Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kettle 100 - Julie Treder's Race Report

Kettle 2008 -- oops, I mean 2010

This year's Kettle 100 was like a carbon-copy of 2008, just taken down a couple of notches.  The heat was there, the humidity was there, and the trails that were rushing streams were there.  The only thing we missed out on were the lightning strikes five feet away from where you were running.  Ah, the memories...

I had some great companions for the first part of the race.  Chris pushed me along for several miles in the beginning.  The poor guy couldn't shake me despite all the hints he was trying to tell me about having to deal with a girl who kept asking him questions and was really throwing him off his race plan.  Jenny Chow, an amazing ultrarunner, who's name you always see in the top of numerous race results, was giving me great advice on running in altitude.  Robert was helping me through my down-and-out section on the way back through the meadows... keeping me smiling with all his running cheers to pep me up along the way.  And it was just great seeing all the familiar faces, running so strong, on the out and back... seeing how everyone was doing.

After what felt like an eternity, I finally made it out of the meadows, just beat.  That's when the mental boost I needed happened... at Emma... in the form of a rain-soaked guy and girl saying "What took you so long?!?!"  My brother, Mikey, and his girlfriend, Erin, had been waiting there for hours... standing out in the rain.  Just having family or friends at these races... especially in places where you have your downward spiral... it is such a huge boost.  Having them there was exactly what I needed to continue on to Nordic.

Plodding along, about 10 miles from Nordic, I looked at my watch the first time since Scuppernong.  That shocked me into a run... a run out of fear.  I didn't realize how late it was!  I still had 10 miles to go... and it would be dark in a few hours -- and I didn't pack a flashlight.  Not smart!  That helped put a spark under me, for sure.  I made it back to Nordic just as the Fun Runners were heading out... hooting and hollering and trying to avoid the big puddles right out of Nordic.  Good luck with that!  I walked into the 100K soaked to the bone and freezing...

Coming into Nordic was like walking into a Hammer Nutrition commercial.  There stood Brian and Tim decked out in their Hammer attire and their Hammer tattoos.  After putting some dry clothes on and downing some soup and Mt Dew, Brian and I were off.  (I won't mention that it took me an hour to handle those tasks!  Procrasination?!?!)

Brian is the best pacer a girl can ask for.  He puts up with the "occassional" whining, digs through a bag of dirty clothes in search of a strap I needed for my Nathan pack, keeps you in conversation to make sure you stay awake, makes sure you eat at aid stations, and definitely pushes the Hammer Endurolytes.  Does he get some sort of commission on the sale of those items?  Hmmm...

Brian kept in contact with Tim through the evening... so Angela, Deb, and I had a good idea of how each of us were doing through the nighttime.  It definitely kept me motivated knowing that the two of them were moving along strong.  Another boost of energy came at Hwy 12.  Who do Brian and I meet up with there?  Jeff, Todd, and Marcel.  What great timing?  They were all having a good ol' time doing the Fun Run... all looking strong for their last few miles.

Morning is always a good point to see at the Kettle.  It means you will get a burst of energy with the sunrise and it means you are getting close to the finish.  Luckily, this year was no different.  With the sun came some renewed energy.  Brian and I got to Bluff Rd and were chatting with the aid station workers.  One of the volunteers mentioned I was possibly the 3rd place female.  Great news... and good motivation, because you never like to lose spots in the closing miles of these races.  So we plugged along.  After grabbing a few gummie bears at Dave's aid station, Brian and I were off... to count down the miles on one hand.  With about three miles to go, we come up on another girl... not knowing whether she was a Fun Runner or a 100-miler.  We traded some pleasantries and she stuck with me for a little bit.  Mystery solved... she was a 100-miler.  I eventually pulled away as Brian and I maintained our pace.  Not wanting to get passed in the last miles of the race, I tried not to slow up too much.  The idea of finally taking off my wet shoes and socks were also a driving force.  I can't tell you how happy I was to cross the finish line... and to my surprise hear Timo say "And here comes our first place female!"  I could not believe it!  What a day... what a race. 

What an experience to make it through this... and to know that Deb and Angela were right behind me.  Awesome!  Thanks go out to Brian for putting up with me through another 100... pushing me through the last 38 miles without one complaint.

Julie's pretty post-race feet...

1 comment:

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