Jenna the butterfly whisperer CREWing at the Bear 100
It's been a while since I have written a post. This last spring/summer have been super busy with many adventures that have taken me from Zion NP to the Black Hills, and San Diego to the Tetons. These adventures kicked my butt, humbled me, and kept the stoke high as I got ready to brave the dust and the fall colors of the Bear.
Heading into the race I felt great. It seemed like all my ducks were in a row and that I was ready to bust one out. I knew that I was fit enough to run 19 hrs. and knew that the field was deep and talented enough to pull me along.
Errol started the race with an "OK, lets go" and everyone just kind of stood and stared until he said "no, really, its time to race." My plan was to do the early miles easy. The 3k+ climb up and around Logan Peak was spent chatting with Hal, Matt, and the others in the lead pack. The morning was cool and I still had plenty of water when we hit the first aid station which I ran right through. The pace felt comfortable but the lead pack of 8 or 9 started to fragment a bit. I just kept reminding myself that the race didn't start until the Beaver Ski area and took my time to eat and hydrate as we descended to the Leatham aid station. Luke was waiting with a turkey slider and some ginger ale. He hot swapped my bottles and refilled my Alpha pack and sent me on my way. The leaders were pulling away a bit at this point but I knew that I would start reeling them in later in the race as I was still on course record pace and in 10th place. The trip through to Cowley was uneventful, minus the spectacular fall leaves and dodging a few ATVers. I suffered pretty bad over the next exposed section in between Right Hand Fork and Tony Grove lakes the last time I ran the race so I just focused on being positive. Luke kept me rolling in and out of the aid stations and Rocho stuffed my hat full of ice which helped keep me cool. Before I knew it I was greeted by my family at Temple Fork. It is always fun to have them out there and it gives me a boost. They swapped me out again and I walked with them to the highway before crossing and climbing up toward Tony Grove. The climb went quickly and I was feeling good. I was getting a lot of dirt in my shoes and had a hot spot starting on top of my left food but so far so good. I hit the lakes 40 minutes ahead of my splits from 2008 and I was still feeling pretty good. I took a little extra time to lube my hot spot and switch socks before I headed to Franklin Basin. It was on this leg I started to feel a bit pukey but nothing serious. Luke would be pacing me from 68 and I knew he was relishing the chance for some pay back.
On our first descent he asked what was up with my hydration bladder and the sloshing when I informed him that it wasn't my pack but my guts. He could hear them sloshing while running 10 ft. ahead. I had fallen behind somewhere and my body was starting to protest. A few mile later I started to dry heave while trying to run downhill and Luke kept encouraging me to keep it together. Finally I couldn't any longer and had what he described as a "violent" puke session. Feeling better I rode the post puke adrenalin as long as possible before starting to try to build my calories back. Unfortunately I never could really get it together. I couldn't really open up and run due to calorie loss. Luke kept me rolling through the aid stations. At each one I would check in and check out and just keep walking. Luke would fill my pack as I drank Coke and broth and we just kept slogging along. We moved into 5th when we passed James just before Beaver Creek. I hoped to move up but it didn't happen. I wasn't able to mount any sort of surge even though we kept moving along steadily. Luke started to smell the barn and I could tell he was losing patience with my mosey. The final descent into Fish Haven is always tough but at this point I was feeling a serious loss of will. Add the dust, the full moon, and something in my left eye and I had no depth perception. I gimped it to the bottom of the hill. Luckily I didn't crash and burn. On the last little uphill around the water tank I kicked a rock and took a digger. I just rolled to my back wondering what had happened. The last little section went quickly and it was a huge relief to finally get to the finish line. I finished in 20:43.31 for my fourth finish at the Bear in fifth. Hats off to the Chris, Nick, Matt, and Myc for handing it to me at the 2012 Bear. Thanks to my family, Luke, and my sponsors (Patagonia, Ultraspire, Black Diamond, First Endurance) for helping me with the goods that keep me going.
El Vaquero Loco 2011 - Thanks for making this year's race such a success. We will be looking on ways to make it possible for even more people to be involved next year-both runners and volunteers. We will be ready for registration a little earlier this year. Hopefully by January 1. Check back later for more information.
9th annual. Saturday, August 10th, 2013. Out and back course on nearly 100% singletrack. Beautiful vistas. Very tough and technical. It has been our experience that you run the 25k if you are not used to running technical trails at altitude.