 62.14 miles | 13m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/0
Overall: 46/88
Performance: Good
Course: 11,000 feet of climbing and 11,000 feet of descending. One loop course 99% on single track trails. Climb three peaks total with the first being at 7,200ft, the second at 7,700, then the third at 7,900 feet. The first climb topped out at mile 15, the second around mile 43, then the third around mile 53. The course ended up being 62.5 miles. Ranked the most difficult level of trail marathons that you can do. I can attest.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %N/A
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-08-30 1:19 AM

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Plano, Tx
Subject: Wheres Waldo 100K

2009-08-30 5:14 AM
in reply to: #2378533

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Ferris, Texas
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K

Congratulations Jacob.  Man, incredible.   

2009-08-30 10:48 AM
in reply to: #2378533

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Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K

Dude you’re an Ultra Marathoner.  That is so cool!!  Great race report makes me want to do it.  Beating that course and your mind is a GREAT accomplishment.   

One thing for the life of me I can’t figure out.  How you could start such a race on Clifbar, PB&J and a cup of coffee?  I think refueling at 1st Twins AS helped you. 

How many times did you hit Twins AS?  Mt. Fuji true name?  Seeing “shiny dead logs in the sunlight into aid stations” I think still qualifies as hallucinating.  I would have been hallucinating at the first climb. 

You have got quite a gal there.  Courtney is a great support for you.  She is truly an amazing inspirational person. 

Congratulations Jacob!  Sealed

2009-08-30 10:59 AM
in reply to: #2378533

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2009-08-30 2:08 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K
I didn't read it all, but I will eventually.  I do know the ending!  You made it & that is a great accomplishment!
2009-08-30 4:25 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Mt Pleasant, SC
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K

I read the whole race report and enjoyed the ups & downs-highs & lows.  I have these same feelings on my long bike rides.

Your race report motivated me to keep training harder for my sprint-tri's and Oly distance next year.

Yes having a wife at the race to support us makes the pain all worth while!

Thank You


2009-08-30 7:24 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K
thats one awesome adventure. my favorite part was you freaking out some poor lady with your bear sighting story. i wish i could have seen her face!!!! great job.
2009-08-30 10:26 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K

Well, it was worth the wait!!  Congratulations on a huge accomplishment!  I had many emotions while riding across Iowa and now must finish my own race report.

Thanks for taking us with you on the EPIC adventure indeed!!!

2009-08-31 9:09 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Plano, Tx
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K

Thanks Guys!

2009-11-26 9:04 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K
WOW!  I am glad you had a great time-what a great tale!
2009-11-26 10:48 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K

My son and I were about that far away from a black bear on a hike in New Mexico and I had about the same thoughts. 

Great race BTW! 

2010-08-25 11:21 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Plano, Tx
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K
2010-08-26 9:06 AM
in reply to: #2378533

Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K
great job and nice RR.  that's a heck of a lot of climbing...especially for a flatlander. 
2010-08-26 12:31 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Just South of Boston
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K
So, you going to marry that girl or what? Seems like she is your strength & Inspiration.

Great story - I can't belive folks do races like this !
2010-08-26 1:18 PM
in reply to: #2378533

Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K
That was an awesome read, Jacob, great job.
2010-08-26 10:26 PM
in reply to: #3065399

Plano, Tx
Subject: RE: Wheres Waldo 100K
Mike_D - 2010-08-26 12:31 PM So, you going to marry that girl or what? Seems like she is your strength & Inspiration.

Great story - I can't belive folks do races like this !

I actually did ask her to marry me


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