Anyway, race morning the GeekGrl and I were on tap to run 100 miles at Javelina and we took off at the starting gun with that intent. I took on the responsibility of straying on top of our hydration and nutrition but that wasn’t really necessary so I mostly started talking to other runners. The other thing about this race was, since I didn’t really consider it MY race but the GeekGrl’s race, I decided to run it as Elvis because ultimately I didn’t care if I finished and being that it is a Halloween party race it was a good excuse to try to run an ultra as Elvis.
I think the Elvis suit was a huge hit out on the course. It was fun getting all the attention and seeing people smile when I ran by but I was getting pretty annoyed with people asking me to sing them a tune. I know it’s kind of stupid not to expect that request but honestly I have never had anyone ask me to sing before so it was unexpected and unwelcome though I did eventually have something to say about it at an aid station. I told the workers at the aid station that there was a strict division of labor among Elvi and that some of us run while others sing and I could get in trouble with the union if I were caught doing both. Whatever, it was enough of a distraction that they stopped asking and it got a chuckle so I didn’t seem like a jerk.
I was also starting to feel bad for the GeekGrl because I was running the first three laps with her and this race was supposed to be about her as far as I was concerned but it really seemed to be more about me. Another thing that I should have considered.
After three laps the GeekGrl and I went our separate ways, she to her crew and me back out on lap four. I was running lap four very well and had plenty of energy until I was 10 miles into the lap at the Coyote Camp aid station. At Coyote Camp I was refueling and among the things I was considering for calories I chose some pumpkin pie. I had some earlier in the day and it tasted good and sat well so I decided to have some more and was almost immediately sorry for my choice. I can’t say with 100% certainty that the pie was bad but what I can say is that within about two minutes I was on the side of the trail throwing up and it was not like the cumulative fatigue, long hard day “I’m finally sick” kind of thing that I often experience in super long events, I was just feeling great and then I had the pie and then my stomach started grinding into knots and that was that. I experienced a dramatic cascade of nausea, pain, fatigue and, well, a bit of good sense.
I knew earlier in the day that the GeekGrl was not going to make 100 miles though I never let her know I knew because she still believed in the goal and I was going to let her enjoy that ride and reach her own conclusions. Knowing that she would be finishing at 100K I felt that it would be a really bad idea for me to push through and go the full 100 miles on her day so I decided that I too would drop at 100K. Believe me, I’m not saying that I was all gallant and self-sacrificing; I had a whole raft of reasons not to push through to 100 miles and I would have happily used each and every one of them but it at least makes me feel like I’m not 100% self-centered to know that not wanting to upstage my wife on her first attempt at 100K was at least one of those reasons.
So, I had a good time, I got to get some running in with JT who ran this as a training run for HURT, I got to get some running in with Form who (what the hell was he doing there anyway?! The man hasn't been training but there he was ready to go), I got to meet and get some running in with Joja Jogger (who finished the full 100 miles!), I earned a 100K JJ buckle to go with my 100-mile JJ buckle, I set a 100K PR for myself and I ran a 100K ultra dressed as Elvis. All pretty awesome.
However, the real story of the day is the GeekGrl’s monumental accomplishment, her first 100K finish. That solidifies her status as an ultrarunner in any country in the world. She continues to amaze me. I love her and am very proud of her and I still know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she CAN finish a 100-mile ultra.