The first 15 miles went by in a breeze! I left the start line with Jeremy, and we were moving quick, but, I thought at the time, comfortably. By Tamarack, Jeremy was a few minutes up on me, but I was fine and running a comfortable pace with Logan and Ron Bero into Emma Carlson at 15 miles, where Alicia refilled my pack and I used the facilities.
I spent 6 minutes or so at Emma, and when I went to go, I just had nothing. My comfortable pace had slowed a ton and everyone was passing me. By mile 25, I was even walking some of the flats.
I now know that I can't go out "comfortably", because my "comfortably" is initially way too fast. Maybe that'll fix whatever's plagued my last two races. Time to put the watch back on until I'm tired. I need to implement a speed limit.
Black Hills will be a much harder race and I need to do better. There is absolutely no reason why I should ever be moving at a pace faster than 10:00/mile out there (which I was below through mile 15.8 of Kettle--a 9:54 pace including walking and two aid stations). I really have no business being faster than 12:00/mile at any 100, so it's time to relax a bit.
A big thanks to my crew, Alicia and Tony Oveson, for sticking it out there with me. Tony drove down for the event and really helped me out during the day. I still feel bad for bailing on the race just as he was about to step in and pace.
As always, it was great seeing everyone out there. Joseph Altendahl ran his furst hundo in a blazing quick time. Jeremy Lindquist took a nap at 100k, then stuck it out for his second finish in as many tries. Both of those animals were well sub-24 hours. Logan Polfuss dropped, changed his mind, dropped, changed his mind, dropped, changed his mind, and then admirably slogged to a finish. And all 10 remaining Gnarly contestants did enough to stay in the series.
See you all at Black Hills!