Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
27:34 for Umstead. No nausea. No bonkiness. Managed well the entire time. Final 12.5-mile lap of 2:56 was my fastest of the day by 19 minutes. Very, very fun. By FAR the most fun of my nine Umstead 100 finishes.
Did 5/5 almost the whole way. Out in a pedestrian 13:15. Home in 14:19. Not too shabby. Coulda gone faster, but didn’t really want to risk another big, fat bonk, so I just kept it in second gear the whole time. Man, was it fun to be starting that final loop full of energy and running as the second day dawned. What an incredible feeling of control that was.
First 4 loops with my pal Bob Ring until he decided to drop at 50 miles. Lap 5 alone with my iPod Shuffle (run 2 songs, hike 1 … unless it’s a Beach Boys tune, then you have to run that one too. Seriously, who can hike to “Barbara Ann” or “409?”). Lap 6 with pacer dude of trail name Ram, who turned out to be a JMU Class of ’89 physics grad. Half of Lap 7 alone before catching my pal Mike Lipton and his pacer Chris Damico. Then Lap 8 with the same Chris. By the time I was finished with the boy, he was ready to do the 50 next year. :)
Nutrition: Took EIGHTEEN freakin’ S-Caps! One every hour for the first 18 hours. Mainly made it around on roughly 15 GU gels, a couple Perfect Zone bars (Wal-Mart over-the-counter meal replacement things), one can of Kirkland chocolate meal replacement drink, two cups potato soup during the night. Fluid was Gatorade Endurance, a little water and maybe 20 ozs. total of Nuun.
Weather: Low-50s at start, mid-70s during the day, high-50s at night and probably around mid-60s by the time I finished.
Aftermath: No muscle soreness. Big blister on ball of right foot, but not big enough to keep me from running Monday and keeping The Streak intact. (As of this writing, 780 days ... and counting). :)
Middle of Lap 3, Umstead race director and longtime friend Blake Norwood tells me I’m having too much fun and to get my *** moving. I tell him, “No, no. The plan this year is to come here in sub-22-hour shape, take it nice and easy, and finish in one piece … and so far, it’s all good. Maybe I’ve finally learned something.”
As I move almost out of earshot, Blake hits me with his booming baritone: “You learning something, Gentry? That means there’s hope for us all.”