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Hamster Endurance Run - 32 Hour

September 21 , 2019

40 loops, 104 miles, 3rd place female

Doing the same hundo again means there must be a new buckle offered or it is a very special race.  For me I just don’t often repeat races.  Hamster offered a different buckle this year and the other buckle I got three years ago wasn’t my jam so why not, get loopy at Lake Padden.

I was only a month out from my previous 48 hour and two weeks later I’m supposed to do another hundred so I told myself running Hamster is good training for my six day at the end of the year.  Okay any excuse will do for me to sign up for a local race less than 90 minutes from home. I also knew all the cool kids would be there.

Feelin good I ran well for quite a while.  I got to talk with friends and had a fun lap with Sue and Lydia.  My watch told me I did the first 26 in 5:15, 50 miles in 10:43, 100km in 13:40 and 100 miles in 25:40.  I’m adding these details as when I read my previous report I didn’t include this and really wanted to know.  This year the weather was great for the first 18 hours.  Three years ago when I ran Hamster it was really hot, 80s all day, so no wonder I finished my hundo almost three hours faster this year.  You get to run a little extra because the laps are 2.6 miles long and that makes 39 laps for 101.4 miles.  So officially my 39th lap finished at 26:35.

I was enjoying the run all day long.  The weather was great and I felt good, started walk breaks early so had no issues at all.  I listened to some really weird stories, called bedtime stories for cynics, not for kids.  Then music kept me going for a while until I listened to a couple of short story books free from audible.  You never know how good free is until you try it and these were good stories.  Being outside and running loops makes me happy so I enjoyed the day and most of the evening.  It wasn’t cold so I was in short sleeves and a skirt all day and night.

Then at 2 AM the sprinkles started and the rain, yuck.  I had carried my rain coat in my pack most of the day expecting rain and the one lap where I switched to my handheld it starts to rain.  So I got my bottom around that loop and put on the light rain coat which worked just fine as the wind had’t picked up and I was moving fast enough to generate enough heat.  I continued to move well but then the wind added to the rain and there were certain sides of the course you dreaded as you were more exposed to the weather.  I went through one rain coat and then another.  I brought three rain coats (and a garbage bag) as I saw the weather forecast ahead of time.  

Late in a race you have to be careful not to stop too long at aid stations otherwise you get too cold especially if it is raining.  Even though I wanted to sit for a bit after each loop I didn’t and sucked it up buttercup for another loop.  Actually I didn’t really have any low moments in this race.  I just felt good.  When a negative thought entered my mind, I pushed it away.  When a twinge of pain came into focus I embraced it, gave it its due and thought about something else.

The volunteers and race director for this race are fun people.  They counted our laps instead of using chip timing.  After one loop we came in to give our numbers and the counters had turned into fruit, a banana, a pineapple, and a green M&M?  The costumes made me giggle which is exactly what a happy hamster does. I started to call myself a hamster in my mind so each time I came to the aid station I would ask what does this hamster need?  I need more water and a Nuun tablet.  Or I need to change socks.  I’m a hungry hamster and I need something to eat.  One time I came in and said I was a wobbly staggering hamster and needed some caffeine.  They hooked me up and I was back at the wheel.  Talking to yourself during a hundo is a must and the hamster thing seemed to work as I felt strong and happy for the entire race.

After my hundred my tired hamster decided to sit for a while to think about whether this hamster wanted to go back out in that damn rain and wind.  After about 45 minutes and a Nutella pancake or two, I got myself up to do one more loop.  You always want to do just one more loop on a loopy course.  When I got back to the aid station I was so cold.  I had sat too long at the aid station and wasn’t moving fast enough to generate enough heat so I grabbed my bag of clothes and completely changed.  I still put on my shoes thinking I might do another loop if the rain stopped.   I waited for my friend Katy to pick up this sorry Hamster as you shouldn’t drive after a hundred mile run.   So I sat there for a long while and the rain got worse with sideways wind and it was coming down.  It was fun to watch Jess and Krista just crank out the laps.  I was thinking this hamster might be done.  Sue showed up and offered to have me sit in her warm car.  Then she said we could go get something to eat.  This hamster needed a burger and a shake so off we went.  I was definitely done.  Only to come back and it had stopped raining, should I do one more, nope, silly hamster.

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