Race Report from LPTRunner, Christine Crawford...
I was excited for Kettle Moraine 100 as I hadn’t run 100 miles since 2007. My excitement soon faded as I came down with some sort of weird sickness the week before which didn’t let up and I was in bed resting up on Friday hoping I would feel better by the morning. As the alarm sounded at 4:30 my energy was up but I was feeling flat; not excited or nervous for Kettle, just blah.
The weather was perfect and I managed to run a very strong 50 miles but as I approached the Emma Carlin aid station my stomach felt a bit off. I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on or what I needed. I wasn’t over-heating, I was drinking plenty, I wasn’t bloating like I normally do, my legs felt like I had not even begun to run but there was something going on that had me worried. On a positive note, my dad came out to see me and that lifted my spirits! I continued on and when I reached Tamarack (mile 58) I mentioned that I had stopped eating and didn’t feel right. I stood at the aid station trying to figure out what I needed to feel better and decided one of Mary Gorski’s cookies might do the trick. I walked for a bit and made it to mile 63 in eleven hours.
I quickly changed shirts and cleaned up and once again stared at the aid station table as Robert coaxed me in to taking some nourishment. I decided on a handful of animal crackers and took off running hard. I believe I ran the five miles in about 45 minutes and promptly sat down at the Tamarack aid station. Jim Blanchard and the rest of the crew did their best to help me with my tummy problems and at that point I had a bought of dry heaves just before entering the aid station. After sitting for about 10-15 minutes and managing a few calories I thought I would walk for a bit and let things settle down but the moment I rounded the corner out of the Tamarack aid station, my guts unleashed and to the shock of the inbound runners, I was bent over in the bushes heaving like a big, sick dog. After the first round I thought I would start to feel better and I was on my way to rebounding. I continued to walk and then another round only this time it was pure bile.
I finally made it to the Bluff aid station but had been dry heaving and my insides hurt. I sat down at Bluff for what turned out to be a solid 40 minutes watching other runners skip in and out. I was able to take in some broth but began to get cold. The volunteers wrapped me in a blanket and continued to place cups of hot broth in my hand. I looked desperately for a familiar face to help me out but didn’t see anyone who knew me well enough to assess the situation as I was a bit out of sorts. All at once, Sam was kneeling in front of me with asking all the questions an experienced ultra runner and crew person should ask, offering comfort and support. Another familiar face came through the aid station, my friend Eric who was running the relay with a group of my very good friends from Illinois. I told Eric I was getting cold, I had no light, I couldn’t hold down food or water, my guts hurt but I still wanted to see if it would pass. He told me he would walk with me to Duffin road and that sounded like a good plan but if I didn’t feel better, I would be stuck without a light, shivering, sick and another 4.2 miles until the next manned aid station. Sam told me he would do his best to make it to Duffin to check on me but in reality, I had no solid plan. As I began my power walk with Eric, the nausea would not subside. I didn’t know what I would do if Sam was not at Duffin to pick me up other than wander to Hwy 12 another 4.2 miles. It wasn’t Sam’s responsibility to look after me, I didn’t have a crew, I was on my own making my own decisions however Sam probably knew better than me that I was in trouble at that point and he did come out to find me on the trail and help me into his car to take me back to Nordic. I had to shut it down. There was no way to turn things around.
I’m very appreciative of the care and help I received from friends and volunteers. It seems my last two events have not gone to plan and I’m not sure why. One would think after nearly 100 ultras, there would be fewer variables with nutrition, training, etc. but clearly, ultras don’t always go as planned - but maybe that’s another reason we participate in these events? I don’t know, I haven’t figured that out either.