Saturday, October 17, 2015

Our first DNS

Susan and I ran our first 100k in May and really wanted to run another 100k or 50 mile race in the fall, but didn't want to travel too far for it. Surprisingly there aren't many in Oregon or Washington that time of year. Despite having a great summer of adventure running / circumnavigating mountains (Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt Rainer), we still wanted more. 

I was in Italy about to start a hike in the Dolomites when I checked Facebook and noticed that Candice Burt posted she was going to add a 100k the same weekend as The Bigfoot 120 miler. There wasn't a lot of information about the run yet, except it was the first weekend of October and it was a shorter version of the 120 miler. The timing was perfect for us. I immediately emailed Susan and told her she had to sign us up for it, since I would be without cell coverage when registration opened up. This was our first mistake: signing up for an inaugural race without more information. 



After I got back from Italy more information started to come out, more specifically that there was a 30-something hour cut off time and that the race was 100k-ish (68.8 miles). The distance didn't bother me as much as the cutoff time. 28-30 hours is what I expect our first 100 miler to take-- not a 100k(-ish). 

Being an experienced backpacker, I know how cold it can get in the Cascades at night, especially in the fall. Plus we were entering the rainy season, I wasn't sure I was ready to run all night in the cold and possible rain, despite having all the gear for it. I was also nervous about this being our first time to run all night and that we might make a wrong turn, since we didn't know the trails well. I discussed my concerns with Susan but she said we should wait until it got closer and see what the weather was like. I was surprised that she still wanted to do it; I feel like I am the one who normally pushes her to go a little outside of her comfort zone with this crazy hobby we have. 

I had a work conference in Las Vegas during the week before the race, so I would literally be getting off the plane and rushing to the race debriefing. I told Susan we needed to decide what we were going to do before I left for Vegas, since I would need to have all my gear packed. 

A few weeks before I left for Vegas we circumnavigated Mt. Hood, which ended with us running in the dark (with headlamps) for 1.5 hours. The running in the dark was fine; I knew the trail and we weren't that tired. But we both decided we weren't ready to do that for 12 hours, especially on trails we weren't as familiar with. 

So instead of running 60+ miles, we went out to Salmon River close to Mt. Hood and ran a much shorter 15 mile loop. We beat the rain, had spectacular fall colors and a lot of fun. Also after a long week in Vegas, I wasn't sure my body could handle running 60+ miles, but of course I would of behaved differently in Vegas if I knew we were going to run the Bigfoot 100k. 


Devil's Peak Lookout

Mt Hood covered by clouds

us on the outlook


A few days after the race, the results were posted on ultrasignup: 13 finishers, 38 DNF (did not finish), 10 DNS (did not start - that is us). 

Candice also posted the following on Facebook:

Dear Runners,
Congrats to all who started this incredible event! We had some pretty crazy weather! A big thanks to the selfless volunteers, we couldn't have done this without their help. Also, thank you to the runners who helped each other out whether it be by putting logs over the trail to show runners where to go when we had course marking vandalism or by helping runners who were suffering from the extreme cold.
A big thank you to Howie Stern for capturing runners! He also braved the weather to capture some amazing photos! Consider purchasing yours to support his work! You can see the pictures here:http://www.howiestern.com/2015-Running-…/Bigfoot-120mile100k
Here are the results:
Bigfoot 120mi Results: https://ultrasignup.com/results_event.aspx?did=31224
Bigfoot 100k Results: https://ultrasignup.com/results_event.aspx?did=33811
Please message me if there are any edits needed.
Thank you for being a part of the 2015 event! It was unusually tough weather, even for the Pacific Northwest. Hope you will join us for 2016, we will be offering this event again! For now, consider the Bigfoot 200! Registration is open for this amazing point to point run in August. Why August? Sunshine, warmth, views! http://www.bigfoot200.com
Rest up & give yourself a pat on the back for however far you made it this past weekend. Epic!
Candice Burt
Race Director

The weather report was exactly what I was worried about, it did made me wonder if we would have finished or not, but I was still glad we did not start (DNS).

Congratulations to all the people who did start! Maybe next year... 




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