I was bummed to get the message late last night (early this morning) that my buddy Kevin dropped out of Rocky Raccoon 100. He made to mile 89.
He said his legs were trashed at 80, and tried to walk the last 20 but was getting too cold.
What most non ultra-heads will have a hard time grasping is, why didn't he keep going just to finish? He even had at least 14 hours to do so? "Gee... I would have just found a way to finish" (not my voice, the voice of the critics)
Here I will take the liberty of guessing what was in his head and why (KG, feel free to set me straight).
When you are done, you are done. PERIOD. And it is not like being done in a Marathon. One gets to the point in a marathon where they can't run anymore, but they want to. Then, they run/walk. Do that for 8-10 hours, and you won't care anymore. And if you have done it before, you won't want to do it again. You get to a point in some ultras where.... aside from all of the hard work and sacrifice you have put in.... you just don't care anymore. It is really hard to convince people of that. I think at its core, it is a survival instinct.
Also, when you can't walk anymore, it really kills your mindset as a runner. Yes, you can take a 5 hour nap, wake up, and probably finish under the cut with no problem, but that is not the race you want to run.
There is "Just Finishing, and there is JUST FINISHING". There is a big difference.
The longest 11 miles are the last 11 in a race like that. Once your plan and goal is toast and out of reach, it is hard to give a crap to stay on the course.
Kudos to you for nailing first 80 in 14 hours, and first 50 in under 8!
People also may say "he went out too fast". Well, there is only so much you can slow a racer down. Time on the feet works against you if you slow down too much. It is a delicate balance.
So Kevin now joins us, the elites, who have at least one DNF under their belt. It's about time!
By the way... I like your style of going for it. I had a feeling you wouldn't be able to go out easy.
Karen Gall kicked some butt out there with 27:44 I think. Great job Karen. There is someone who runs with a purpose and literally runs for her life. I bet she is a lot more competitive than the leads on. :)
Wayne Nelson PR'd his 50M with a 12:26. Great job Wayne. 2nd 50?
Not a bad showing for MN.
Next week - Run Toto Run
Helen, Joe, Tony and a bunch of others are going to go show the Trail Nerds how its done.
I look forward to those results (Nic...... you aint' got a chance).