Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kettle 100 Mile: Some like it Hot.

Hot is good for chillies.  Hot is great for ironing.  Hot is the preferred temperature for a shower.  Hot is not so great for running a 100 miles.  

Heat was the story of the day as temps hovered around 90 degrees while runners crossed the famed meadows twice with no cloud cover.  Even current Kettle 100 mile record holder, Zach G., ran 4 hours slower while managing to win again.

For 2011, the LPTR crew had 6 entries in the 100 mile with Julie, Angela, Brad, Joel, Craig and Cobbie.  Ultimately, the heat KO'ed Joel and Craig at 100k and Cobbie around 50 miles.  

Brad saved the men from a two year shut-out by hanging tough to finish the race and place in the top 20.  Julie and Angela were the only LPTR's to finish the 100 mile both this year and last as conditions were tough in 2010 as well.  Both finished first in their respective divisions, and Julie followed last year's overall win with a strong runner-up performance!

Lots of LPTR entries in the 38 mile Fun Run made for familiar faces on the trails throughout the night!  

LPTR's also showed out to pace, crew and volunteer.  Special thanks to the Bunk's and Gorski's for putting in very long hours to make the race happen!

Marty put together this quick view table from the posted finish results...

Official Results can be found HERE.

Below is a collection of Reports from the group...

Julie Treder's Race Report...

Be careful what you wish for…

I ran a portion of the Ice Age 50 this year with one of the great race directors of the Kettle 100, Jason Dorgan.  We were chatting about the weather for the upcoming race… and Jason was saying he was putting in some good words for a dry year this time around, since there have been a few wet ones in the past.  We asked for a dry year… but we forgot to also request a cool year.  DARN IT!!  Hopefully I’ll remember next year… dry AND cool!!

There was absolutely NO breaking in period to the heat!  The temp was a humid 78 when I pulled into the parking lot… at 5AM!  By mile 2, I was soaked through… and nothing was going to dry out for the next several hours.  Time to get used to being hot and soggy!

No real plan going in to this race.  My only goals were to:  1) make it to 50K with Brad to witness the mandatory dance that Lorraine was forcing on him in order to get aid, and 2) make it to 100K in good spirits in order for Kevin to make ALL his waiting around worth it… and get to pace a runner and not a weepy pile of sweat.

These races are just a who’s who of ultrarunning legends.  You hit an aid station and you are waited on by the sports finest… always with a smile, a motivational comment, and a handful of food and drink.  How can you not love being out there?!?!

OK, OK, get on with actually talking about the race and not just gush about your love of ultrarunning. 

