Monday, September 22, 2008

100 Miles...

of running? Most of us wouldn't even contemplate this idea. Gabe's friend, Ed, not only contemplated it, he attempted it this past weekend.

Gabe met Ed a few years ago at a previous job. Ed has always been a runner-doing 5K's, the Corporate Challenge, etc. Last year he attempted a 50 mile race and dropped out (I think he got injured). He went on to later finish a 50K race. Earlier this year he finished a 50 mile race in about 12 hours-finishing that was a requirement to register for a 100 mile race.

So this past Saturday, the 20th, was the big day. Gabe volunteered to be a pace runner for him, which is something they can utilize once they hit the 55 mile mark. The race was in Virgil, NY and started at 6am Saturday. Gabe arrived in Virgil around 9pm Saturday when Ed was just finishing his 55th mile. Gabe laced up his shoes and ran with him for about 6.3 miles. They finished that around midnight, then Ed's wife went out with Ed for a few miles. Gabe went back out around 1:30am and did another 6.3 with Ed which brought him around the 73 mile mark. They finished that around 4am and then Gabe took a snooze in his car. He was woken up at 10am to do another 5 miles with Ed-which they finished close to 1pm. Ed then had about 9 miles left to complete, which his wife wanted to do with him. We are happy to say that Ed finished the race in 35 hours (the cut off was 36 hours)! I'm sure he was completely exhausted-no sleep, very little sitting, etc.

Oh, and did I mention this isn't a street/paved race? Oh no-it's a trail run-which basically means they run through the forest. Gravel, dirt, tree roots, rocks, trees-you name it! Gabe said parts of the trail were so steep that you had to use a rope to help you climb up and walk backwards down hills to get down. So this isn't some easy course. Ya know, 100 miles isn't hard enough, you have to add in some other crazy elements to make it even harder!

I'm not much of a runner myself so I never think of the stuff that actually goes on during these men's nipples getting chafed by their shirt to the point of bleeding (just one of the few spots that get chafed)! Or excreting waste and having to bury it! How about running in pitch darkness with a head lamp on? Or using painted tree trunks to tell you where the path goes. Or running when your body is completely exhausted and ready for bed. These are all factors that you have to practice. The thought of it is just insane to me. And when Ed was training, he never even got close to running that sort of distance. What the training has him do is maybe go out and run 30miles one day, then get up the next morning and do 20 miles. I think that was the longest practice run they have you do. So you never know what your body will actually do for that sort of distance.

There was only 28 runners in the race and 11 of them dropped out. Ed said there are maybe only a few thousand people in the country who are able to complete a race like this. And guess what?! He's one of them!


MollyD said...

I keep thinking..Why couldn't Aunt Nic have been at the race with her camera? I would have loved to have seen Gabe with his miners hat on:)

Kiki said...

Wow, and I keep thinking.... I just want to complete one normal marathon <26.2> miles. I know I would never be able to run 100!! Is Gabe planning on trying to make this one of these years??!!