Friday, August 31, 2007

Cascade Crest 100 Race Report

Bling Baby!

Nothing else in this post matters as much as these next few sentences… Thank you to Michelle, Sonya, and Steve my crew and pacer for the CC100. You guys allowed me to fulfill this dream of mine and I am very grateful. I don’t know that I would have finished if not for the care I received from you along the way. You are the best!
Steve, Michelle, Me, & Sonya

I’ve heard it said that the fewer mistakes you make during a 100-mile race the more likely you are to finish. I managed to make a few mistakes and still make it to the line.

I’ll break the race up into three sections.

SECTION 1 Start to Tacoma Pass (23.3 miles)

At the start the weather was dry with a slight breeze. The Easton Fire Dept. put on a pre-race breakfast for the runners and crew inside the large four-bay pole building. I signed in at about 8:00 AM and then went about getting ready for the run and socialized with the other runners and their crews. Olga was there with here crew that sported really cool crew shirts. I’ve heard a lot about Darcy Africa but had never met her so I made a point to introduce myself and also got to meet her husband who was crewing for her. She placed second overall, broke the woman’s CC100 course record by 1 hour and 28 minutes after being lost on the course with many of the other front-runners. Michelle, Sonya, and Steve worked with Rob to prepare the aid station gear but did get a chance to eat some breakfast as well. Charlie Chrissman the RD gave a course description to the runners and held a special meeting for the crews to explain conditions and some do’s and don’ts.

Just before 10:00 AM 93 runners gathered at the starting line and the Canadian and US national anthems were played. The race started at 10:00 and the adventure began! This first section offered up 6697 feet of climbing, 4977 feet of downhill for net +1720 feet. The weather was perfect for running, cool and overcast. This section went fairly smooth with only two real events worth mentioning.
Goat Mt. photo by Chihping Fu

Goat Mt. Photo Courtesy of Glen Tachiyama

Trail running brings one nuisance that rears up and bites you occasionally. I’m talking about yellow jackets. Seems there’s nothing like a bunch of runners moving along a trail to upset a yellow jacket nest. At about mile 8 I heard a loud buzzing followed by two or three painful bites next to my wristwatch. I ran up away from the nest and then yelled back to warn two women runners to watch out for the wasps. They heard me but as they passed the nest I could see them doing the dance, as they got stung. I asked them if they were allergic and the second runner said she was but only to certain types of stings. She had an epi stick with her but for some reason didn’t want to use it. Apparently she ended up dropping at the next aid station due to respiration problems.

Location, location, location… As I wound my way down switchbacks about a mile from the Tacoma Pass aid station on a beautiful wide clear section of trail covered with soft pine needles I stubbed my toe on a root and fell down. I had a hand carry water bottle in each hand, which served as my “runners airbags”, then I tucked and rolled and came back up on my feet. I picked up my gel bottle that fell out of my pack and continued to Tacoma Pass unharmed.

Running into Tacoma Pass made you feel like a rock star since most of the crews were up there. Everyone cheered as you came in. This is where I had my first hallucination. I thought I saw James Varner dressed in a skirt and running bra. The weird thing was he came up to me and offered cliff blocks to me that he had stuffed into the bra. Hmmmmm Anyway, the “Trail Scat” crew of Michelle, Sonya, and Steve swung into action having the food I wanted and some other extras just in case. Steve informed me that I was ahead of my estimated arrival time and that I didn’t need to rush. I kept the AS visit brief and headed out on the next section.
Halucination #1

SECTION 2 Tacoma Pass to Hyak (29.4 miles)

