Monday, May 13, 2013

Gold Rush 100K - the really hot 100km race

Can you believe running 100 km (102 km to be precise, which is alomst 63.4 miles) in 94 deg F temperature? That too when you are up since 2.30 am? It's beyond my imagination. Who are these people and why do they torture themselves! ;-) I think it is the feeling of achievement and the sense of satisfaction of doing something different and adventurous that such people get out of such races. I think this is true for race of any distance. You are just competing with yourself and trying to make yourself better each time. Once a person does certain distance, he/she wants to go beyond that distance to check his/her limits. That explains it.

This race was on a really hot day - May 11, 2013. Called Gold Rush 100K, it started at 5 am in Sutter Mill, Coloma (near to Placerville) and ended in Sutter Fort, Sacramento. It's always hard to get a good night sleep before the race, specially when you have to be up that early and drive down almost 50 miles where the race starts. But we managed!

Since it was so hot, only 81 people finished out of 235 who were registered, which is only one-third of the total. This was SRA's (Sacramento Running Association's) inaugural race. SRA has been doing a lot of popular road races in Sacramento. They did a good job with the aid stations but not with the trails. There was over-grown grass on most trails which made the trails invisible. Also, the crews had issues with reaching to the aid stations. I can vouch for that, especially the one at Negro Bar State Park. Even though the website had good directions, still it was not easy to figure out. I had to walk a lot with my bags of ice and stuff that I was carrying for Shavi, to reach at the aid stations.

Shavi did an awesome job in the terrible heat. He kept hydrating very well and having enough salt. Pouring water on him at every aid station helped. He also had a bandana tied on his neck which he would refill with ice at every aid station. He would also put ice in his cap and put on his head, which helped in the heat. He was wearing a cap with a neck-cover which also helped from the direct heat. In spite of all precautions, Shavi was chaffing badly because of pouring water on himself (and so were most of the people). So he kept applying vaseline at every aid station (after 38 miles), which I was carrying with me. He ran the first 38 miles without me coming to any aid station but after that the heat made it miserable and I went to every aid station to check on him, which were 5-7 miles apart from each other.
He finished the race in 13 hours and 45 minutes and was among the top 50 finishers overall and top 10 in his age category. 15 hours was the cut off time to finish the race. Most people were pulled off mid-way in the race because they could not meet the cut-off times. It was terrible hot and there were some bad hills. Shavi finished at around 6:40 pm. He looked strong but later we found out that his toes were all blistered and hurting him bad. He had twisted his ankle around mile 25 in the race but kept running all the way. What a great will power! The paramedics who attended him after the race told him that it seems like a fracture. They freaked us out. It seems all swollen and very painful for him to walk. Hope it's not a fracture or anything bad since he is able to limp and walk. Will be forcefully taking him to doctor today.

Well, something is bound to happen when you run that kind of a B.R.U.T.A.L. race. But all I can say is that I am super-proud of Shavi! Can hardly wait to crew him for his next big one - 100 miles in Tahoe in July 2013. I am freaking out for that race more than anything! Until his big one, he will have to remain injury-free, eat healthy and do a lot of training. Good luck Shav! We are with you:)

UPDATE: Back from Orthopedics Dr.. He got Shavi's X-ray done and did not find any major problem with the bones. He said that it seems like a ligament tear. RICE will probably make it better: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Big Sur Internation Marathon - April 2013

When Shavi had registered for the Big Sur Marathon (26.2 miles), we would not have thought that he would get into Ultras (races more than 26.2 miles) so crazy by this year that this would just be another training run for him. Registration for Big Sur Marathon opens one year earlier than the event and gets filled up in hours. It is pretty expensive also. Probably due to the fact that they have to close Highway 1, the main highway from Big Sur to Carmel for this race.

We stayed in Carmel for the race since the finish line was in Carmel. The race starts in Big Sur and there are shuttles from Carmel, Monterey and Big Sur to drive you to the start line in the cold early morning. The shuttles start at 3 am and they run until 4:15 am, depending on from where you are being transported. Believe me, waking up at 2 am for the race was not the best thing for me (and for Shavi).

I had to book the hotel in Carmel almost a year ago since the hotels also fill out very fast. We stayed at Clarion in Carmel since that was the only one available at that time. It turned out to be a nice hotel for a night's stay.

Shavi reached the start line almost 2 hours before the start time (because that is how it works with shuttles). There is no way for someone to stop you at the start line. Shavi said it was foggy initially and quite cold too. They had great aid stations and lot of porter-pottys at the start line and on the course. He wasnt too happy about the course though. It was scenic, no doubt about it but the course is injury prone. The highway one is kind of at an angle, which makes your feet not run at the same level, which can lead to injuries. He took it easy in the race, enjoying the views and clicking pictures on the course:)

Not to mention that the race did not give much swag, even though it was pretty expensive. Only a medal at the end. It was hand-crafted though. The post-party food was also just ok - nothing spectacular. I do not think Shavi or I would want to do this expensive race again but this is just a personal view.