STRAVA Summary

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kettle Moraine 100

So Kettle Moraine is done! Over all a great race, where I felt good throughout most of the event, finishing better than I had planned or expected. The first step to the Midwest Grand Slam completed.

We left on Thursday morning from Barrie, car loaded up with less stuff than I thought we would have. Oliver and Joan would be my pacers and crew. We drove to Kalamazoo, Michigan and stayed there Thursday night leaving us a nice 4 hour drive on Friday. While in Kalamazoo we went out for dinner at a nice Indian restaurant that Joan had looked up on the internet and came well recommended and the recommendations were well warranted. We filled up (fuelled up) and then headed out to do a bit of shopping. Back to the hotel we relaxed and hit the sack with no anticipation of having to get up early. The Fairfield Marriott in Kalamazoo, while sufficient for a night’s sleep was disappointing as far as Marriotts go. It was old and in need of much repairs and upgrades. Breakfast was good though!!

We were up fairly early and took our time to get back on the road and headed off to Elkhorn, Wisconsin. The route took us through Indiana and up through Chicago (the only place where we encountered any traffic). We passed another Ontario plate on the way and it just turned out to be Vince Charbeneau from Burlington. Just past Chicago we stopped for lunch and looked for some shopping opportunities (running stuff). We passed a Road Runner Sports and decided to try it and were glad we did. The cheapest gels we’ve found and some good prices on other goods and the best customer service. One thing Americans know how to do better than most!! Also found out that Vince had been in just 20 minutes before us.

On the road again we arrived in Elkhorn earlier than expected and as we couldn’t pick up our race kits until 4 we settled into our room for a bit of a rest. The Hampton Inn was a much better hotel than the Fairfield in Kalamzzoo. Of course I was paying for this one, whereas the other one was a freebie on points.

We headed up to La Grange and the Nordic Trails site for the race pick kit up at 4pm. There was already a crowd there and I immediately bumped into Dave and Kim Bohn from Ottawa. I had run my first 50k with Dave in Haliburton and then met him again a few yearas ago while we were doing the 50 miler at Sulpher Springs. So we got our obligatory photo taken again to add to the two other times we had raced each other. Then we saw Sandy Stiner and her entourage. Joan had kept in touch with Sandy since O24 and was looking forward to seeing her again at KM100. She had a big troop of family with her for the race.

Kettle Moraine is a very low tech event and not much of an “expo” actually a race kit pick up was about it, in a tent at the start area. A nice touch was throwing in a book (Once a Runner) as part of your kit.

Back to the hotel we went and stopped at the Holi Cannoli restaurant on the way back, as it was recommended by Dave and Kim. It was very good. Once at the hotel we went for a dip in the hot tub and then back to the room and made sure we had everything laid out for the next day before hitting the sack.

4:30 came quickly and although I slept fairly well, I was up lots going pee throughout the night. So some oatmeal for breakfast and dressed we were out the door and on our way by 5:10, with only a 15 minute drive to La Grange we had lots of time. Just had to pick up my timing chip and do the usual potty runs.

The race was off and running at 6am and into the cross country ski trails we went to start.
The first 8 miles are on these ski trails which are a roller coaster of small, but sometimes steep hills. My right knee was giving me a bit of grief in this section as I was being very tentative with it. I had it taped and it felt ok, but just a little unstable. I saw Dave ahead of me as he gradually moved further ahead. I never saw Vince in the early going at all and assumed he was behind me. One aid station at 5 miles in a nice tall pines area was fully stocked , but I didn’t stop here. The first aid station to meet my crew was at 7.6 miles, Bluff Rd., here I grabbed a sandwich and some water melon. It was getting humid and I was sweating a lot, even though the temperature was not that hot. I started with taking my S Caps once an hour, but would increase that to every half hour once the humidity rose.