Four weeks earlier I had run most of this section with David Horton the PCT Mexico to Canada record holder of 66 days. It was a beautiful sunny day on our training run but today we would get rain. The rain started shortly after leaving Tacoma Pass. This section required 6227 ft of ascending and 7517ft of descending for a net loss of -1290 ft. There were many good runable sections but a lot of chunky stuff too. Lots of climbing was involved in the trip up to Snowshoe Butte AS located at mile 29. The “Trail Scat” crew was going to meet me at the next AS at Stampede Pass mile 34.5. As I came into Stampeded AS my crew stocked me up with food and gave me my headlamp and waist lamp. Michelle asked me if I was cold and I said no I felt fine. That’s when I noticed that the non-runners/volunteers at the AS were all dressed in jackets and hats. They were all very cold from being in the wind and rain. I was about to leave when Michelle asked if I wanted my Brooks LSD (lightweight shelter device) jacket. At first I said no, I’d pick it up at Olallie but I had second thoughts so she ran to the car and got it for me and put it in my pack. The trails after Stampede pass went in and out of clearings. These clearings had huckleberry bushes and other brush hanging into the trail from both sides. The rain would build up on the leaves and as you ran by it would soak you from your chest into your shoes. I only had a short sleeve shirt on and I was getting cold. I couldn’t remember if Michelle had put the LSD jacket in my pack but I was so wet and cold that I stopped to check. It was a great relief to find the jacket and put it on. While still cold I was at least a little more comfortable. One thing I noticed was that with the rain the rocks and mud became very slippery. I had started playing cat and mouse with Shawn Lawson and we ended up running together up toward Mirror Lake. When we made it by the lake and started our trek to Olallie Meadows we went by some small ponds. The trails were much muddier than they had been on my training run and it was dark now. I took a step in a downhill muddy section and my foot slipped out from under me. I caught myself before landing on my butt and let out a loud grunt in the process. Shawn asked if I was OK and I told her I had slipped but was OK. Instead of running with Shawn I let her go ahead and walked of the strains caused by the muddy slip. I also took my pack off and got a cliff bar out to eat. I swear it takes more calories to eat a cliff bar when you are trying to move quickly than you get from the bar! After eating I resumed my run and came into Olallie about 5 min. after Shawn.

Team Trail Scat once again sprung into action with Steve ready to start his pacing duties. I ate some Pierogies supplied by Seattle Running Co. and some potatoes and Steve and I started the next part of my 100-mile adventure.


SECTION 3 Olallie Meadow to the Finish (52.3 miles)

Steve and I were off after I changed into a dry long sleeve tech fiber shirt. Unfortunately I had to pull my wet LSD Jacket on over the shirt. I think this was about the time I thought about my gortex running jacket that was hanging in my closet at home. While beautiful and somewhat challenging the rest of the course really throws some brutality your way. We would climb 8,626 ft in the next 52 miles for a total 100 mile ascent of 21,550 feet. But first Steve and I needed to work our way down to the Hyak AS via the famous “rope section” and the 2 mile long Snoqualmie Tunnel. The turn for the rope section was about a mile and a half from the AS. It was well marked but Steve and I almost passed the trail. We went down the trail and entered a fire road that went downhill to a T intersection. The T had arrows painted on the ground indicating a left turn but the ribbons and glow sticks indicated that we go right. It confused me and I was concerned that the markings had been tampered with. Steve assured me that no one would have gone to the amount of effort that had been expended to put up many ribbons just to mess the race up. I had to agree that the marking were well laid out and if you ignored the arrows on the ground I would not have questioned the markers. We headed down the indicated road trying to run downhill where the road was not too chunky. We saw a light coming up the hill from us and we were worried that someone was lost and was climbing back up. When we met it was Rob Hester hiking up to make sure the markings were in place and clear. I asked him to rub out the painted arrows on the ground. Apparently some of the race leaders made a wrong turn because the course was marked incorrectly and it cost them some time. Steve and I came to the double glow stick entrance to the rope section and another person was at the top telling us to go on down. The rope section drops you down to the John Wayne Trail. I had imagined just one rope and a drop of about 40 feet. Wrong! The hillside had several ropes and with the slippery mud and wet conditions they were mandatory. I think we must have gone at least a quarter mile with a death grip on the rope. Michelle had given me some old cotton gloves to use for this section and I’m sure it saved me from rope burn. We finally got down to the JW trail. It was much wider than I had remembered. More like a road than a trail and very well graded and smooth crushed gravel. The JW trail is built on an old railroad grade. We power hiked and shuffled to the tunnel in a light rain.

