Let me start this off by saying that anyone who completes a hundred mile race has gumption. A mental tenacity that I haven't yet mastered or somehow wasn't born with.
I entered the 2008 Kettle Moraine 100 miler with the intentions of completing the race no matter what happened. Though mother nature had a lot to do with me deciding to just call it a day and take the 100 km finish. I think that had the weather been perfect I would have had trouble making it to the finish line.
I wanted to do this again because I had a score to settle with myself from seven years prior. When I DNF'd at the Heartland 100 miler. Again though the distance beat me. Leaving me wondering if I have what it takes to finish a 100 miler. To tell you the truth there is no wondering to it. I've decided that for the best interest of myself and my family that I neither have the time or desire to try and tackle this distance again.
It amazes me that some people can go out and do hundreds like there nothing more than a long training run. People I know and run with all the time have the ability to persevere when the going gets tough and hammer through to the finish. Its definitely a
mental thing for me as I know I have the physical ability to do this. I just get so bored when I'm out there for more than 12 hours. When that happens its over. I lose any desire and love I have for running at that moment and can't wrap my head around another 6-10 hours of running.
As far as the race went. There isn't much I can say. It was hot from the start with lots of humidity. The meadows were brutal. Apparently from race direction they were more brutal than in years past. I'm not sure about that. They were definitely hot but I managed to get through them both times and in good shape. I had some stomach problems from 16 miles through 33 miles but I worked through that also. I just backed off the pace and started up again when the stomach started processing. Then came the monsoons. Oh the wonderful rain we'd been praying for all day. Came for me at around the 50 mile mark. Man did it ever come. I think we got 4 inches in an hour. Then it let
up to just a nice sprinkle for a moment around The Tamarack aide station with 5 to go to the 100km mark. Leaving out of Tamarack I heard the faint sounds of Tornado sirens through the dense Wisconsin forest. I thought That couldn't be what I thought it was. When I got to the Nordic aide station at the 100km mark with the help of my friends the mosquito's. I asked if anyone had heard those sirens. They confirmed what I thought I was hearing and said they had three tornado's touch down near the Scuppernong aide station. Luckily though everyone was back from there and the aide station was closed.
That was enough for me to call it a day at that point. I learned quite a bit about myself this weekend too. So for me I shall never attempt a 100 miler for a long, long time and I'm o.K. with that. Fifty miles is still a long way to run and that's what I think I'll focus on. A stage race now and then sprinkled with the occasional 50km or some other oddball distance. I would still like to finish a 100 miler but I think that day will come when I'm towards the end of this ultra running thing and I don't care so much about it taking 30 hours to get through.