Saturday, 18 August 2012


After three weekends in a row of racing I'd not been running well at all this week and things didn't look promising for Waldo 100k. But with hardly any running and plenty of rest for a few days I hoped I'd pulled a quick recovery off.

Hal Koerner and Joe Uhan were DNSs but with on-fire, new Dad, Timmy Olson, and a host of other fast guys (see irunfar), plus forest fire diversions to make the race 65.6 miles long, it was bound to be a fast race. So I couldn't avoid giving it a good effort, since it's a fantastic course and race director, Craig Thornley, had pulled out the stops to adjust the race at the last minute.

Unfortunately I felt lackluster on the way up the starting ski slope but cruised down the other side and was with the leaders at the first aid station. That seemed like a good sign, but I felt like a drained battery after that point and by about 13 miles I was as tired as at the end of a 100 miler, just without the soreness. Walking and taking on food and drink didn't help so at 20.5 miles I stopped.

Excuses aside, DNFs don't ever feel good, but I know it's important to pick and choose the hard efforts, both from a mental and physical recovery stand-point. This one should have been a DNS but I do have trouble saying 'no' to races, especially ones I know are excellent and have beautiful courses. I feel like I'm in great shape right now but I needed an extra week to recover for this. Hal's illness and Dan's post-WS fatigue made them make the smart choice...but they didn't get to see the view from Fuji Mt just after dawn (I still don't regret giving it a go as you never can tell when a good day may materialize). 

The coming weeks are busy with more races, so a DNF was a better option than grinding out a 15-hour finish just to prove to myself I could. Just a shame that the bad day had to be for such a fun event. 

As I write this in front of the TV, the runners are reaching the later miles and several people will gain a spot at Western States. Jacob Rydman started off leading and looks good for either the win or an entry spot, at least. Course record holder, Joelle Vaught, was in 5th overall at 44.7 miles so she should punch her ticket for the Big Dance too. Good to catch up with and make new friends on the trails today and as soon as I dropped I switched to 'fan mode' to follow it on Twitter and ultralive.

Full results and a race write-up on irunfar.


  1. Yeah, DNF's stink. Sorry.

    I've got regrets, too, with a DNS. I decided it wasn't worth the airfare from South Carolina if the race might be cancelled (the trail closure notice from the FS came out 3 hours before I was supposed to get on the plane and made it look like most the course was closed), so cancelled my ticket. Now I'm kicking myself for not going and trying to be in the top-3 mix. Lesson learned- DNF's are better than DNS (in this case), cause at least you tried. Now I have to find a new race to sign up for- maybe UROC again?

  2. Question for you- looking at your Aug races, plus your Sept schedule, how often do you find you can race effectively? 3 weeks on, 1 week off? Twice a month? Just curious.

  3. Sorry to hear about the DNF. All you can do now is look forward to the next race.

  4. Ian - Great to meet you and share some time chattin' just before and after Gold Lake Aid. Before you came up on me, I kept thinkin' "What am I doing in first?!?!" so it was nice when you caught up and the mood was chill and relaxed; thanks for that. Sorry to hear the legs weren't responding. Recover well.

  5. Jon - I can race a lot more if they're marathons. Usually a weekend off racing is enough to recover if it's after a 50-miler or below.

    The runner - if the next race doesn't look fun then I know I'm in trouble.

    Jacob - good to meet you too and nice work out there. I'm glad I got to see Fuji but annoyed that all I needed to do was race easy last weekend and I'd have been fine. See you at WS!