3rd Finish 4th Attempt. Zane Grey 50

Zane Grey number four is in the books. It hurt as much as I remember.  I also puked as much as the previous year. At least this year I was able to keep moving and was not laid out on the side of the tail for passerby to see and think, DAMN POOR GUY. Run, walk and puke.  Well it was more like run, walk and dry heave.  At some point I had nothing left to spew.  This was the last 16 miles or so.

I am beginning to think it's elevation sickness that is getting me at this race. Either way I knowthis is one hard ass race.   I felt confident in my fueling and hydration. However, I did start out faster then I planned. Truth is I felt good and did feel as though I was not laboring. Heck I consistently took video the first 25 miles. I did it to capture this awesome trail and race.  I also did it to help slow me down and relax my mind. I wanted to feel like I was just enjoying a run in the woods.
 I am still amazed at all the diversity of runners I meet at these races.  So wonderful get a sneak peek into someone else’s world and of course share the love of ultra-running.  The rim country offers some awesome views, rocky single track, and memories to ponder.
Race video I made ZG Alex Style

When I opened up the email with race week instruction the first then I saw was the race was now going to be 10% longer in some sections. What did themean. I decided to mentally prepare for 58.  Anything less I would be disappointed about.  The early morning chatter of runners confirming and sharing their opinions the mileage to the various aid station kept us all busy in the early miles.

After Geronimo aid station the 8-10 runners running in unison soon changed to 2-3.  At least at my pace. About 13:30 per mile pace.  I really enjoy the stretch from Geronimo to Washington Park.  It’s very runnable and some nice cover from the trees. I love the adrenalin rush I get when I can hear the aid station below and love running into Washington park.  

There, my dad once again took charge of filling up my bottles, and making sure I had what I needed. I am grateful.  Thanks also to Giles also for crewing and helping my dad out. 
The new cut trail offered some smooth running as opposed to a few rocky gnarly down hills.  I was still in great spirits.  Shared some miles with Paul Bonnett. That guy sure can keep a steady pace. I started noticing some of the climbs war making me work a bit.  I was feeling a bit hot.  So I drank and splashed myself with water.

I was fueling with Honey Stinger Organic Honey waffles and the Vitamin C gummies.  I had some gels in my pack but could not stomach them.  At Hells Gate I shoved about 6 orange slices in my mouth, ate a hand full of chips and joined in a conversation about Zane Grey, the author.  I over did my stay by about 5 minutes. It was time to go.  At about mile 32 I hit a dark spot.  I had four miles until the Fish Hatchery. I kept trying to self-motivate.  It wasn’t until a gentleman from Wisconsin caught me and we begin to talk and run together.  I needed that.  

I tried to put on a Happy Face as I ran down the hill into Hatchery.  But I was hot, tired, cranky, and little aggravated. I said some obscenities, feeling bad realizing it was mostly kids that surrounded me.  OOPS.

Seeing my wife, kids, friends, dad and pacer did pick my spirits up a bit.  I was hoping for a jolt but I took what I could.  My dad filled my bottles, I restocked of Honey Stinger waffles, and grabbed my boiled potato.  John Kruell was now taking on the task of getting my cranky ass to the finish.  I told him I would run all the flat and downhill sections and hike the uphill’s.  We had some decent stretches and even passed a few runners.  

Then my damn stomach went south.  I puked up my electrolyte, and once that was gone, I dry heaved with any heavy exertion. But John kept me honest.  He sang out of key, talked work, kids and life.  We shared a few dirty jokes and some military chants.  LOL.  He kept my mind busy.  But I succumbed to my fatigue more than I would have liked. 

The switch backs into See Canyon, on fresh legs I could fly down, Saturday afternoon I jogged down them while grunting and cursing my stomach.  Near the aid station my daughters and the Widener kids were on the trail and greeted me with high fives and smiles.  All I could think about wat the Coke I was going to drink.  I had no fear of missing the cut off. I was so nauseas.   I changed my socks, got my headlamp and put on a jacket.  I knew I needed to get moving especially since I felt so sick to my stomach and id be moving slow.  

I left the aid and puked nearly the same area I had the year before.  I told John if we could walk some.  I knew there was one big climb ahead and graduall rollers all the way to the finish. I ran when I could.  We got to see and amazing sunset.  I fell twice in the last mile. The relief of finishing was overwhelming.  Surge of excited peeps high five me,  I also congratulated those i knew had ran, took a few photos, but really I just wanted to sit down. 
What a race.  Not sure I will do this one again.  3-1 is not too shabby.

Thanks go out to; John pacing.  Alex Sr. (dad) crewing, The Widener family.  (support and crew)
Giles (crew)  Of course my WIFE AND KIDS.  LOVE YOU!!

My team “WESURG” TIM, CHRIS, GILES and BRIAN. And all the newly added members and future members. 

Time to rest!


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