Sunday, September 13, 2009
Getting it done late
One of the things that makes 100 mile races so much different than shorter ultramarathons is what it takes to get the job done late in the race. In every 100 miler you get to that place where you need to dig deep and decide if you have what it takes. Usually, this point is represented by a particular aid station after which you know it's "Game On." At Western States it's the River Crossing, at Leadville it's the Fish Hatchery, at Hardrock it's Telluride going CCW and Sherman going CW, and, at Wasatch, it's Brighton. And Brighton eats runners for dinner!
I had the privilege of pacing my friend and training partner Hank Dart at Wasatch on Friday. He finished in 25:34 and ran a great race. That said, he had his moment of truth on the way out of Brighton. Feeling pukey from the stop and a bit disoriented by the altitude, Hank struggled out of there. Three people passed us and the wheels were getting pretty loose. Fortunately, Hank rallied and managed to get into the Homestead about 7 hours after leaving Brighton. It was a great effort and one which I will always remember.
And, I can only imagine what was going through Geoff Roes' head as he left Brighton several hours before Hank and I did. With the greatest 100 mile runner in the country chasing him I am sure he knew he had to keep the hammer down. And, keep the hamer down he did! Yes, the Course Record is super impressive but, to me, what is even more impressive than that, is the sub-5 hour split Geoff ran from Brighton to the Finish. That is, without a doubt, getting it done late.