The Snoqualmie Tunnel is an old railroad tunnel just over two miles long. It has a great chip-seal surface and aside from some occasional ground water leaks from the top of the tunnel it was out of the rain and there was no wind. I think I may have been driving Steve nuts because I just wanted to power hike and he was ready to run. The tunnel is slightly uphill and with the miles I had run I could feel it. We could see a runner way ahead of us and it looked like we were making up some ground on them. We also had two runners behind us that seemed to be making ground on us. We finally came to the end of the tunnel to be welcomed with a brilliant flash from a camera. George & Mike, members of our Y-Run Club had escorted the Seattle Times newspaper reporter up to the tunnel for some photos. The paper had taken some pictures of me before the race, specifically my gators that have skulls on them, and asked me some questions. An article about the race will be published in the Seattle Times weekend magazine in the next two to three weeks.
Hyak Heros: Linda, Rich, George, Melissa, Jenny, Abi, Cat, Larry, Margaret

Steve and I continued to the Hyak Aid Station where several of our Y-Run Club runners and family members, and friends were tending to runners. The first thing I heard was our traditional cowbell ringing as Steve and I came up the road. We called out my number to check in and stepped into the Hyak AS Oasis. Rob Hester & George Koski were the Aid Station Co-Captains. Aid Station volunteers were Linda, Rich, Cat, Larry, Abi, Margaret, Melissa, Michelle, Sonya, Robin & Jenny. There was a vast amount of light and food options with an added bonus of a porta-potty! I was in a real food mood and didn’t want anything that was real sweet. I ended up eating some potatoes, grapes, some turkey slices, and chicken noodle soup. We didn’t want to wear out our welcome so Steve and I headed out to Keechelus Ridge. The first 3 miles or so were on paved road which turned into gravel and started climbing. We ran off and on as we traveled the paved section and hiked the up hill section all the way to the AS which was about 8 miles. It was still dark and I was feeling tired. We were both shocked to catch up to *tc & Shawn on the way up to the aid station. *tc was not having a good day and later decided to drop at Keechelus Ridge. After eating what I could at the AS we took off for the downhill section of the Ridge. Somehow I had imagined making up some time here but my energy level just said no. We ended up running about half of the 7.4 miles to Kachess Lake AS. As we entered the AS we came up on our Honda Element that Michelle and Sonya our crew were in. They were peering out the window through the rain-splattered windshield trying to recognize us as we approached. They jumped out and started tending to our needs. At this point my feet both had hot spots from wet socks so I decided to change my socks and shoes. I was really low energy and needed to eat as many calories as I could. Sonya covered me with a fluffy down blanket that really helped warm me up. We ate hot oatmeal, drank some hot tea, ate some soup, and watermelon. Shawn came in while we were fueling up and told us that *tc had dropped. She asked if she could join us on the next section. When we got up to go I stuffed some grapes and cookies into the pockets of my running shorts and we were off to the Evil Woods and the Trail from Hell.

I had not run the bushwhack section of trail that connected between the Kachess Lake AS and the trailhead to the Trail from Hell. Now this was some nasty rough trail with what seemed like hundreds of blow downs and slippery trail. Steve slipped on a muddy steep section at the beginning of the trail. His left leg shot out almost hyper extending it and his right foot got caught and folded up under his body as he slid down the hill. I didn’t expect him to get up but he bounced up took a couple of tentative steps and said he was OK. It was not long before we came up on a runner and pacer that were having a difficult time choosing a route up, over, or around the blow downs. We followed them for what seemed like an eternity and then I finally asked to pass. The runner complained that there was no place to allow us to pass but eventually they were able to step aside. I think it helped them to follow us as we seemed to make faster and better decisions on how to proceed. Have I mentioned that it was cold and rainy lately? We finally broke to a clearing with a beautiful wheelchair capable gravel path that leads to the bridge to the Trail from Hell. The beautiful trail section would be the last we would see for many miles.

