Later this week, once I’m more fully recovered, I’ll post more detailed content from Run Rabbit Run 100. For now, a few quick comments and some easily shareable content:
My finish time of 20 hours, 12 minutes was in line with my expectations, based on how I have historically performed against the 2014 winner, Rob Krar. In general, my times are about 13 percent slower. What I never expected, however, was a third place finish. A high did-not-finish (DNF) rate — including seven of the 14 top-ranked men — certainly helped, but nonetheless I’m ecstatic about a podium finish and an unexpected $3500 payday.
A big congratulations to the winner, Jason Schlarb, and the second-place finisher, Bob Shebest. I saw both at the start, but otherwise we were not even in the same race. A big congratulations to the rest of the finishers, too, notably my buddy David Eitemiller. Running and hiking 100+ miles with nearly 20,000 vertical feet of climbing within the 36-hour cutoff is a monstrous effort and major accomplishment.
My wife and lone crew member, Amanda, was awesome. She greeted me six times — including twice in the middle of the night, at 12:20 AM and 2:20 AM — with water, calories, warmer clothing, and encouraging words. More importantly, this summer she supported the intense training plan that made my performance possible.
My Suunto Ambit2 GPS watch plus its heart rate monitor accessory (available at Backcountry.com for 35% off) have been invaluable training and racing tools. They supply me with live data on time, pace, heart rate, altitude, vertical gain and loss, and more. For additional analysis and training comparisons later on, I upload the data to Suunto’s Movescount platform, which I have synced with Strava (follow me).
- The official course distance is 102.7 miles with 20,191 feet of vertical gain (and ditto for loss). But unofficial recordings suggest that it’s longer and has less vertical: more like 107 miles with about 18k of gain. The effect on cumulative finishing times is probably a wash.
- The second mile was my slowest (21:40 minutes), when the course points straight up an expert ski slope and climbs 1,150 feet. Mile 20, which drops 300 feet into the Olympian Hall aid station, was my fastest, at 7:53.
- Over the final 6.2 miles, which drop a quad-busting 3,400 feet, I averaged 8:26 pace. By this point I had a lock on third and had written off sub-20 hours, so I was merely trying to minimize damage.
- Thirteen hours and 70+ miles into the race, I missed a turn in lower Spring Creek that cost me 5 minutes and added a half-mile to my race. Thankfully that was the extent of the damage.
- Many others have commented that I ran a “smart” race by starting off relatively slowly and taking names later in the race. But even I started much too hard: my average heart rate was 126 beats per minute, but I foolishly red-lined it for the first 40 minutes it at 150+, and didn’t really settle in until about 10 hours into the race.
With Jeff Miller of USL.tv shortly after the finish, mostly coherent and all smiles: