I have thought long and hard about this race in the last few weeks. I contemplated not writing anything at all, but I have been doing a post for everything so far. Before I signed up for Eastern States, and while Amy was trying to pick her first 100 mile race, I did look at TARC. There were very few race reports about it, especially since this was going to be its 3rd year running. Each year in the past race has moved dates. It was spring, then summer, and finally fall. Last year finishing rate was horrendous. I contributed the low finishing rate last year mainly to the weather, not even thinking about the terrain. I spoke with several people about the races in New England, and I figured that after Eastern States, everything would be "easy". There is no such thing as an easy 100.
|Early morning hours|
|High point - Still feeling good. That is Boston in the background|
This DNF felt different. It is hard to describe. While at Eastern States I was fresh and ready to go another 30 miles without an issue, here I felt beat and defeated. There was no way to keep pushing to make all the remaining cutoffs. They were strict and even if I had made the 24 hours, I would have struggled with the rest, knowing about 2 sections that are enormous time wasters. I felt more sad for Amy as this was her A race for the year. I wasn't mad. I was disappointed.
|Coming into an aid station|
What did I learn?
1. Well, number one thing I learned this year, is to pick better races. I need to do a better job of picking a race with a proven record. I cannot go into the unknown especially with the cutoffs. On a good day, could I have gone faster. Probably. It is hard to tell. I think most of my lows were nutrition related. Once I got some food in, I felt much better.
2. Double and triple check the course and elevation! Those 1600ft ended up being over 3000ft per loop. At the end of 3 loops I had over 10000ft of elevation gain.
3. I need to work on my time at aid stations. I lost a lot of time at these, even though there was no need for that. It is easy to lose track of time 20 hours into a race.
4. Running 100 miles in the dark sucks. Like I said above, I felt that we had no time in the daylight. We started in the dark, and unfortunately finished in the dark. Maybe summer race next year?
5. My gear was great. Altra Lone Peak 2.5 and Injinji socks were a winning combination for me. No issues with my feet at all after 24 hours. I do have to work on my layering for these colder races. I think was more the length of the race and body rebelling rather than clothing choices.
|Getting dark again!|
I am ready to put TARC 100 behind me. I walk away disappointed in what could have been, yet eager to get out next year and try another 100 miler!
Go forth and run.
Call for comments:
- Tell me about your DNFs. How did you deal?
- How do you push the limit when running against the cutoffs?
|My feelings on the way back home from the race|