HB Logo

Kansas 100

October 24, 2020

Return to Racing and who's in who's pants?


Sometimes you go to a race and have an A goal, B goal and C goal and sometimes another goal emerges along the way.  I wanted to go back to the Prairie Spirit Trail as it is a fast course and wanted to see what I could do to run a fast 100, possibly a PR.  I had run the Kansas Rails to Trails 100 five years ago during the inaugural year and had my first sub 24 with a 23:25.  So of course I wanted to better than that this time.

I traveled with Jess and was looking forward to the giggles, Ha, and fun we would have.  She was curious how fast she could run as well because we both did a lot of miles over the summer and were in good shape to throw down a strong 100 mile run.  We started together and it was a nice little warm up before she took off to see where her legs would take her.  Because of COVID runners were to start during windows of time with only a few at a time to spread us out.  A lot of runners started near six AM and we didn’t start till 6:20.  This meant that I got to pass a lot of runners during the first 20 miles and that felt good.

The course takes you on a simple one mile out and back where we saw a lot of the runners and knew we were at the back of the pack.  Then you run 49 miles out the other direction and run all the way back to the finish.  So when you get to the turn around in Iola it feels like you are more than half way done and of course it is all down hill on the way back. Ha.  Downhill on a flat course, Ha.

During the next 5-10 miles I realized my legs were just not turning over like they should.  I just didn’t have the pick up or go get em I usually had.  I wasn’t sure why and just kept running with little walk breaks.  I was still going to have a good run, possibly sub 24 but not a PR.

Around 40 or 41 miles I caught up to Sabrina who had started earlier than me.  We ran and walked and chatted and whined about how our legs were not feeling good.  We agreed that the cold was quite a change for us and may be affecting how crappy our legs felt.  I thought we would chat and then I would move on but she picked up her pace and ran with me to the turn around.  Getting to the turn around, mile 51, at 11:15 meant I could still get sub 24 or at least under 25 hours which is a good time for me.  So I grabbed a sandwich and started eating and walking. 

All of the sudden it was cold, what little wind we had earlier was now in my face and quite cold which added to the low temps in the 30s.  So luckily I had started with a puffy coat and only wore it the first mile before getting too warm.  I carried that thing all 50 miles before needing it and I was sure glad I had it. 

Sabrina caught up to me and we started moving a little faster just to keep warm.  The next aid station was ten miles away which took forever to get there.  I was looking forward to something warm like ramen.  All I got was crunchy flavorless noodles.  The aid station people were lovely and helpful and nice but noodles were not happening.

It was cold so from mile 61 to 69 we actually ran quite well.  I thought Sabrina was going to put on pants at the turn around as she had some in her drop bag but she didn’t and was still in shorts.  She whined about her feet as she was getting blisters (new socks on race day?).  She would ask the aid station people for Vaseline, by the spoonful. Now she was whining about being cold and it was cold. So we ran quite well for a bit just to stay warm.  Then the cold seemed to sap us and we drug ourselves into the mile 77 aid station which is an old train depot.

We got to go inside where it was warm and Sabrina promptly laid down on a bench and said she was going to nap.  She had been staggering as she was sleepy and the caffeine pill I gave her did nothing to help her.  She was freezing so being inside is what she needed.  I figured I would eat something have some coffee and check my feet while she took a nap.  She talked about quitting...now I had a new goal.  Friends don’t let friends quit.

I woke her ass up after 20 minutes gave her my favorite pair of pants from my drop bag, gave her some hand warmers and told her we had to get going, she wasn’t going to quit now that we had only 23 miles to go.  She grumbled but got going.  She said I got into Jill’s pants and we laughed our way back onto the trail where it was coldy cold.  Every time the wind kicked up we had to run to stay warm otherwise we were walking with purpose to get the miles done.

After another several miles we finally found the next aid station and Sabrina went right to the tarp with the drop bags and laid down.  She said she needed 10 minutes, I told her she could have 5.  Tough love, be och.  The aid station people were worried about her as it was cold.  They moved their heater next to her.  We stayed 10 minutes before moving on.  Ok ok patience.  This was a good lesson in patience for me.  I did yell at her a few times because I wanted to get done and she just made me laugh. 

After a lot of cussing and laughing about who was in who’s pants we got to the finish.  Jess came out to pick us up thank gosh as another driver friend had fallen asleep on the job.   Finally we saw a banana.  We were hoping for bananas at the aid stations, instead there were oranges, no bananas.  But at the finish line there was a table full of bananas.  We had a celebratory banana, took some pictures and went back to the hotel for a warm shower.

During the race, the last 10-20 miles of a 100 are really hard, but then you forget all that pain, struggle and strife (and the promises you make to yourself about not signing up for these things) and remember the giggling fun you had, Ha.  So now, not even 24 hours later Jess and I are looking for the next adventure.  Ha.

Return to Race Reports

Go to HudsonBeeks Home Page