Tuesday, June 5, 2012

An Outsider's Race Report of the Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Endurance Run

Ok, so I feel like this blog is supposed to be all about ME and MY accomplishments, but - of course - I have to write about this one.... Hubby did it!  He pulled off his first 100-mile ultramarathon. There were doubts, there was pain, there was one helluva sleepless night, but he finished the Kettle Moraine 100 in 27 hours, 36 minutes, and he's been convalescing ever since.

I was able to see Hubby and "crew" for him at three different spots on the course.  Here are some of the few pix I got at the event.

Hubby coming in to the County ZZ aid station at Mile 26.  Still a smile on his face although he said his gut had started to bother him....

Heading down the single-track trail leading out of the station.  Getting peeks down these trails intrigued me to such a degree that for the briefest of moments, I thought to myself Maybe I would want to do that. Mental head slap,....Okay, maybe not.

Coming in to the Scuppernong aid station - Mile 31.4.  Gut still bugging him, but we were able to fuel him up and get him on his way.  Already he was falling off his estimated finish time, but he was still going.

Last spot I was able to see Hubby would be here at the Emma Carlin aid station (Mile 47.3).  This is the point on the trail that they pop out of the woods to head to the aid station at the trail head parking lot.  I watched this spot for about an hour waiting for him to appear.

I wasn't the only one.  At any given time, there were friends and families hanging out watching that narrow sliver of trail as well.

Finally, out of the woods he comes!

Tired, hand-flip wave. At this point, he told me if I wanted to join him for any of the run (since I had planned tentatively to join him for the last seven miles or so) he said to do it now, because he wasn't sure he could go much longer.  Apparently, his gut finally settled down - after 20 miles! But then he noticed his whole body hurting.

After a half hour of rest while I fixed him up with some dried mangoes, Mountain Dew, and Advil and resupplied him with stuff from his drop bag, he headed out over the mats.  It was 6 p.m. - 12 hours underway already.  He told me at that point if the hurt didn't go away to some degree, he wouldn't make it to the finish.  With that doubt creeping in and the fact that his time was so off his estimates, we decided I wouldn't try to find him in the final seven miles. It would be too hard to determine when he would be into the final aid station.

So, that's the last I saw of him until the finish.  I spent a semi-sleepless night waking intermittently to check the webcast site to see what aid stations he had passed.  Around 1 a.m. I was heartened to see he had made it to the 100K point earlier in the evening where he would meet our friend D. to pace him.  A check at 4-something a.m. showed that he had made it to the 77-mile point, but there was no update to the 82 mile marker.  That was worrisome given that he should have made that point.  A few minutes later, however, an update showing his arrival at Mile 86 eased my mind.  (They never did update that 82 mile point.)  Then a couple of hours later - a call from D. saying they were eight miles from the finish.  Yeah!  Apparently, the Advil (and the three others he took) did their work.  Those and some coffee later in the night helped get him over the hump of despair, and he was able to keep going.  I know our friend D., who showed up to pace Hubby for the last 38 miles, helped immensely too.

So, finally - the finish. Approaching the finish line at 9:30 a.m. - 27:30 hours after starting this adventure - the kids are excited to run out and meet Daddy and head back over the finish line with him.

Crossing the finish line!

DONE and DONE IN....

I am incredibly proud of Hubby's achievement.  I know this was extremely hard for him, and I don't think he's even begun to process what he has accomplished yet, but he did it!  Out of 244 registered participants, only 118 finished before the cutoff.  And he was one of them.

So, what do I take from this event?  Well, first that it is an amazing race.  I mean, to run 100 miles on flat land would be accomplishment enough, but the KM100 is a hard, hilly course on the Ice Age Trail. Check out the elevation chart....
I was not inspired to try to run one of these one day, however I was inspired to volunteer if I could.  It would be an awesome event to be part of and helping all these amazing runners trying to get through a tough event like this would be very rewarding I believe.

Crewing was fun, too, and I definitely would enjoy doing that again if Hubby ever recovers fully and forgets the pain of this one. Next time, though, I would want to plan on just crewing.  Trying to juggle crewing here and there with entertaining the kiddos elsewhere was a bit too stressful.  I think they would enjoy crewing, too, if their expectations were appropriately set.  Something to think about....

Speaking of the kids,... here's what WE did while Hubby ran for 27 hours....

Two nights of tent camping meant two nearly sleepless nights for all three of us....

It was still fun, though!  Really!  I seriously enjoyed camping and hope to do more of it in the future.  The howls and yips of coyotes aside (and I really shouldn't have read the book Killer Grizzly as a kid), I really thought this was a fun way to spend a couple of days.  What's not to like?  You can get as dirty as you want, eat all the pre-packaged junk you want, and spend all your time outdoors.  It's great!

Although next time I would plan a camping trip that was more kid-friendly.  I am sure it was not quite so much fun for them when the camping trip was kind of shoe-horned around Daddy's race.  Anyhoo...a small park at the campground helped for entertainment - as did having friends along to play with!

Between crewing gigs, a trip to Old World Wisconsin was educational and fun for everyone.  Too bad the kids were so pooped out from a night of little sleep.  They got something out of it, though, I believe.  I have to say I didn't even know this place existed!  However, if you ever have a hankering to experience what life was like for the different ethnic groups who inhabited Wisconsin in the mid-1800s, this is the place to be!

Hands on wheel making for the kids...

Hands on horse feeding...

Hands on school learning....(I have to say the scritch of slate pencil on slate board would have driven me batty 150 years ago.)

Hands on toys and games....

So, that's how we spent our weekend...How about you?

What did you do on your weekend?  Anything fun, educational, challenging, or otherwise a$$ kicking?


  1. Wow, that is so impressive! Congratulations to your husband. Looks like you and the kids had a great time too!

  2. YM and the Cap'n are greatly impressed with his accomplishment!