Monday, September 23, 2013

The Georgia Jewel 35 mile – Learnin Stuff with the Crew of ill Repute

     This was set out as a training run and a way to learn something about 100s from some 100 mile runners during a 100 mile race. I have been looking at maybe doing a 100 miler next year and what better way to learn what you need to do? O I know…. run as much as you can during a 100 mile race. I have been lucky to crew for a 100. Well what about the start? How does that need to “go down”? Jason was running the 100 and win win for me and hopefully him. I get to learn some things and he gets somewhat of a “pacer” for the first 17.5 miles of his race.

Well what did I learn?

Pay attention to the weather and prepare for it AND every other thing that could happen. A poncho is NOT the best for a rain storm.  It dropped rain for 10ish hours so yea that kind of sucked. The fog was crazy real zombie weather.

Spend the money on a good head lamp. Refer back to the first lessen.

Hike, Hike and Hike. I need to spend days hiking for hours not just running. I don’t want to be at mile 70 ready to drop or die because I lack the skill to hike with speed.

Start out easy. I understand what they say by “the race starts at mile 50”.


      Anything that can happen just might happen. The rain got out of hand fast and God bless the RD and the team that held this race together. A river crossing got to be a real danger like let’s take some runners and maybe even a truck downstream DANGER. The Race team worked fast to hold the runners and find a way to divert the race. This made it 113ish miles in total BUT runners were able to finish what they came to do “get jeweled”. I hope and believe that everyone understands how hard it is to do something like that and have no hard feelings for it. Some runners got off course during this time and like I said God bless everyone involved with this event. Everyone was found, put back on course and given the chance to finish what they trained so hard for. This speaks volumes for this race and the commitment of everyone attached to it. Aid Station volunteers sitting in the rain for 10 + hours holding it together. Rain coming down so hard at times, wind blowing everything they have over, having to chase down runners and gear. Not only did they hold it together but were still able to make it a great event. As I sit here eating pizza and drinking a beer I can’t help but think what the RD and the race team has going through their heads right now. The event is over for us but not them.

OK now let’s get with the getting.
The Start
     Nice morning to start a run other than the MONSOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We started going up like really UP a road. Taking it easy in the back sucking up everything I could from not just Jason but the pack of about 6 - 100 mile runners all talking about past experience and planning. I just kept my trap shut and tried to take it all in. After we got to the “rock garden” I started to open up a little bit and joke around hoping to keep the conversation going between everyone. I was so excited to be running back through this on the comeback. I love rocky/rooty tails and this was my own personal heaven.  I thought boy I will be able to move like the wind when the sun comes out. We moved at a pretty steady 16 min mile with some running but the majority was hard/fast hiking and joging and every couple minutes I would have to run/jog to keep up or catch up with everyone. They were hiking like it was nothing and I was struggling to keep that moving pace without running. As we started seeing the 35 mile runners coming back after the turnaround some quite took over. I tried to get a conversation going but no such luck. I was not sure if they were just getting into the zone or if they were just tired of hearing my voice. Either way I just shut up. Thinking back on it after 4 hours of rain and the sun finally coming up I think it was just them accepting the fact that it was going to be a long day, it was going to rain, it was going to be cold and this was a hard trail. There was nothing they could do about it and they just had to accept that this was going to be their day/night/day. No complaining just moving forward. We hit the 35 mile turn around in 4hours and 30 minutes and I got ready to start my race. Jason went off with his crew of Nick, Annie and Bryan while I started tearing ass down the trail.
Chris at the river.

Just a little watter

Nick making some lunch
I got a really good look at the runners before the turn around and I thought that if I pushed it I could pass a good number of them. I did not really see a “mid pack” Just the fast group and then the pack right before the turnaround. I thought I would hit a pack of runners the first hour of the turn back then the “mid pack” the last hour.  I was hoping that I would make the return trip in 3 hours. The first hour I just zoned into the trail and passed 10 or 11 runners before I hit the 10 mile aid station. I restocked and asked how far behind the next runner was I? He said that he thinks the lead pack was crossing the finish right about then. At that point I started thinking hell there does not seem to be a mid pack. I was just 2 miles away from the rock garden and I knew I would really be able to make a move then. As I got to the start of the rocks it hit me that this is going to be a really hard end to my day. The rain got even harder and the trail was smooth with water. It was not the rocks that were the problem it was the fact I could not see any rocks. The water was up to 6 inches deep in spots. I said HTFU (thanks Bo) in my head and just pushed as hard as I could. That luck lasted for about a mile before I ate it. I ended up ripping one of the lugs on my running shoes but the fact that the lug ripped and bent stopped my ankle from going sideways so I started walking and clearing fallen trees from the trail until I felt comfortable running again. This lasted till mile 28.45 on my Garmin. At that point the wind kicked and a tree fell along the trail right next to me. I looked up and said “really bro” and thought dude this SUCKS for the 50 and 100 mile runners. I just moved at a safe pace for the next 2 miles until I got to a point that I could get moving again. My hip started hurting long before this point but again I told myself HTFU it’s pain from running and either you can keep bitching about it or just accept the fact it’s going to hurt and keep hurting until it does not hurt anymore. “stop being a little bitch” “remember you had some manhood at some point In your life where did it go?” So moving as hard as I could again it hit me that for this 35 mile run I had only drank 60oz of water. I thought WTF??? That’s not right? That’s not good at all but I have been peeing every hour. (am I absorbing water through my skin?) As hard as it was raining I would not doubt it. O well lets finish this beast. As I was getting close to the finish I started walking a little to “fix myself up” just in case there was someone taking pictures. I did not want to look to beat down crossing the finish. I came around the turn at a nice hard pace to the finish and yep. It was just an Ultra finish. 4 people under a tent yelling “what’s your bib number?” hahaha I love it.

     Total time from my Garmin was 7:59:57. So 4:30:36 out and 3:29:20 on the ride back not quit the 3 hour return I was looking for but extremely happy considering the conditions.

     When I hit the finish they told me that there was a sandwich in a box if I wanted it. As I’m stuffing my face a guy pulls out a camera and takes a picture and all I could think was “really? You’re taking a picture now?” Well hell. I told everyone thinks and started walking back to the FJ. One of the men yelled “do you want your award?” O cool we get something? The race bag was sweet and we got a great zip up hoodie AND now I get a finish award “hell yea” I replied. He yelled back and told me “you see that van driving away? Better catch them” so I took off as fast as I could chasing this van down. I thought I just ran 35 miles and now I’m doing a 100 yard sprint for some finish award. I just stopped and looked at the guy and yelled “really?” hoping he was just joking with me. “YES it’s in the van” I just looked down and said the hell with it. I came for a good run and learn some stuff and I got that in spades. I was more than happy and now I just want to take a shower but just then the van turned around and drove back to me. O HAPPY DAYS O HAPPY DAYS. It slipped her mind that the awards were in her van. I’m sure the problems with the flood and course reroute and all the tents blowing away the last thing on her mind was the box of jewels.

     Everyone did an amazing job. Phyllis got first female in the 35 mile race, Rachel, Angela and Katie all finished the 50 miler with some extra miles. Nick, Bryan and Annie did a great job crewing and pacing Jason to his fifth 100 mile finish. Got to see a lot of Ultra friends. All in all a great event and a great weekend spent on the trails. I will be running this bad boy again. Maybe the 100 if I do get a wild hair up my butt.
Crew of ill Repute picture taken by Bryan. 


  1. Thanks for the company early on. It was a nice distraction from the mess at hand. Youre a great runner. That split back was amazing in the storms!

  2. Thanks bro. I learned a lot hearing y'alls stories and seeing you in action.