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Badger Mountain Challenge 100

March 24, 2023


Badger Mountain Challenge 100 is called badger challenge because you never know what you are gonna get with the weather. The last three times I came to badger country for the 100m, 50m, 15k, and 55k I had magic badger weather, no rain, little wind, and nice temperatures. This year made up for that with wind all during the race with high winds on day one and freezing temperatures over night. My hands have never been so cold, I wondered if I would get frost bite. My face, even with a buff covering it was chilly ice cold, and my nipples froze going up McBee. When I went to get a drink of water from my bottle nothing came out. And when I finally got the ginger ale to come out of my other bottle it was a slupee consistency . So much fun (not) on the top of McBee. You cannot stop for anything because you think you could die. Just get to that aid station and get back down off that ridge. Now that was a challenge. Weird kind of fun.

Before 100 milers I usually get nervous and have butterflies in my stomach. This 100, I wanted to throw up. I put my hand to my mouth several times because I actually thought I might. Badger is the toughest race I have completed with the most elevation gain, 16,000 ft. So I knew this was going be an effort. Why did I let Jess talk me in to this? Just don’t lose your breakfast before we even start. Jess tells me once we get started I will be fine. In fact that is what happened . I felt good and was running up the little hills on Badger and Candy Mtn. People were complaining about the wind in the orchards and I just kept thinking and saying what a beautiful playground we get to play in. My positive attitude was really strong for almost all of the race.

I kept my calories up with up with UCAN, a few gels, nut rolls, Oreos and cup of noodles. I usually get the burps or heartburn during a race after eating. So I tried chewable pepto bismal after eating anything big and it seemed to work. Always learning new stuff in the experiment of one. Badger people bring in bottles of filtered water which is so nice as the water tastes good, not the nasty stuff that most races serve.

On the way back to the start finish for the second loop there were some ominous clouds and you could see rain in the distance. I was a little worried that I might not get to my drop bag with my raincoat. I was also thinking that if it rains with the wind and the cold that I would happily take a fifty mile finish and call it a day. But back at the start finish I had a cup o noodles and put on pants (that I had added to my drop bag at the last minute) and changed my headgear to add another buff and headlamp and off I went before it got dark. Once you leave the fifty mile aid station you are committed to either finishing or a DNF. I was in it.

I got a little lost coming down Candy in the dark and found myself in the vineyards. Smooth move Hudson. I definitely didn’t want to go back up Candy to find the trail. I saw another headlamp coming down and ran towards it which helped me get back on track. The owner of the headlamp was Stefanie. We stayed together for a while so we (or me) wouldn’t get lost again. Thanks Stef and congrats on getting that buckle, you have had quite the year.

Now I had to get back to my drop bag at McBee to get even more clothes on, my puffy coat and thicker hat and darn it all why didn’t I add more gloves. Because my hands usually didn’t get that cold. Going up McBee all I think about was Sarah and her heated things she kept in her gloves, that would have been nice.

Well I made it, I survived McBee and enjoyed the single track down. Back through the jeep trails that weren’t that dusty this year and back through the endless vineyards to Jacobs road where they were having a party. They offered me the most amazing breakfast sandwich, yum, thanks Jack. Then the road section, the culvert and back up and over Candy. It got really warm so now I had to take off all the clothes that I had put on. This was a lot to carry. My amazing friend Jess was waiting for me at the Candy aid station and this allowed me to unload everything. So sweet. She gave me the best hug ever and told me I never have to do this 100 again. So sweet.

So many people come to badger and it is quite the family affair of local ultra running. I ran the 100m five years ago and said never again, so it takes five years to forget how awful the second 50 mile out and back will feel. I doubt I will do the 100 again but I like the idea of the 50m or 55k. I am grateful to all the volunteers and other runners who supported and encouraged us to finish. Such a great running community we have.

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