A quick stop in the aid station and back out I went this time into some nice single track to Horseriders aid station which was an unmanned one. I just ran straight through this one. I had been trying to keep the pace to a slow and steady pace and was running with a group of about 4 others and we were running the single track nicely. It was a beautiful area with a mix of terrain and vegetation, from tall pines to crowded brush, area’s with thousands of wild flowers everywhere. The next aid station was Emma Carlin at 15.8 miles and I came in there at just under 3 hours, feeling good and sweaty. I loaded up my pack and had a couple of sandwiches and changed my socks and lubed up my feet.
The next section is notoriously hard, with long stretches of open meadow with exposure to the sun, luckily this year it wasn’t near as hot, but it was still sunny. The other “problem” with the meadows was it could be wet and muddy in spots and it was. This section from Emma Carlin to the next manned aid station at Hwy ZZ was more than 10 miles and usually takes its toll on runners and I know I felt it when I finally came in and saw my crew. They reminded me that I was well ahead of where I needed to be so could back off if I needed. The next section to the turnaround at Suppernong started off nice enough, but I found I struggled through the second half of the 5 miles. The miles seemed to be getting longer! It was in this section that Vince passed me going on the way out already. I was somewhat surprised to see him so far ahead of me.
My crew was there and I sat and enjoyed an extended break taking in extra fluids, a shake and some water melon. I also saw Matt who I had run with off and on for most of the first 26 miles. He was doing the 100k, but dropped at ZZ, he was struggling and had some past injuries that were bothering him. It just wasn’t his day.
I then head back out. The run back from Scuppernong didn’t seem to be as bad, as Matt had said it was more downhill going back. There were still a lot of ups too. Eventually I started running with Bill another “local” runner and we chatted for a long way. We came into Hwy ZZ and I changed socks and lubed my feet again in prep for the wet and mud and sweat of the meadows. I was prepared to walk most of the 10 miles if I had to. I started off running with Bill again and we stayed together for a good portion of this section. At an unmanned station in this section I left Bill behind and didn’t see him till much later in the dark. When I came into Emma Carlin again at 47 miles I was suffering a bit from the long stretches in the meadows. Again a good rest here and a change of socks and I was ready to go again. Although this was one of the best sections of the course and most runnable and with my crews insistence I decided to walk the entire section to Horseriders. With the exception of a few downhill’s that is exactly what I did. I had a lot of runners pass me in this section, but stayed the course anyway. After Horseriders I had renewed energy and ran great. I passed everyone that passed me earlier and a number of others. Just before coming into Bluff at 55.6 miles a thunderstorm hit and it poured down. Initially this felt great breaking the humidity somewhat and refreshing my tired body. It was pouring down when I got to Bluff and I just sat down in the rain and had some noodle soup and a cup of Mountain Dew. At this time I found out to my surprise that Oliver was going to be able to pace me from this point on. I was wondering why he was dressed to run already and hadn’t expected him to join me until the turn around at 100k. Oliver and Joan had been alerted to the early pacing possibility by Sandie’s crew, so we took advantage of it. At this point I was in 90th place out of 233 starters. This was also a low point in the race for me, I was ready to walk for a long time. I warned Oliver of this and he was happy to walk or whatever it takes.
Once back on the trails to the Nordic Center we found ourselves walking with an older guy from Minnesota, Steve. He was full of stories and I found it surprising that this was only his 7th 100 miler and he’d only finished 2. Once we started to hit the hills we had no choice but to run the downhills and this seemed to pick me up a bit again. We arrived at the 100k start/finish are in 14:40 with 38 miles to go. Darkness had set in at this point and we had timed it just right. Getting our lighting systems together and having another extended rest I was out of the aid station before 9 pm. I was surprised at this point that I hadn't seen either Dave or Vince, so I started to worry that maybe they had dropped.
A good section of running and walking the hills ensued and I wasn’t feeling to badly at this point, but in the back of my mind I was already thinking about the final 8 miles on the ski trails again. I wasn’t looking forward to it as it was going to be a hard slog over these hills again.
We came into Bluff Rd again with anticipation of running some new trails shortly afterwards. The first 2.5 miles were a nice change of flat to downhill soft enclosed single track. We flew along this stretch feeling really good. Another unmanned aid station on a road crossing signaled the end of the 2.5 miles and the end of the flat part. We also though the next stage would be another 2.5 miles, but found out that we were wrong and it seemed to go on forever even though it was only just a little over 4 miles, and it wasn’t flat!!! All hilly. A tough section that I struggled on, but finally came into Hwy 12 aid station at just under 19 hours and in 83rd spot. We refuelled again and headed back out quickly for the last 4 miles of running with Oliver. More hills to climb, but we knew the turnaround was approaching. We found it strange that we going to Rice lake, but kept climbing to get there. We arrived finally at 20:23, had a shake, thanked Oliver for the great support and pacing duties and had Joan join me for the next 19 miles back to the finish. 81 miles done and still feeling no soreness at all, just general fatigue. Although I could tell I was having some difficulty with a toe nail or two. I left Rice lake at 2:30 am in 60 place.
Joan did an awesome pacing job and would prod me anytime we came to a downhill we ran well going back to Hwy 12 and didn’t stop long there before heading out again towards Bluff Rd. As we approached the unmanned aid station between Hwy 12 and Bluff we noticed that it was getting light and I was able to shut off the lights. We passed a couple of ladies on the trail and gave us the incentive to stay ahead of them so we tried to run as much as possible.
At Bluff road we were at 93 miles and the end was in site, the temperature had cooled off over night, but I still felt comfortable in a Tshirt, as long as I kept moving! The last dreaded section was left and Joan pushed me well on this, forcing me to drive hard with my arms on the up hills and run well on the down hills. The last 2 miles are flat to uphill and seemed to take forever. We had one 100 miler pass us in this section, but I didn’t care, I was walking most of this anyway. With about one hundred meters to go I could finally see the finish line so we ran (uphill). I had been thinking that it was looking like maybe a 27 hour finish and I would have been happy with anything between 27 and 28 hours. So it quite a shock when with about 30 meters to go I finally saw the clock and it said 25:52:… I was going to finish in less than 26 hours. Holy crap, way faster than I had planned, or expected. My final time was 25:53:15 and I finished 39th out of 233 starters and 113 finishers.

A great race overall. I still have a hard time comprehending how I never felt sore throughout the race, even since the recovery has been amazing. The only affects were an uncomfortable drive back to Michigan after the race. A sore right leg that I couldn’t get comfortable. And some toe nails that don’t look good. Blisters under both big toe nails.
Dave Bohn dropped at the 100k mark and therefore got credit for that. Vince Charbanneau finished in just over 25 hours so he did very well too.
Sandy dropped at 93 miles, so close yet.... Still she got the 100k buckle anyway, so good for her.

I can’t say how much I am thankful to both Joan and Oliver for being there, crewing and their awesome pacing abilities. I am sure Joan’s nutritional know how with the Isagenix products really made the difference, the ionix (adaptagens) drinks at aid stations and the recovery concoction afterwards worked wonders. The shakes throughout the race were about the only thing I could stomach at times.
It's Wednesday now and I’m still feeling good, even went for a run last night and will go on another tonight, but that might be it until Mohican in 9 days. Bring it on!

1 comment:

chris mcpeake said...

Great run Keith. Sounds like you came through it still in good shape for Mohican. Congrats