Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 - Race Report

The Tahoe Rim Trail Runs (55k, 50M & 100M) are extremely well run and have a great vibe.  Race Director, George Ruiz, can't be a nicer person and it's easy to see that he's a thoughtful considerable person that I am glad I supported by running his race.  The trails couldn't have been marked any better, the aid stations were perfect and and scenery was serene.  I highly recommend running one of these races.

Anyone who's been to Tahoe lately knows that it's kinda nuts when it comes to traffic.  It was convenient being able to hop on a bus that shuttled me from my hotel in Carson City up to the start at Spooner Lake.  The 3am pick up time was a tad early though.

"And I said baby, it's 3am I must be lonely."

I gulped down a yummy Fudge Brownie VFuel gel and we were off headlights ablaze at 5am.  I was determined to go out easy and keep my heart rate down this race.  I always want to do this, but over the last nine years any time the gun goes off I wanna race!  And I would always go out too fast.  I was able to take it easy for the first 30 or so.  I was pleasantly surprised to see an old friend, Elan, from SoCal and we shared some dawn miles.

photo by Facchino Photography

As the sky lit up we were treated to running on buttery single-track through dense pine forests and on ridges that offered up views for days.

By mile 18 the Tunnel Creek aid station volunteer informed me that I was in 10th place.  Perfect.  I continued to cruise at a comfortable pace.  Leaving the Diamond Peak ski resort and aid station it started to warm up and I started to reel people in.  I was surprised to catch Bob Shebest as he has the extremely stout course record on this course and he is a 100 mile machine.

Us 100 mile racers run the 50 mile course twice.  When I reached the 50 mile aid station near the start I couldn't really tell what place I was in, since we were sharing the trail with runners racing the other distances.   My dad was crewing and informed me that I was in 2nd place and the leader, Ben Tedore, left 25 minutes ago.  I got a little too excited with this news and went out a little too fast in the afternoon heat.

I caught Ben and continued to run a little too fast, I wanted to build a lead after all.  I puked around mile 75, the heat was getting to me as I descended down to Diamond Peak for the 2nd time.  I was greeted by my Dad and brother again and pacer extraordenaire, Mike Chamoun.  I almost passed out sitting at a table, trying to eat and drink a bit.  After a couple minutes I realized I wasn't getting any better, but Chamoun said we were going anyway and I didn't argue as we started up the 2,000' climb in 2 miles.

Sunsetting on Tahoe
photo by Chamoun

It started to cool down a bit and I felt a little better, so I tried to push a bit.  My stomach didn't like that idea.

photo by Chamoun

All I could keep down from mile 80 to the finish was diluted coke, but it gave me enough energy to stay upright and shuffle my was to the finish and not get caught by another runner.

as per usual, Mike lifted my spirits and paced me to another memorable 100 mile finish (in 19:56)

Huge thanks to my parents and brother for coming out to hang out with my daughter, Penny, while I raced and for crewing me!  Thanks for driving up to pace me again Mike, it's always a treat to have you there prodding me on with your contagious optimism.

I wore a pair of Drymax Lite Trail Running socks and they held up well through the dust, dirt, water crossings and heat, like they always do.

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