Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The top-3 non-dnf's of 2010

Following up on my post last Friday, several people contacted me and asked me what I thought were some of the notable non-dnf's of the past year. In particular, these folks were interested in my opinion of those race performances which certainly did not live up to the runner's expectations but resulted in a 100-mile finish, nonetheless. So, here they are (and, I am sure readers of this blog will have additional thoughts):

1. Craig Thornley's Western States - My good buddy Craig went out swinging at this year's WS. Coming into the race in, perhaps, the best shape of his life, Craig started out hard and ran steady all day. Unfortunately, something went awry after ALT and by the time he rolled into Highway 49 he was really hurting. Here, he took a spot on one of the cots and uttered the now famous phrase, "No IV's!" 90 minutes later he dragged himself off the cot and got 'er done.

2. Scott Jaime's Hardrock - Anybody who knows Scott knows that his "Super Bowl" is the Big Dance in Silverton and last year he devoted some serious energy into training. In addition, those who know Scott know that, by his own admission, he is still figuring out how to run 100's. At 2010's HRH Scott took it out hard and ran great for the first 30 miles. However, something happened in that netherworld between Ouray and Lake City and the wheels started to come off. With the help of his crew, the legendary David Horton, and his son, who urged him to finish, Scott made it back to Silverton and lived to fight another day.

3. Pete Stevenson's Wasatch - Pete went into the summer gunning for the Grand Slam. He had done his homework and ran a very solid WS. Vermont and Leadville were a bit difficult but Pete went into Wasatch ready for battle. But, from the start, Pete was struggling. Out of the gate he grunted and puffed and found a way to Brighton where he came pretty close to calling it a day. But, he didn't. And that Grand Slam plaque is his forever!

I'd love to hear some other's thoughts on notable non-dnf's from the past season.


trudginalong said...

Great 3! Scott's really impressed me, in part because it was so early on, and resovling to finishing that race accepts the fact that you will be truly suffering for a LONG time no matter how fast you are.

Pete said...

Hey Andy, Thanks for the mention. But there are many other runners who struggled harder and longer than I did out there.

And I've been meaning to comment on your last post. You're right - a lot of people may never know what it's like to get off the cot, get back up out of the dirt, and claw their way across a finish line. For me ultra running is more than just miles and times and a finish line means something. I won't criticize or judge anyone for a DNF but I admire and respect the runners who struggle and finish. I'd rather watch the last runners finish an ultra race than the first place finishers any day.

My vote for top ultra runner for 2010 would have gone to Amy Palmiero-Winters. That includes both men and women.

And I'd pick Jamie Donaldson's 2007 Badwater for an all time Non-DNF performance.

Oh, and I didn't buy the Grand Slam trophy but I do have a pretty nice buckle collection.


Speedgoat Karl said...

I should have kept going with the broken arm....

Geoff said...

All time non DNF performance? I would have to go with the Goat on the AT.

Unknown said...

Honored to be on the list! Hard Rock 2010 will be a race that I will remember forever. My son Jaxon sobbing says "Dad you can't quit, I look up to you so much... not very many people get a chance to do this race - you gotta finish" How can I not finish after that??

Wyatt Hornsby said...

Pete and Scott/Fast Ed: To your points, at Leadville I was badly laid up in the cot at the Mayqueen/in station, suffering from altitude sickness and with major doubts about being able to finish. When I came into the tent I was flirting with top 25 but after remaining in the tent for 40+ minutes being attended to by the medical team my hope was just to finish the damned race. That hope was fading. Well, my wife was doing all she could to motivate me to finish, but what really got me out of the cot--besides wanting to be the man my wife thought I was and needed to be--was finishing what I'd started so I'd set a good example for our son. One day, if he said he wanted to quit something and I'd quit Leadville, how could I ever really tell him to stick with it? By DNF'ing at Leadville I'd show him it's OK to quit when things get nasty.

All of that said, if I made my living off ultrarunning and I didn't have it going in a certain race, yeah, I'd probably DNF to save myself for the next race. Clifton often did that.


Speedgoat Karl said...

Geoff! yah, to have to stop for 4 days and continue another 1800 miles.....yah, that one was pretty big, sit down Thornley....:-) or take a nap on that cot for another 40 days.

koop said...

I second Pete with Donaldson's 2007 Badwater performance. I was on a crew that year and we just happened to be going back and forth with her and her crew all day. After seeing her all day, I hardly recognized her coming out of Lone Pine. I almost insisted that the med crew below the protals pull her. I still can't believe she made it all the way up.