The Trail from Hell runs along the edge of Kachess Lake. It is a narrow trail with what best can be described as a roller coaster trail of grunts and steep declines. Throw in a few thousand well-placed rocks and roots, along with an extreme lack of light and you my friend are in hell. This section is about 4 miles long and takes 1.5 to 2 hours to make it to the Mineral Creek AS. Shawn stayed with us about 1/3 of the way down this section and then started to fall back. We had passed a couple of runners and we decided to keep pressing on without her. We did not know it but Rob Hester who was going to pace for Olga who dropped at Kachess Lake AS went out and caught up to Shawn and paced her to the finish. I will report more on that later. The TFH seemed to go on forever. We could hear the waves hitting the shore below us about 40 feet. Finally we moved away from the wave sound as we came to the end of the lake and started anticipating the right turn to the trail that lead to the Mineral Creek AS. We could still see some light sticks ahead but eventually the turn came and we made our way to the river crossing and then up the trail a ways to the AS. We ate and I had a bit more energy now that it was starting to get light out. We had conquered TFH and started psyching ourselves up for the 8 mile climb to No Name Ridge AS.

This section was on gravel forest service roads. It was all up hill but not too steep. Two miles out from the AS we met Michelle and Sonya and ate some more oatmeal and hot tea. We shared some oatmeal with Shawn Wallich from Kaleden, British Columbia. We had caught up to Shawn in the two miles between the AS and our Crew Car. He had a noticeable limp, but kept his head down and feet moving. The three of us started back up. Steve described the section between No Name Ridge and Silver Creek to Shawn which I’m sure thrilled Shawn to no end and we soon left Shawn behind. Two more miles and we got to the “self-serve” AS which consisted of about 10 gallon jugs of water on the side of the road. Steve and I refilled and headed up. We pulled out our I-Pods for some good uphill gravel road climbing and got lost in the music until eventually making it to No Name Ridge AS. This was another paradise with hot Pierogies. Tim England, tp, and Lisa Bliss were the volunteers manning this critical AS. They must have been frozen because the tent they had the AS in was open on three sides and they had a lot of exposure. Lisa and Tony snapped a few pictures and encouraged us to eat as many Pierogies as we could for enough energy to complete the final 20 miles. I did a fair job of eating. Stuffed some more food in my pockets and we were off to the cardiac needles! No Name Ridge photo by Chihping Fu

The next couple of sections were not only the toughest climbing we had seen on the course but also it rained constantly and we were exposed several times to the wind. We started climbing the longest cardiac needle and Steve told me to just use baby steps. I don’t know if I was driving him nuts by going painfully slow but I just kept trudging forward and eventually we crested to the top. Steve and I had a little mini celebration and moved on. We took on a couple more cardiac “chin scraper” sections and then got to the Thorpe Mt. AS. When Steve and I had run our training run we met two of the volunteers at this AS that were packing water in. They made several 8 mile round trips to stock the AS with water for the runners. Despite the wind and rain they really seemed to be enjoying themselves. We ate some food and then headed up the out and back trail to the top of Thorpe Mt. to claim our card, which proved we climbed to the top. Glen Tachiyama was nearly at the summit taking pictures. I don’t know how he could stand being exposed to the wind and rain at the top of that Mt. for so long. It was a miserable climb and with no view due to the rain and clouds we quickly turned and headed back down. We fueled up some more with food and headed out to French Cabin Mt. AS, which was about 3.5 miles away. I had forgotten about a couple more of the cardiac needles we needed to climb along the way but again we slowly made the summits and moved on. At French Cabin Mt. AS I came in and asked them if they had a space heater. When the laughing stopped they offered up a chair and a big blue blanket under a tent with a wall that blocked the wind. I ate some potato soup and Steve started relaying food over to me. We spent more time than I had planned as I tried to warm up but I think it was time well spent. One of the volunteers offered to let me sit in his car to warm up but by that time I was almost comfortable. It was exciting to know that we only had about 12 miles to go before the finish line.
Thorpe Mt. Photo by Glen Tachiyama

