These photos are displayed in reverse order.
The second half has no photos, as I left he camera with the family at mile 25. The second half was a great run because of Ryan Carter. We ended up blowing through the power lines as if we wanted more. We didn't want more.
I learn an important lesson during the second half of every race. Actually, it's a lesson that is put into practice during the entire race but the reality of which is not truly realized until later in the race: even though things seem really bad, desperate and impossible, and even though things sometimes get worse than they are presently, the key is to simply keep moving, regardless the speed. Eventually, the mind wins out over the body. The body rejuvenates. A downhill section puts energy back into the stride. An uphill is tackled more quickly than imagined. The mud puddles and streams don't matter anymore. The distance to the end does get smaller. The key is to not stop.
I also ran a little with Aaron from church.
The whole crew met me at the Duluth Zoo, the half-way turn around.
Marty, Zeke in the lap, Grace directly behind me, then Eli, Emma and #63 Levi.
I shed the camera at this point for fear of impending rain. Thus, no photos prior (after) this one. Unlike at Leadville, here I actually recognized everyone and conversed. Marty has made it very clear to me that if she's going to drag everyone to one of my races, I better be able "to acknowledge that they are there." Actually, she used much more descriptive and creative language.
Miles 10 to 22 were awful. I felt sick, weak, and demoralized. This happened at Afton as well. I know why. I'm not training as much this year. As I entered the 25 mile aid station, my only hope was that I would be able to walk out the last 25 miles and make all the cut-offs.
Sat down, drank a full can of Coke, thrust water bottle and bladder to TEAM BUTTON, and took off soggy shoes and soggy, dirt-stained socks in order to remove the tape I had placed on several toes. The tape was actually rubbing the non-tapped toes. The soggy socks and shoes went back on - why change when there was no end of wetness?
This may cause some problems at home. The boys dislike changing their socks. They try to go days without changing them. They sleep in them at nights if we don't catch it. Why? We've given up asking. They noticed that I was putting my soggy, dirty socks back on.
My goal was to be out of this aid station by 5 hours 30 minutes. I was out at 5:30:20.
The view of Lake Superior and the waterway were spectacular. This was taken on the catwalk in Spirit Mountain ski resort.
This course has the best variation of running surfaces I've ever run. Paved roads, miles of single track, rocks, roots, boulders, power line climbing, mud, puddles, dozens of stream crossings, gravel roads. And all the surfaces that I dislike only lasted for a very short distance.
Here, about a half mile of paved road before entering Spirit Mountain.
That's me. Or at least part of me. The sheen is sweat. Salty sweat. The result of nearly 25 salt tablets at this point in the race. For the entire distance: 60 salt tablets. For the last 3 hours one was going down every 10 minutes.
The infamous power lines. I figured that since I'd run at Leadville, these would be easy. I always felt that there are two possible things that could ruin me, one of which is pride. Pride is not good, in fact it's deadly, if one is overzealously wrong. I was wrong. These were very difficult climbs. Short, yes, but very difficult. Leadville is filled with climbs that border on infinity, but are manageable if one puts their head down and just plods. These power line climbs were... well, I'd just say that I've never run/walked a steeper incline in my life.
Yes, that's Steve Quick again. This time he's ahead of me. And yes, this portion of the race did resemble Bogota, Columbia.
That's me again; earlier in the race. Less sheen. Fewer salt tablets at this point. Still a lot of chest hair. Yes, that's a GoLite pack. It's my favorite hydration system so far. Positives: holds a large resevoir, stays relatively cool on the back, doesn't irritate the skin too badly, the side pockets are reachable and roomy, lots of room in back pocket for stuff, very light. Negatives: the bladder sits too low (Camelbak seems to have the best design for this), the chest strap and underarm adjusting straps are limited in how tight they pull by their design.
Start of the race. Marty doesn't get to join me for many of these, so this was a treat. That's a Garmin 305, not the newest, but still nice. The battery went dead on me just 1 mile from the finish. I have a little contraption that I found/created to recharge while running. I used it at FANS and Leadville.
The newest circular Garmin 405 appears to have the same short battery life problem. In fact, it's rated for fewer hours than the older 305. Who does Garmin think uses these watches?
It appears that the Garmin 305XT has a battery life of 20 hours. And yet, for "Sport Watch" it is labeled "No." What does that mean?
Finally, the first photo. Taken on Friday night outside the Cozy Cafe in Carlton. I met the lady in the blue FANS shirt at FANS. She's was 7 miles short of 1000 miles this year at FANS; and that's walking.