The 2015 version of the Buffalo Run marked the fourth year in a row running out on the Island. In 2012 it was my first 100 miler. The last two years were attempts at “fast” 50 milers. For 2015, I opted for the 100 mile. I have no real rational as to why.
I consider myself a pretty inexperienced 100 mile runner. I’ve learned a lot since that first one in 2012, but I’ve also learned that a lot of weird and unexpected shit can happen over 100 miles. With that in mind, I still had some goals going into this race. Some of these included;
– Run a 100 mile PR (sub 21:23)
– Try not to puke too much
– Run sub 18 hours
– Talk to as many animals as possible
– Eat solid food for more than 20 miles
I am proud to say that four out of five of these goals were accomplished.
Breein and I made it out to the island around 11 AM for the Noon start. I meandered around a little bit, said hello to the HUMRs running the 100 mile distance, and finished up a pre-race McDonald’s meal. The first 19 miles on the backside of the island went well. Running with Bob and Jeremy kept my pace in check. It was hot. There was no reason to push it early… I managed to not run stupid… thanks to them. We hiked the switchbacks. I almost stepped on a snake.
Back at the start/finish area; Breein switched out my hand held and I was out quickly. I left the aid station ahead of Bob and Jeremy. I think I was in 5th. The first time through Mountain View went well. Each aid station, Breein switched out my hand held. I was drinking Tailwind… my stomach was oddly fine. At the Ranch, I was in 4th. I don’t recall how that happened. Coming back from the ranch, the 3rd place guy was talking to a friend that was heading in the opposite direction. We exchanged a few words. His friend was a pretty ripped dude from Colorado (I assume this due to his Colorado flag buff). As I passed he gave me some words of encouragement and slapped my ass. That was easily the highlight of my race thus far.
I don’t remember much the rest of the way until Bridger Bay. I knew I was right behind Phil. I knew I told Lori I would be in a specific spot around the 7:45 mark so she could get a nice sunset photo. I ended up getting there a little late… I apologized. Just before the halfway mark, I passed Phil and was in 2nd place. Lap 1 came in around 8:20. I felt amazing.
The second 19 miles on the backside on the Island didn’t go quite as well as the first. I slowed a bit, but didn’t crater out. I felt good, just not as fast as I probably should have been able to run.
Coming back to mile 69/70, I wasn’t feeling too hot. My stomach wasn’t completely gone, but I felt a little out of it. I sheepishly asked Breein if she could start pacing me at this point, instead of Lower Frary. Thankfully she said yes, this was a huge boost. The miles from this point to Lower Frary were easily the most enjoyable of the race for me.
At Lower Frary, Breein must have decided that she wanted to push the pace. We swapped positions. She started to lead, and proceeded to run me into the ground. I just hung on.
The miles from the Ranch back to “the fence” were a grind for me. Bob had mentioned to me that he loves this race because he considered it an “absolute mind f$ck”. This was true. The second time on Mountain View can mess with your mind. We ended up running it well. Our lead on 3rd place was roughly 40 minutes with 16 miles to go, so we didn’t exactly have a huge sense of urgency.
Before I knew it, we were back at Bridger Bay. At this point, my goal was to go sub 19. With 4 miles left, this looked to be a reality. I managed to not eat it on the rocks on Lakeside and rolled into the finish in 18:47, good for 2nd place overall.
Now for some random thoughts:
– Breein pacing me from the 70 mile mark easily bought me an hour on my overall time
– I kicked roughly 150 rocks with the same two toes. Each time I said out loud, “Are you f$cking serious?”
– Running with the UltrAspire Spry and a hand held was genius. I finally ran with an appropriate amount of water… not two liters strapped to my back
– Getting your ass slapped by a muscle bound runner from Colorado is an immediate confidence booster
– Jim’s hand made finisher mugs almost makes up for the pink male shirts he had a few years ago.
– The buffalo were complete a$$holes this year.
Until next time!