We ran down the switchbacks into the French Cabin Mt. Bowl and made the climb up to the meadows. I thought this was the last climb but we had one more big long grunt before we finally started the long flat and downhill section to Silver Creek. We were making the trees and rocks look like they were standing still. At least we were still moving forward. We had a runner and her pacer pass us at a respectable pace and it was not long after that I felt a sharp pain in my left Achilles. I reached down while turning to look to see what was causing the pain and I found that I was being bitten by a very mad yellowjacket. I started smacking the wasp and yelling GD repeatedly when Steve yelled at me to start running. You could hear a loud buzzing all around as we ran for our lives out of the swarm. Steve got bit on the elbow but we were able to clear out before things got worse. We figure the couple that passed us stirred the nest up and we were the lucky recipients of their hostility. I’ve been itching from the stings about four days now. My ankle swelled up this week and looked like I’d sprained it. Some antihistamine took care of the problem. At this point with about 7 miles to the finish line I started worrying about something stupid happening and not being able to finish. I took the switch backs down to the Silver Creek AS very conservatively. At the start of the switchbacks we saw some runners coming down at a full run. It was Rob Hester and Shawn Lawson. Shawn looked like a different person! She was flying and when we left her behind on TFH she was near dropping! She yelled something about “Chicking” me again, which is a bad habit she has developed that I blame on her youth. I yelled back with a term commonly used for a female dog and followed with “The race isn’t over yet!”

When we finally made it down to Silver Creek AS there was a large group of people. Among them where several Y-Run Club volunteers that had worked the Hyak AS and then camped out for a few hours of sleep. They were ringing the cowbell and Michelle and Sonya brought us our supplied and tended to our needs. Both Steve and I wanted to change our socks before the 5-mile road run to Easton and the finish line. We dropped our packs and our water bottles and ran “light” to the finish. Linda, Margaret, and Abi joined us. At first we hiked up some lumpy-bumpy road then we got on to a dusty dirt road that led to the main forest service road. We got dusted down a couple of times by some jeeps and motorcycles but it wasn’t too bad. At least the motorcycles and quads slowed down for us. When we got to the main forest service road we started doing some point-to-point runs. We finally got to a dirt trail that paralleled the I-90 freeway on along a frontage road. Eventually we came to an overpass and we crossed I-90. You could see the other Easton overpass down the freeway about a mile. It looked so far away but I started smelling the finish line. We kept picking a spot to run and our pace got faster and faster. I think we may have been at about a 9:00 min/mile pace as we moved toward the finish. We crossed a bridge over a river and you could see the Easton fire station. It was another ½ mile or so to the finish and I decided to run it in. We ended up passing two other runners on our way to the line. I hoped they would join in with the energy but they were happy to walk it in. Michelle, Jenny, Jon, and others came out to run in with me for the last 100 yards or so. I held hands with Michelle and then when we got to the station I ran in on my own to the finish.
The finish line!

I didn’t know how I would react when I crossed the line. I ended up giving a couple of quick fist shakes with my right hand and then I relaxed. I did it! I had lots of help that I will forever be grateful for. I gave Shawn Lawson some high fives and got hugs from all my buds at the finish.

Charlie Chrissman congratulated me and awarded me with a nice brass belt buckle and a limited edition print of a fir tree by Scott Jureks wife Leah.
Now that's worth running 100 miles for!

I had a local reporter for the Cle Elem newspaper ask me why I do ultras. I told him that ever since I discovered ultras I've enjoyed the community that is formed by the local runners and the low key atmosphere of the events. I'm amazed at the diversity of the athletes with respect to our working lives drawn together by a common desire to run and enjoy the great trails offered in the PNW. I guess I also ran a 100 because two years ago I could not even concieve of attempting such an event and now I have completed one. Thanks to Rob Hester for giving me the ultra bug.

