Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Sawtooth 100 Impressions
The weather could not have been more perfect.
Sting of a yellow jacket on the ridges between Split Rock and Beaver Bay.
A heck of a bloody nose shortly thereafter (thank goodness I tied on a bandanna just in case of a "runny nose").
Incredible aid station volunteers.
Fun runners to hang with, though I quickly found myself on my own, which was also okay.
My crew: Mr. Wildknits, Ron and Rick. Can't ever thank them enough!
Paparazzi at several of the aid stations. Felt like some kind of rock star or maybe royalty.
Reaching Co. Rd. 6 before dark. Encountering an old friend volunteering there. Totally unexpected and so fun.
The joy of dry clothes.
Running through the night. The stars and milky way laid out above us. Stopping for a moment with lights off to just admire the beauty.
Mouse on the trail, confused by our lights and not sure which way to go to find safety.
Enormous glacial erratics looming out of the darkness.
Sketchy boardwalk leading to an almost fall into the creek/pond. Then watching another runner's pacer work his way across the same boardwalk on his hands and knees.
Signing in at every trail register I encountered along the way.
Watching the moon rise as we made our way from Finland to Sonju and then on to Crosby-Manitou.
Hot broth on a cool night.
Strong coffee with a dash of half & half.
A peach at Crosby-Manitou provided by Rick. The perfect solution at that moment.
My pacers: Rick and Ron. I noticed the quiet conversations you were having about me at aid stations!
Visual misinterpretations. "Why would someone leave a hydration pack hanging in the woods?"
"Looks trot-able here"
The climbs, on steps apparently designed by, and for, giants.
The wonders of a 13 gallon trash bag turned into a rain coat (and my pacer's runway description of the fashion statement it made).
Great music at an aid station (song originally written by Bruce Cockburn, followed by one originally performed by the Grateful Dead) to get me dancing and ready for the the final miles.
Feeling the legs and mind revive and being able to run much of the last 13+ miles (at least the bits that are usually runnable by mere mortals like me).
Turkey jerky from Old World Meats in Duluth = perfect mix of salt, spices, and protein.
Blister's on the balls of my feet. Hurt less to run than walk, so that is what I did.
Grabbing lights at Oberg, "just in case".
Turning the corner at the campsite and knowing it truly was "all downhill from here".
Crossing the Poplar River, cresting the final rise and heading down the road towards Caribou Highlands.
Final words from my pacer as we take our remaining steps towards the buildings.
Sprinting towards, and through, the finish line.
Finishing in a time that was at the upper limits of what I thought possible. 34:36:02(03)
The welcome by fellow runners, volunteers, race organizers, friends, crew.