On to the highlights and lowlights…

  • Mile 8:  Just past Confusion Corner, running along the single-track heading toward Horsemen’s Ranch… leading a pack of Brad, Craig, and another fine runner.  Next thing I know, my foot kicks a root and sends me sailing across what felt like 100 yards on my belly.  The perfect baseball slide.  Who skins up their stomach on a trail run???  After emptying out the trail contents from my shorts and dusting the mud and blood off, I decided to take the tail end of the pack.  Good thing, because within another quarter mile… the same exact frickin’ thing happened!  Splayed on the ground… argh!!  Luckily, that was the end of my acrobatics for the remainder of the race.
  • 50K point:  I hit goal #1.  There was music ready for Brad to shake it.  Hey… Lorraine’s orders!  No aid until you bust a move!  Amazingly, the guy did his little jig to the cheers of the crowd… or were they groans???  Kevin had our drop bags all ready for us to grab our stuff and go.  Huge help!  Tom helped me fill up my drink mix.  Kris was trying to get me to eat any of the food on the table.  Lorraine loaded me up with the biggest ice chunk you can ask for around me neck!  (It actually lasted me the whole way to the next aid station!)  It was tough to leave that place…
  • Meadows… SUCK!!  They get me every frickin’ year!  I know most of it is mental… I always go into them with dread.  This section consisted of lots of walking, a bit of cursing, and a good wash down in one of the streams.
  • Emma Carlin aid station:  Felt like CRAP!  No energy, low spirits, and trying to manage the heat.  I was treated like a queen there though.  Kevin making sure I was still mobile.  Marty handling my super sweaty camelback while I tried to come around.  Sam loading me up with ice and dousing me with ice water.  The crew was trying their best to help to come around… which was a huge mental boost!  Another tough aid station to leave!
  • Meeting up with Fun Run’rs:  How cool was it to see LPTR well represented in the Fun Run… Todd, Jose, Marcel, Melinda, Aaron, Jim, Deb, Chris, and Annie.  All with good words to say as Brad and I tried to make it back to Nordic before it got too dark… we didn’t have any lights with us.  Oops!
  • 100K:  Goal #2 reached.  Made it back to Nordic in good spirits.  Although poor Kevin had to hang around for an extra 3 HOURS before we finally rambled in.  Kevin… you are a trooper!
  • Final 38:  What a relief that nightfall brought.  The temps cooled a bit, a sliver of a moon was out, the stars were out in full force… just a beautiful night.  Helped to rejuvenate me a LOT.  Kevin did a great job of keeping me awake through this tough section of the night for me… when sleepiness tends to sink in.  It was constant chatter, some singing (NOTE:  If you want to hear Brad sing, feed him some 5-hour energy drink!), and three physics questions which I failed at answering correctly… failed miserably.  We rolled into Rice Lake, with Kevin ready to relieve his pacing duties… and hand the reins over to Jeff.  One small problem with that idea… no Jeff!  Just as Kevin was wiping away his tears at the thought of having to escort Brad and I to the finish… Jeff comes out of the shadows, with his energy elixir for me – V8!  Chug, chug… and we were off!  You can’t beat Jeff’s stories.  He definitely kept me entertained… and kept us on pace, moving along at a pretty good clip… well, as good a clip as you can get at mile 90 of a 100-miler.  What a great person you have who would take such a crappy shift to run… from 3AM to 8:11AM… and with a smile.  Thanks Jeff… you’re the best!
  • Finish:  Brad and I were welcomed to the finish by Timo… crossing the line in 26:11.  Struggles?  Ooohhh yeah!  But well worth it all.  I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend the day than with the greatest friends you can ask for!  Thanks for running every step of the way with me, Brad… what a huge help!!
Thanks to Timo, Jason, and Ann for putting on such a great event… year after year!  All the aid station workers who spent their day taking care of us runners… Mary, Paul, Christine, Robert, Kris and Kevin, Fred, Tom and Lorraine, Kris and John, Bill… I know I’m missing soooo many others!  The ever-supportive crew that came out to cheer, help out, and take pictures… Rick, Marty, and Sam.  And two of the best companions you could ask for, taking on the thankless job of pacing… with no complaints.  Thanks a million, Kevin and Jeff!!

Angela Barbera's Race Report:

This was the 7th year in a row that I have laced up my shoes to battle Kettle100. The trails won twice, I have finished four times – I needed a finish this year no matter what. If I was smart I would have signed up to run the 100k – but I have never been known for my smarts and besides I had a willing pacer in Marty!!

I left my apartment thinking I would need a long sleeve shirt since it was 4am walked outside and gasped – it was warm!! Today was going to be hot.

Took off at an easy pace and chit chatted with the girls that I only get to see a couple of times a year. I had to check my bottle tops in my fuel belt thinking they were leaking….NO, it was because of the high humidity that I needed to wring out my skirt on a regular basis. A new friend Dan that lives nearby and regularly runs the trails surprised me by meeting up with me around confusion corner and running to Emma Carlin – time went by quickly.

After that I was out in the meadows and lost consciousness until sometime today so I only have random thoughts.

Great to see the runners coming back from Scuppernog. Joel looked great, darn he makes running look so easy. Craig was not feeling well and I think  zapped me with some of it. Julie and Brad looked stong – 30 minutes to Scuppernong – good to know. I limped into Scuppernong not feeling well. Stomach was fighting against me. Sat in a chair … Marty and Kevin were my pit crew and had me back on the trail in no time.  Waved at Cobbie – he was looking warm but tough
Back in the meadows again – HOT!! So many times I thought and said out loud to anyone standing at the unmanned Aid stations that I loved Timo and Jason. WOW!!! Ice…lots and lots of ice. Not sure how they were able to have enough for everyone…even us in the back! Ice in the bottles and bra, a swig of soda and I was off again.

Little by little I got closer to the point of meeting up with Marty for pacing. He met me at Bluff Road and the party officially started. Mary Gorski’s aid station was wonderful…she is always willing to throw in humor with any requests. Lots of LPTRs out on the trails – could tell the fun runners when they passed in the dark…they just smelled so good! Saw Julie, Brad and Jeff coming back to Hwy 12 – those guys were moving very well! More ice, bug spray…and little by little got closer to the finish. Marty amazingly put up with me for over 14hours with no sleep – always willing to humor any of my requests. Not sure if we will be seeing him much at Lapham in the future...

