Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 Antelope Island 100k

This weekend I ran the Antelope Island 100k. which was my first 100k and the furthest I've ever run.

The course was modified a bit because of the high water level of the Great Salt Lake making it a little under 100k, 59.4 according to my watch, but I'm calling it 60. The course was pretty amazing, remote and varied terrain. There were 2 laps on a loop around the island. Miles 0-17/30-47 were hilly and remote. Miles 17-30/47-60 were flat on really nice singletrack along the east side of the island.

The start was snowy and dark. I tried to ignore everyone and go out slow which was kind of hard because it was so cold and I wanted to warm up, but after a few miles I was in about 10th place out of about 50 starters. Running in the dark was amazing because there are no lights to be seen on the west side of the island except for the trail of headlamps. Right around dawn I could hear some animals calling in the distance, pretty eerie. Not sure if they were buffalo or antelope. I kept the first lap pretty steady and was able to eat well at the fantastic aid stations. At mile 17ish, the terrain levelled out so I picked up the pace a tiny bit and dropped a couple guys. There were a few snow showers but by the end of the first lap the clouds broke and the sun came out.

Finishing the first lap, I came in to the start/finish area just behind a couple guys. I changed into dry socks and took off a couple layers. I left ahead of one guy and caught and passed the other heading up the first climb. At the aid station at mile 36, they told me that I was in 4th and the guy ahead was about 6 minutes ahead. At mile 44ish they said 4 minutes. I actually felt pretty good until mile 50ish, then the urge to walk was getting too heavy. I was so happy to see Aileen, Cian, Murtaza, Rebecca and Eli at mile 53ish and then again at 55 and 58 miles. So nice.

Miles 57 and 58 were pretty rough. I walked a good bit and kind of gave up the chase. I was stripped down to something pretty raw at that point. I never caught 3rd place, and finished in 4th with a time of 10:29:02.

Excellent event. Great course. Thanks to Jim Skaggs for putting on the race, all the volunteers for braving the elements and my support crew, Aileen, Rebecca, Murtaza, Eli and Cian.

Here are some pictures:

First Lap, west side just after sunrise.

Mile 14ish, snowy section

2nd lap, sun came out.

2nd Lap, west side

Mile 11/41ish - Cobbley beach section

Mud Grass singletrack on the east side. It's hard to see but the trail was slippery mud here.

Here's the data from my watch. I used a Garmin FR 305 which is only supposed last 10hrs, but it lasted 10.5 hours and under cold conditions so that was pretty good. I was kind of looking for an excuse to get a new FR 910 but I might have to wait, or sign up for longer races.

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