Monday, August 12, 2013

Cool Moon 100 (2013)

Cool Moon 100 Video

On August 3rd-4th I ran the Cool Moon 100 mile ultra marathon in Cool, CA.  My niece Samantha ran the half marathon and my friend Rudy was also running the 100 mile event with me.  This was Samantha's very first trail race and her second half marathon.

The course consisted of one 14 mile loop and one 11 mile loop.  We did each loop 4 times.  We started with the 14 mile loop, and this was also the loop that the half marathon runners did as well.  This was nice because it allowed me to run with Samantha for the first 14 miles of the event.  Since this was Samantha's first trail race I wanted to stick with her as much as I could.

Sam and I made it through the first 14 miles in 3 hours 2 minutes and 48 seconds.

After I congratulated Samantha on her achievement I filled up my water bottles and headed off for another 86 miles.

The 11 mile loop had a lot less elevation gain than the 14 mile loop.  My plan was to run the 11 loop as fast as I could since I knew the 14 mile loop would consistently slow me down because of it's high climbs and elevation gains.

So, after I left Samantha I put on my headphones and took off on my 11 mile loop.  I normally don't wear headphones on trails, especially on trails I've never ran on before.  Sometimes I put on headphones when I just want to zone out.  Well, at mile 17.5 I was focused more on my music than I was focused on the trail.  This led to me hitting a rock and totally eating shit on the trail.  I looked like a baseball player trying to steal home.

After I cleaned myself up I headed back on my run, this time with my headphones in my backpack.

The next few miles were a little tougher than I planned.  The thing that was making the run hard was the fact that I hadn't seen anyone for hours.  After mile 14, I didn't see another runner until I finally caught up to my friend Rudy at mile 50.

Rudy wasn't feeling very good and was waiting for me to catch up to him.  Once I saw him at mile 50 we took a rest and got some dinner.  My parents had a small pizza waiting for me.  The pizza tasted amazing!!!

After our rest, Rudy and I headed back out on the trail.  At mile 60 we ran into our friend Ed at one of the aid stations.  We got some water and food and talked to Ed.  We all decided to run together to the next aid station at mile 64.  Once we got to the aid station at mile 64 we stocked up on water and supplies.  Rudy wasn't feeling good for most of the run and he decided he should drop out.

Ed and I decided that we should run together and keep each other company during the night.  As we headed out for our last 36 miles Ed told me that he and I were currently tied for 2nd place.  I really couldn't believe it, so many people dropped out of the race that we were propelled to 2nd place.

Ed and I ran through the night telling stories and keeping each other company.  Sometimes I really enjoy running solo, but sometimes it's nice to have a running buddy.  I was really happy to have Ed on the trail running these last many miles with me.

At mile 89 my mom and dad surprised me with a McDonalds sausage, egg, and cheese McGriddle.  It tasted AMAZING!!!  I was very happy to have some solid food in my stomach.

As we headed out for our final 11 miles I was feeling very happy.  This long run was almost over and  I was getting tired and ready to head home.  As Ed and I were finishing the last few miles we were discussing how we would determine who received 2nd place.  I had the grand idea that we would stop 100 yard from the finish line, then we would finish with a balls out sprint to the end... but in the end we decided to just run it in side by side.

We crossed the finish line together and shared 2nd place.  I was happy that we were able to finish together.  Ed and I both pushed each other through the last miles of the race.

The volunteers at this event were AWESOME!!!  The course was well marked and the people putting on the race did an amazing job.

During the race I told Ed, "There's no way I'm ever doing this race again!!!  I can't wait for it to be over!!"  This course was hard.  While I was running this race I couldn't wait for the experience to be over.  This is one event I'll never forget.  I honestly have no doubt that I earned my finishers buckle on this course.  Out of the 25 runners that started the 100 mile event, only 4 of us were able to finish.

So... the question now is this... Will I return to the Cool Moon 100 next year?  I realize that during the event I said that there was no way I'd put myself through that course again, but after getting home and thinking about it... I'm totally going back again for more next year.

Until next time...