It was a great time – I am only sad that I will need to wait another year for the next Kettle 100 party.  My hat off to the Timo, Jason and all of the volunteers it was a blast!!

Marty Kanter-Cronin: Bring on the Night 

Angela likes to run in the dark. She really does. And that is saying something, because usually the time for her to do that is after she has been running all day. Bone gnawing tired, naught to focus on but One. Foot. In. Front. And she does it well, relishes it in fact.

I like eventide running too. Ever since I did one of those relay events back in ‘05. I drew the latest of the late, running 10 miles at 2 am on a sultry summer night. It felt wild, intimate. It was a darkness coursing in my veins. A dragon’s hot fire breath that did not burn, but was a passion forge.

So I jumped at the chance to be Angela’s running companion for the Kettle 100. I joined her at mile 54, running 1-1/2 miles out to the Bluff Aid station to be her pacer for 46 miles over 14 hours. And the evening wore on, beautifully. We ran through the evening, into the night, into the dawn.

What do you call those magic hours between Midnight and dawn? I’ve heard names for them. Witching hours, Dead hours, Graveyard hours, Small hours, Wee hours. Middle of the night hours. Do you know what time it is hours where the hell have you been mister hours. Mischief hours. Dark hours. Yes. I like that one.

Most of us rarely see them, and if we do we are usually roused from a deep slumber, and anxious to return to the same. Or maybe we have seen them from a slightly (or not so slightly) inebriated state. The altered consciousness deadening the experience to the point where awareness stops at the next barstool.  Might be up, but not ‘here’.

On those rare occasions when we are present for them, in a wide awake state, or in an active state… wow, they can really be something. Even better, when we are with someone, sharing the experience. What a magical thing those dark hours can be.

Angela and I. We ran. We walked. We talked. Of many things, books and drama queens and pirates, of family and kings. We sang, we solved the world’s problems. We laughed with an orange moon in a burgundy sky. Yeah, when your passion for life needs a transfusion, shoot it full with the red wine of dark hours, run all night long.

A race for time, for place, is to anticipate its end. Pursuit, competition, a goal, these are things we do as runners. That’s not what this Kettle 100 was about for me. Not ever close. A race report? Not really. To discuss details hacks hunks of the magic out of it. Dissect anything and it loses animation; becomes a shell of an egg, the bird long since gone.

Thanks Angela, for a wonderful adventure, for the magic of the dark hours, for your companionship on a starry, starry night.

Cobbie Behrend's Race Report:

I'm going to skip to when things started falling apart... mile 29.  

I haven't been sleeping much the previous week, about 4-6 hours a night.  Friday night was a good night and I ended up getting 6 hours.  

This is the only thing that I can attribute to how I felt at mile 29.  I ran for a while with my eyes closed I was so tired.  Beth Simpson-Hall gave me a no-doze, and I took half of it.  It didn't make any difference.  I pulled into Scuppernong, and laid in the shade of a tree and had a 20 minute nap, waking myself up with my own snoring from time to time.  I felt better when I woke up.  

Then the second problem surfaced.  Improper footwear.  I haven't bought trail shoes in over a year, and so was running in the sneakers I used to wear when I first started trail running.  However, my feet were swelling due to the heat, and there wasn't enough room in the toe box for my two smallest toes.  It was painful to put my shoes back on after changing socks.  

Another oversight is that my socks were older, and that I wasn't adequately prepared for the hot conditions with socks at every drop bag opportunity (no drop bag at emma, and no light at emma which would have been a problem if things had gone better).  This resulted in several nasty blisters. My feet also seem weaker.  The tendons on the outside of my right foot started bothering me shortly after emma (47.4), which slowed my pace to a crawl.  It felt like I was walking on a chunk of wood.  

As I write this, early Sunday morning, I have no muscle soreness, but my feet are still shot.  For the last two miles walking up to horseriders (50.5) I ended up taking my shoes off, which at least made the blisters less noticeable.  I dropped at horseriders camp after about 14.5 hours.  

My Run
By Craig Swartwout

I started the run.
It was hot in the sun.
I got the runs...
and then I was done.
; ) 

Chris Aul:  Race Report,  Kettle 100 – 38 Mile Night Fun Run

I arrived late and didn’t really have my head in the game which probably worked in my favor because I hadn’t really come to grips with how long this run was going to be.  So, I decided to just put one foot in front of the other until it was done.  And that’s exactly what I did for my FIRST ultra and my FIRST night run.

The night aspect was really cool.  I really enjoyed running with my head lamp and handheld flashlight.  It was as if all runners were travelling through a tunnel in the night lit only by their headlamps.  It was also interesting to see the headlamps dancing like fire flies through the forest and across the fields.  For a while, I ran by myself and kicked on some trance and  basically lost myself in the moment, dodging rocks and winding up and down hills.

For the first 22 miles or so, I had the fortune of running with a group of LPTRs Marcel, Melinda, Todd, and Jose. We also ran with Jodie Taylor who would later turn out to be an excellent pacer.  For the first 10 miles we joked and laughed but also knew that at some point we would resemble the 100 Miler Zombies we were occasionally passing.
After exiting the Nordic Trails which were 30 feet across and resembled Lap ham Peak, we enter narrow single file trails which I was not expecting.  The trail, which may have been a portion of the Ice Age Trail was narrow and often treacherous. I was shocked that we were running on trails that thin particularly at night.  Several times I came very near to taking dives after tripping on some sneaky jutting rocks and I clipped my arm on a couple of trees while taking sharp corners.

The aid stations were phenomenal though I’ve heard they always are at the Kettle 100.  Early on I enjoyed fruit and hammer gels but later I started eating candy and beef soup.  Finally on the return route I was drinking Mountain Dew and Coffee, and eating Marty’s grill cheese sandwiches.

Around mile 28 or so much of our 5-6 man wolf pack of LPTRs and friends began falling behind and Jodie Taylor took off with a consistently strong pace.  I fell in behind her and just thought that if I keep up with her, this damn long run will be over and my aching pains will be over.  I knew at that point if I started running by myself it would be all over.  Jodie had a real get-er-done attitude between 2am and 4am in the morning.  I told her I felt like walking and she told me I didn’t, I believed her.  When I was looking for a seat at the last aid station she barked the order not to sit down, I obeyed.  She got me to mile 36 before I let her go on without me.  The pain in the hips and lower back really couldn’t be held off any longer.  Each jolting step down the hills was enough to make me want to quit altogether had I not been so close to finish line.  In the end I was able to cross the finish line at 8 Hours and 13 Min or 4:15 A.M. while it was still dark out.  

Ultimately it was a great success and I truly feel a part of LPTR now that I can share stories about an ultramarathon.  As Marcel and Jose noted as we were taking off from the race, I’ve now entered a new level of competitive running.

Marcel Uttech:  38 Mile Fun Run 2011

We had a good group this year doing this event, I believe there was six of us, so of course Todd dubbed it the “six pack”. 

By the turnaround everyone began to run their own race and the six pack was loosely spread out over the 38 miles of trail. Jodie Tayor was doing this as her second ultra this year, as was Melinda. Melinda had also done a marathon the weekend before! Hardcore! Is she taking after Brad and Julie? And the one taking the big leap was Chris Aul- this was his first. Sweet way to cross over man, under the cover of darkness!

All I wanted to do was break 9 hours this time. I knew I was starting in rough shape after I had been roofing all day and was already pretty beat up but I figured, I felt so good at the 50 miler, this is only 38? How bad could that be? Ha-Never again…

I started out feeling pretty good, talking and trotting along with everyone else. However by mile 12 I felt like I was on mile 25. I knew I had better slow it down and really take care of myself otherwise I was really gonna be  a hurting unit. 

It didn’t really matter, because I was just aching through the last 10 or 12 miles. Ankles and knees were just extremely painful, glad I managed to hobble it in for a finish! Batteries were dying in the headlamp AND the flashlight…brand new ones too. That was a good time with 5 miles to go-maybe an old package?

As always, it was great to see all the 100 milers out there, especially the ones I’m familiar with! GO LPTR! Such a motivator seeing those people out there. Even when I am hurting, I look at one of those runners and I’m like, man, suck it up! That guys on like mile 85!

This was a great time again, I just cannot believe how amazing the aid stations are! Volunteers were great, and the weather (that night) was perfect. Big congrats to all those who were running in that heat! Just be glad that the horseflies are still MIA…

1 comment:

  1. I think you should submit Craig's report to Ultrarunner magazine.

    It don't get none better dan dat!