YABRR: Rocky Raccoon 100 2016 Edition
Updated: Feb 8, 2019
4 Years ago I ran my first 5k (as an adult) 3 years ago I decided I wanted to run a 100 mile trail race (Rocky Raccoon) 2 years ago I DNF'd RR100, due to my arm giving out 1 year ago I was bummed about DNF'ing Big Cedar 100 due to the mud.
This past weekend I finally completed Rocky Raccoon, but I didn't do it alone. This is a combination race report and "thank you" post. Sadly, I won't be able to thank everyone by name, otherwise the post would be way to long, since it would have to include all the distance skaters, adventure racers, paddlers and ultracyclists who over the years have given me insight into endurance sports. Also, all the runners I have run with over the years, both road and trail. I hope y'all know who you are.
First and foremost, I'd like to thank the academy ... (oops, wrong speech).
There is no way I could have done this without Shellene, since we got there late, she ran my drop bag to "Disco" Damnation aid station. Also, at the starting line she kept telling me to start closer to the front, and collected all my discarded clothing right before we took off. More importantly, when I was done, she collected me, and my gear from the start finish, drove me to the shower, then the trailer so I could get some sleep. She then went above and beyond by walking to Damnation to get my drop bag, packed camp and drove home.
First loop went out way to fast, running with Brandon, Brad from Colorado and Josh, but was feeling good and having fun. Dumped some gear by a tree at Damnation (thanks Aaron) and kept on moving. Had a blast running the loop, I swear the hills were a lot shorter this year. From that point on I was mostly solo, which doesn't bother me at all. Was having some sort of allergic reaction, my eyes were watering and my sinuses running faster than I was.
Second loop, Libby asked me how I was doing, and I said I was going at an unsustainable pace, but feeling good and having fun. Leaving Damnation I see Marcela and Agustin heading up to start their volunteer shift, time for hugs. About that time I was running a good pace, and doing math in my head. I figured that I'd finish the second and third loops at the 12 hour mark, and then end up doing loop 4 in 5 hours, and the last loop in 6. A total of 23 hours, I'd take that in a heart beat. During this loop I saw Gordy Ainsleigh for the first time.
Third loop was a blur, all I remember was dancing at Damnation, and having fun. Stopped and sat (for the first time) at the end of the loop, switching out to a long sleeve shirt and adding my race vest and head lamp. I think that's when I ran into Pete and Jacqueline at the start/finish.
Fourth loop was more of the same. I know that the NTTR folks have photos and video of me dancing at Damnation, but at least this time it was dark. At the Park Road aid station I ran into a couple of DDR runners who were pacing runner. I'm not sure who Monte was pacing, but I ran with Pete Langlois and Karen Roberts for a section.
Fifth loop started by running into Das and Novle, and getting the winning hand, Das joined me as a pacer (I'm not used to having pacers, but it did make things easier). My plan was to walk/trot as needed, and it all went well until I got to Damnation. There was no dancing as I headed into the heated tent to stop the shivers. Once again I see Marcela and Agustin taking care of me (BTW Agustin - sorry if I seemed a bit snappish).
Also, I must have been hallucinating, I swear a big beautiful rabbit handed me a cup of ramen and potato mix. Thank you Nancy, for being a beautiful rabbit, that is no hallucination. Not only did you feed me the right thing at the right time, you laughter throughout every time I was at Damnation helped keep my spirits high. I left the aid station feeling good, and actually ran the hills on the loop, having fun. One more time at Damnation, with just a little dancing and off we went. By this time it was a battle between my stomach (unhappy due to nasal drainage), my legs (unhappy due to the 93 miles), my feet (unhappy due to the roots and stumps they found, plus the "improved" road) and trying to keep my body temperature at just the right spot (didn't want to sweat, or get cold). The good thing was, even in the cold (someone said it was below freezing), I was feeling good. "I got this". A brief stop at Park Road and the walk/trot to the line. About two miles from the line I saw Gordy heading out for his final loop, made me happy to see that he was going to make it.
Sadly, I missed my estimated time by 3.33 (go figure Debbie, it's that number again), finishing in 23:03:33.
There are a lot of folks to thank, all the race directors who give us a place to play, all the volunteers who keep us fed, warm, entertained and generally healthy, and all the runners who motivate each runner that they see, without them I know I would not had as much fun as I did. Thank you all.