Congratulations to Joe Galope (Runner of the Week) for his completion of the Umstead 100 mile Endurance Run near Durham North Carolina. Joe is pictured above with his pacer Honey Mary Albercht. They aren't married. Joe's full report below. Nice work!!
Runner up goes to Robert Andurlis who ran the Barkley Marathons 100 mile run this weekend. The Barkley is considered one of the toughest 100 mile races in the world. It has 52,900 feet of climb (and 52,900 feet of descent), more than any other 100 mile race, more than the 33,000 ft. of climb at Hardrock, and more than the 45,000 ft. at Nolan's 14.
Since the race began in 1986, only 8 runners out of about 700 have finished within the 60 hour cutoff. 5 loops of 20 miles each. Robert finished 1 loop in 11:34:05. Hardrock is easy???
Joe's Umstead 100 race report:
The Umstead 100 Mile run is a great run that takes place entirely within the Umstead State Park. It's located between Raleigh and Durham in North Carolina. Logistically, it is a very convenient for both the runner, pacer and crew. It's geographic location is less than 15 minutes from the airport, a variety of hotels, restaurants, and stores, yet when you are actually in the park you get the feeling that you could be a hundred miles from civilization. The race course consists of four and a half miles of out-and-back with eight mile loop in the middle to total a 12.5-mile circuit that would be completed 8 times. The running surface is what we Arizonans might describe as a very well groomed forest service road. With the exception of the first and last 0.6-miles of each circuit, the course was rock-free and smooth. The "rocky section" was the turnoff to race headquarters where the start/finish and main aid station was located. Describing it as "rocky" is sorta silly for anyone that runs trails out west, but there were rocks (I saw them....and felt them on laps 7 & 8). The course is hilly. Very little of it was flat, mostly a gradual up or down, with the exception of the back side of the loop portion of the circuit. They call it a "saw blade". A two and a half mile section of short steep ups and downs.
One of the climbs I would estimate was at about a 17% grade for 800 meters. There are two main aid stations at mile 0/12.5 and mile-7.
There are also unmanned fluid aid stations at mile 3.5/10.5, mile 5.5 and 8.5. I ran this with a single bottle and never filled my bottle to 100%. Aid was good and plentiful. One unique thing about this race is that all twelve miles of the course was marked with mile markers, so you always knew exactly were you were and how much you did (or had to do).
The weather was near perfect. It was in the low 50's at the start and got to a high close to 70-degrees. Although it was a cloudless sky, the abundance of trees on the course provided for nice shade.
STARTED OFF WITH A BANG
After dropping Sonya off at my mom's, I picked up Honey (my pacer and
crew) at her house on the way to the airport. Backing out of their driveway, "Bang!" I backed the BMW right into a tree. "Frak!" Small dent in bumper with small removal of paint. Hopefully, we got all the drama of the weekend out of the way right there. The non-stop flight into RDU was 4-hours, and with the 3-hour time zone change our 9am departure got us arriving at 4pm local time. After picking up the rental car, we went straight to the race headquarters at the start/finish just in time for the pre-race briefing. Although I had read all the details of the race many times over on the website, I figured we'd stick around to see what they had to say. It went something like this, "Thank y'all for com'in. I'd like to thank all the volunteers for making this race happin'. I'd like to thank my brother Darryl....I'd like to thank my other brother Darryl....." After about a minute of that I figured I had heard enough and was in the mood to get something to eat. We checked into the hotel, went to dinner and counted how many time the waitress said, "Y'all" through the course of the evening. The answer was nine. Back at the hotel, it was lights out by 9pm to try and get a full night's rest. In the weeks leading up to race day, I made a point of trying to get to bed very early to try and semi-adjust to the time zone change. I slept decently I guess. The alarm went off a 4:30am (1:30 AZ time ...ugh!) As we were getting ready, we had the South Park episode on TV where Cartman was pretending his hand was J.Lo singing the song, "Taco Flavored Kisses". This song was going through my head for at least 40-miles.
"WHO IS JOANN?"
I had hoped to go through the first half in 9 hours, followed by the 2nd half in 11-hours with a goal of a 20-hour finish. The first 50-miles were pretty uneventful. Having Honey there was priceless. She would meet me a few hundred yards from the main aid station, take my pack and water bottle, ask me what I needed, give me updates on everyone who were sending text messages and commenting on Facebook. Because the park was so close to the city, we were able to get a 3G internet signal on my iPhone. She told me, "Jim says: 'Go Joe Go!', Carol says: 'Good luck', Joann says: 'Way to go!" Getting those messages really meant alot to me. Thank you everyone who sent them. Then I asked, "Who is Jo Ann?"
The name didn't sound familiar to me. Honey couldn't remember her last name. We passed the rental car on the way, she took my stuff, I ran up the aid station and ran back where Honey would give me a new bottle with my pack refilled with GU and necessities. I remembered who JoAnn is.
My mother! Ooops. ...and I had only run 12 miles at this point, geez.
The nature of this course is unique. Getting to see all the other runners is entertaining. I got to see that battle for the lead between some young dude who flew off the front right from the beginning, the multi-time winner, Serge Arbona and veteran ultra runner, Joe Kulack. I also got to see other runners when lapping them and on the out-n-back section. This is something you typically don't see in most 100's because they are generally point-to-point or a big loop, and you'll only see the people close to you.
I went through 50-miles in just under 9 hours, then through 100K in around 11:45 just before 6:00 p.m. Honey started pacing me at this point. It was still light out as it didn't get dark until 8:00 p.m. I slowed significantly on the 7th lap. A sub-20 hour finish was out the door, but my energy levels were still good, but my legs just weren't turning over like were earlier.
DON'T CALL ME "MARY"
On the eighth and final lap, things got interesting. It was starting to get cold out, my legs were tightening up alot. The hamstrings would just ache when I walked, and my quads were killing me when I ran. At 94-miles that was the last of anything that I would call "running". I was hiking it in from there. Then the temperature dropped and all I had on was my RaceReady long sleeve top, hat and gloves. I was getting cold, real cold. Honey gave me the lightweight jacket she had, which helped, but I was really cold. At the last aid station (94.5 miles) Honey donned a garbage bag to wear for warmth. Being cold for an extended period of time is really awful. It's hard to describe to someone that hasn't experienced it, but it is not fun. With about a mile to go, we lapped another runner who was in really bad shape. She was staggering side to side and her pacer may have actually been holding her up. A little while later, a race vehicle comes up to us from the other direction (sorta a golf cart 4x4 thingy) beaming their flashlights in our face. At the time, Honey had her arm around me to try and control some of the shivering. A voice calls out what I think is, "Hey, Are you married?" I immediately joke back, "No, not yet!" He drives off, says nothing. A few moment later Honey says, "I think that woman we passed is named 'Mary'". Ooohh...I guess that question makes more sense.
I finish a little after 4:00 a.m. with a time of 22:14, for 38th overall. 249 people started the race. 132 finished the whole 100-miles, 109 people finish at least 50-miles. Soooooo happy to be done. Sooooo happy to get in warm car, to the warm hotel, to sit in a warm bath.
By Tuesday, two days after finishing, my legs are still rather achy.
I'm walking normal, but my feet are a tad swollen. Three blisters: two huge blood blisters on the outside of each big toe, and a single nickel sized one on one of my pads. Not once, did I ever mess with my shoes or socks. I'd recommend this race, it was very well run and a very nice course.
Thank y'all for reading this and for y'all's support. Joe.