We watched a number of other runners finish and finally decided we needed to head to North Bend for some coffee and go home for some rest.

Sub 24 at Western States – That’s my next 100. Hopefully I’ll get in again this year.

I attended Arthur Martineau’s birthday party on Tuesday of this week. He went out of his 30”s in grand style with a #14 finish in a time of 25:05:00. He improved his time from last year by five (5) hours!

34 comments:

Backofpack said...

Remember this?

Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know,
Make it part of you to be a part of me,
Follow me up and down all the way and all around,
Take my hand and say you'll follow me.

You see I'd like to share my life with you,
And show you things I've seen
Places that I'm going to places where I've been,
To have you there beside me and never be alone,
And all the time that you're with me,
We will be at home.

Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know,
Make it part of you to be a part of me,
Follow me up and down all the way
Take my hand and I will follow you."


Your dream is my dream.

Words and music by John Denver

robtherunner said...

Great report and a job well done.

At the end of the documentary on Horton's PCT record JB Benna asked him what major revelation he had out on the trail. He replied that we need people and relationships. Ever since I joined the Y-runclub I have formed relationships with people at a much deeper level than I ever expected. You and Michelle are to thank for establishing the greatest running club in the state of Washington. The gifts and inspiration have been mutual along the way and I hope that the relationships within the club grow stronger over time and continue until the end of our days here on earth.

Darrell said...

You did a great job reporting your 100 miler, thanks. Running is a solitary endevour in part and so much a community endevour as you point out so well. Good luck with the WS100 bid.

SherpaHerb said...

Way to go Eric! That was a great effort to get your 100. Hope to see you out training for WS next year!

mtnrunR said...

again eric,
congratulations on a fantastic race. a hard one at that. much harder than states. we could all see it in your training that you were going to hammer this one. great job. realish in your accomplishment. rest. enjoy. thanks for sharing in your adventure,
tom

ps with the kind of training you did for this one, silver is in your blood for states the next time you get to run it. great job.

Sarah said...

Those conditions were brutal! Congrats on a well-run race. I'm sure you will conquer WS the next time you are able to attempt it.

scott keeps running said...

Congratulations Eric! What an awesome, inspirational accomplishment. And a wonderful race report.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Wow! I feel like I just read for 100 miles! Fabulous report! COngrats again!
Jenny

Joe said...

Eric, this is a long-time goal and you got it!! Wow, what a terrfic race. A great write up as well...I'm impressed with the clarity of your memory over such a distance.

What a support team...and you give them all the credit they deserve!

Congratulations!!

Michelle Sarabia said...

Eric,
I think you and Michelle are both incredible and again I congratulate you on a great job meeting your goals. I also echo what Rob said about the relationships in our run club. What's next now that you have taken that Journey to your Centum?

King Arthur said...

Sub-24 @ WS. That's a great goal. I just want to finish my next 100!!!

King Arthur

Jon said...

Great race report Eric! Awesome work by you and your fabulous crew! Team Trail Scat Rocks!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great race report Eric, thanks for writing it - I enjoyed reading about your experience. Congratulations again on your 100 mile finish! Amazing.
Jess Mulle

Anonymous said...

Great report Eric! You and Steve cruised through the TFH - and you still look like you were smiling on the way up to Thorp Mtn. Nothing's gonna stop you now, I can't wait to see what you do next. I doubt any more chicking is my future - everyone keeps getting faster and I just stay the same pace. :) I hope your recovered and planning for "next season" with Michelle.
Yours truly,
Bitch

Addy said...

wow, thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful report! Reading things like these just amaze me and provide so much inspiration for future endeavors. It's amazing you did so well in such challenging conditions (that rope section sounded brutal!) and I can't wait to see how your next adventure goes :)

Thomas said...

Eric, that was the best report of a 100 I've ever read. Congrats on that, as well as the race itself.

You said at the beginning you had made some mistakes. What were they?

Journey to a Centum said...

Thomas - Simple mistakes

1) Forgot my gortex jacket at home.

2) Didn't bring enought whole foods. The packaged food like Cliff Bars got too sweet for me to eat and the sandwiches I'd made for myself on whole wheat bread were too dry to eat.

My crew and pacer made up for these errors but had I eaten better and stayed a bit warmer I probably could have shaved an hour off my time.

Wes said...

Beautiful, Eric. I don't know how you can remember such details over a hundred miles. Two years ago til today, an ultra? So cool!!! I'm glad you are out in the PNW :-) I don't need to catch THAT bug! LOL. Ironman is enough...

Gotta Run said...

You amaze me with all you do!! The way you decride the event in detail makes me feel as if I where there. I can only imagine that you still are running high on emotions. Totally worth it all!!

On Nov.4th I will be running in one of David Horton's events.

Ultra events are like seeing life long best friends that you have never met. What a warmth and love for the sport.

runningtwig said...

Thanks for the comment...I actually found your blog around May and have followed you through WS and I was pulling for you to finish here. Great race report and a huge congrats!! Thanks for inspiring this runner!

Gretchen said...

Awesome job Eric, what an inspirational story. I've been frequenting a lot of ultra blogs because the heartfelt and inspiring stories keep me going not just with running, but with life. Your blog is no exception, and it has been a priviledge to share your journey with you through your writing. I am so excited you made it! And can't wait to hear what is next...when you come down for States, let me know if you need crew!

Darrell said...

Eric, not related to this post, but you were telling me about a road marathon in TX that was on a lot of cement. I can't remember which one it was. My brother in law is moving to Houston so I may have a chance to run that depending on what you tell me about concrete. Thanks.

Annette said...

I'm so happy for you! What an accomplishment! I can't imagine the mental and physical strength you needed for this. And, how awesome that you had a supportive crew. You are da man! :)

olga said...

Hey, Wild Life is here:) Nice run, Eric, very solid, very upbeat, and yes, sub-24 can be worked on!

Steve said...

Most excellent run, Buzz. 24 at WS, party on, I'll be there. I completely enjoyed the journey this year and the rewards.

wendy said...

Eric, this is a fantastic report. You remembered some incredible details! I honestly can't imagine running while being attacked by yellowjackets. You guys are really hard core! Big congrats to the crew and Steve, 52 miles, and he doesn't get a tshirt?

I'm really glad Michelle got you the lightweight jacket, sounds like it was a lifesaver for a bit.

I'll echo what everyone else posted, this is an awesome group, and I feel lucky that the Barnes spearhead most of everything. You guys give back in so many ways, so it's an honor to know you and run with you. Great job finishing the big goal! I can't wait to hear about the sub-24 journey next!

Meghan said...

Eric,

Lovely race report. It was one to savor as I read. You should be most proud, of your finish, of the training you put into it, of the lovely wife and friends you supported you, of it all. Congratulations again.

I, too, see bigger and better things on your horizon.

How's recovery going?

~concrete angel~ said...

Great report, great race FINISH!! You rock :)

i'm in awe
Joan

Amanda said...

I just wanted to stop by and say congrats, this is an amazing accomplishment!

Dori said...

Well done, Eric! You really gave a taste of what it's like to run 100 miles: no sleep for over a day, mud, falls, yellow jackets. Yikes! You proved you have the mettle to wear the metal!

Bob Gentile said...

WOW Great Re-Cap Eric on this amazing journey... awesome job!!! CONGRATS!!

psbowe said...

Hi Eric,

So your running Goddess wifey says you're doing Cle Elum this weekend. I'll see you there...maybe you'll be so kind to go back after you're done to haul me out of the woods to the finish! :) I'm taking the early start...need all the time I can get, beings that it's my first 50K.

Sarah Elaine said...

I've tried to leave a comment on this post a few times. Once I couldn't log on and once I was booted off, so I hope this time it works!

First off, congrats again. That's one heckuva success!

The race report was gripping and I was gripped by every word. Thanks for the detailed post. I was looking forward to it and you didn't disappoint. Rock on.

Anonymous said...

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