Captain Grose's Marathon pages

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I finished in 13:33:09
(27 minutes shy of the official cut off)

 

 
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Looking back, I can't believe I ran for over 13 hours. OK, maybe I didn't ACTUALLY run for all that time but I was moving about 95% of it and barely made the cut off. I thought I had plenty of time to spare since I thought I had an hour more than I thought. So imagine my surprise when I can across thinking I had almost an hour and a half to spare when in truth, I had less than a half hour before I would fail to receive an official time. Would that have depressed me? A little but what does an official time get you: simply the knowledge that you got an official time. It's not like I got money or a record deal or anything!!!

The time I spent on this course was wonderful. I mean, other than the fact that I was running forever, the scenery was spectacular and over such a long distance, the terrain and weather were significantly varied. On a grand scale, it was 25 miles up hill with the assent going damn near straight up the last couple of miles, and then the return trip was (not to insult your intelligence) mostly downhill.

Starting out, I stayed with Gary and had mixed feelings about staying with him. He walked more than I wanted to at first and while I thought that really hurt my time, I have to believe than a faster time toward the start would have burned more energy which I desperately needed at the end. So without knowing it, staying back with Gary probably guaranteed my accomplishment of finishing. This didn't stop me from abandoning him at about the 10 mile mark because I'm, well, you know, an ass.

After that, I never saw Gary until the finish line. I was alone with my thoughts (and Sarah MacLachlan in my ears) for the rest of the day. Didn't feel too chatty which is more than I can say for one runner who obviously had too many power gels. Different people react to physical and mental hardship in different ways. I'm quiet but if you ever run these things, you run into the chatter who rambles in incoherent babbling until you have to fake a leg cramp, speed up, or stab them in the throat with a piece of jagged rock. You know, whatever works for ya.

There is an option at one of the cut-off points to downgrade if you don't feel you will make the other cut-offs in the allotted times. Gary took such an option and the checkpoint for this was at the base of the final assent of the halfway mark. So I passed it going up and then coming back down. It was then that I learned that Gary had downgraded which was a relief since I was a bit worried about him after I left him for dead.

For most of the race, I was just worried about the next cut off. Only three things existed for me about a third of the way into this race.

One; the next aid station. This little oasis played heavily in the thoughts of the ultra runner. For me, I rested at each one so it was simply bunny hopping to the next one as a goal. (I didn't actually bunny hop because that would look dumb).

Two: Cut off times/points. There were three of these (the last one being the finish line) and if you missed them, you were out of the race. So along with the next aid station, these were never far from my mind. I was in a state of constant worry about these especially toward the end when all my effort would have been for not if I missed these times.

Three: finishing. On the way back, the downhills and rocky terrain almost begged for a twisted ankle. I have the ankles of a newborn to begin with so this part was particularly scary for me. My imagination (exhaustion-induced?) kept having me roll one of my butter-like ankles and then the circus would have dropped the tent and left town for this hombre. My manliness would have been put to a severe test if a rescue was involved in the final chapter of this race for me.

Luckily, I made it somehow and was able to reap the rewards of accomplishing such a feat. The fame, the glory, the money, the chicks!! Well, OK, everyone still thought I was nuts, it cost me 8 hours of gas money, two nights of hotel costs, and entrance fees, and the only chick involved was my loving wife who selfishly rubbed my broken body with aspercream for a week. So much for the TANGIBLE rewards but oh, the intangibles!!!


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How it all started...

2000 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2001 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Big Sur International Marathon
2002 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Bishop 50-mile Ultra-Marathon

Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

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