Down By The River – Overlook 100k

I think a lot of the ultra-runners, at least those in my level (or maybe even the fast ones), might be a little crazy.  Yesterday, I attempted to run my first 100k distance trail race, called Overlook 100k.  This race is located in Auburn, California, and follows some of the Western States trails and the route for the WSER 100 mile run. Although I didn’t end up finishing Overlook 100k trail run yesterday, I ran/hiked about 52 miles of the Western States route, and experienced one of the most beautiful and challenging trails in California.

With about 8k feet of climbing done at this point, and at 2k feet above sea level, it was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit as we got closer to noon.  I almost gave up, after heat exhaustion and running out of water 2 miles before the next aid station (I thought I was running in Vegas!).  Jill (my first pacer) and I crossed a raging river (it felt like it was at least 200 yds wide – it was the American River); the strong currents were pushing me downstream, good thing we were attached to the cable and volunteers in the water were making sure we don’t drift downstream.  By the time I crossed the river, the water was to my chest – something about they had to open up the wall (something) so more water flowed downstream.  Later on I saw the photos of other runners, and the water was only to their knees.  I guess if I were running faster then I would not have been crossing the river later in the day when it is at higher levels.  The kind man in the kayak took our hydration packs with the electronics in it across the river, so it does not get wet.

When I reached mile 41, after resting and getting an ice massage at the aid station, and my awesome pacers and crew getting me changed into a dry shirt and dry socks, I felt refreshed and continued on, since cutoff times were extended. My second pacer, Richwood, and I went off, taking it one aid station at a time. We ran and picked up the pace. As darkness drew near, the many different sounds in the trails (crickets, leaves moving), and sights (a bat flying in front of me, large poop on the ground with berries in the middle, that did not look like horse poop), made me really paranoid and scared, that it made me run faster. We made up almost an hour running in darkness with just our headlamps and flashlight. Finally at Brown’s Bar aid station, we had to be stopped as it was passed the cutoff time.  My race was over at that point.  The only thing that was really bad was that we had to wait an hour and a half at that aid station where we were stopped, before we could be transported back to the finish line.  There were no other cars available to take the rest of the runners that were stopped, and the rest of the aid station supplies.

It was still a wonderful experience and would do it again. Thanks to my awesome crew and pacers, and the volunteers at the race, I couldn’t have gone this far without them! I did this race because I am turning 40 this year, and I wanted to celebrate aging up to the next decade.  One would think that one gets wiser as you get older. I’m just getting more cray-cray as my sister, Raciel, would say…

Some statistics about this race:

51 runners registered for 100k

16 finishers

27 did not finish (including me)

8 did not start (smart ones)