OK, first off, this race is much tougher then advertised. I have never seen so many hills, they just kept coming and coming.
Finished the race this morning just after 6:23 A.M. in a time of 26:23:42. It turned out to be a tough day as the temperatures climbed to 90 degrees with extremely high humidity. In addition a Kansas style afternoon T-storm brought down branches and wreaked havoc with some of the aid station tents. It was the heat however that messed with me, causing me stomach problems from around mile 45 on. At mile 84 I was able to “get some of it up” and felt a little better, but was reduced to running the last 16 miles on nothing but Ginger Ale in my water bottles. There were two moments in this race where I felt so sick I thought for sure I was done, but the support of a couple aid station volunteers and the kindness of two gracious runners helped get me through. God is good, and I felt is hand of protection on me as I struggled throughout the later stages of this race. He gave me peace when I was “losing it”, strength when I needed it and at times I even saw Him use others to help me through to the end. I know there are those who can run events like this under their own strength, even without recognizing or “tapping” into its source. For me, there is no way I could have gotten through yesterday on my own (If I’m honest with myself, I know that’s true in all areas of my life).
Well, now it’s time to turn my thoughts to Leadville which is in four weeks. Physically I need to recover from the stresses of this past weekend. Rest and Ice Cream our on tap for the week ahead. Mentally I need to get focused. Because of the altitude (the entire race is run at elevations over 10,000 feet) Leadville is a tough race for “lowlanders” as we’re called. Also I need to get beyond the fact that in addition to my one finish at Leadville I also have three DNF’s (did not finish). Spiritually I need to remember the lessons from yesterday and remember that God can bring me through my pain given the opportunity, I just need to stay out of the way and let Him work.