Saturday, September 22, 2012

Superior 100 Run (the abridged version)

I had a huge, detailed, blow-by-blow account of the Superior 100 almost done when I realized, no one wants to read this...I don't want to read this.  Here's a condensed version of the same:

I ran/walked 100 miles and it wasn't easy.  Hard lessons were learned last year and so I started out slow and made sure to eat more, much more.  The first 42 miles went pretty well.  Knowing the course helped and I made it to County Road 6 much earlier than last year.

Once it got dark I started walking a lot more than running which was a mistake.  The course from CR 6 to Finland and on to Crosby-Manitou was the most runnable part of the trail.

At the halfway point in Finland I slept for 30-45 minutes and spent too much time drying my socks by the fire.  It would have been nice to have had a drop bag with dry socks and shirt.  Thanks to Dallas Sigurdur I left Finland with a dry, if not completely clean shirt. 

I chatted with Jason Buffington at the Sonju Lake Road aid station in the middle of the night.  It's always good to see folks you know.

By Crosby-Manitou aid station (mile 63) I was falling asleep walking and really needed a nap, but there was just no way I could stop and still finish.  The sky was beginning to lighten.

From Crosby-Manitou to Sugarloaf was the most trying section of the trail.  I almost dropped out.  I had to take a nap on a rock (only about 5 minutes, but it really helped).  It started raining and kept raining.  Combined with the cool temperatures I was starting to get to a really bad place.  Luckily my Arrowhead instincts cut in and I stopped, made a raincoat out of a garbage bag I was carrying (thanks to Lynn Saari), and was able to continue if slowly and unfashionably.

By the time I arrived at Sugarloaf I was a wreck.  My feet were wet and blistered, I was cold, and in a foul mood.  Kurt Neuberger and his wife (whose name I should really know) nursed me back to health with some warm soup (squash, very good), ibuprofen, and clean dry socks!

From there I started to feel better and move faster.  I started to pace off of some of the 50 mile runners and that along with some conversation made the miles pass.  Climbing Carleton Peak I was stung by a wasp which was painful but took my mind off of the rest of my pain and the ~20 miles I had left.

At the Sawbill aid station I found that I was dangerously close to the cutoff.  I would really have to book it if I wanted to finish.  I ran like an old man, but I ran pretty much the whole way to Oberg.  I was stung by a wasp once again and by happenstance met another runner from Ames.  I arrived at Oberg with 15 minutes to spare.  I would have 3 hours to run 7 miles.  That was a cushion I could deal with.

I mostly fast hiked the last stretch with a small group.  Two 50 mile runners and two 100 mile runners.  The "Stairway to Heaven" section of Moose Mountain was a welcome sight (I am good at uphills) and soon enough the lights of Lutsen were in sight.  My right ankle was screaming at me on every downhill.  More than once I had to stop for a second and collect myself.

Breaking out of the rocky, rooty trails and on to a paved road felt strange on my feet.  Like standing on solid ground after a day on a boat.  I crossed the finish line in 37:36:42.  Less than 24 minutes before the cutoff, but I finished. 

Roberto Marron, the author, and Dallas Sigurdur early in the race.
photo: Londell Pease


Jeremy Kershaw said...

Impressive, Maxwell. I have a ton of respect for the people of the 100 mile. Congrats.

J-No said...

Good job Matt!! We did the Conspiracy that weekend. I was having pizza at Sven And Oly's on Sun night and saw some of the runners limping around.

Congrats on a great finish.


wildknits said...

Thanks for the race report Matt! Always good to hear another's perspective on the race.

I too was stung, just once, in the section between Split Rock and Beaver Bay. Must be a right of passage for this race.

Sorry I missed you at the finish line!

Anonymous said...

Awesome job Matt. You were looking pretty tired at Sonju, way to pull it thru and finish this Bad Boy!

Jim Reed said...

Great job Matt. Thats one hell of a tough race

mark scotch said...

good job, Matt...I hope you saved your long version....can always have 2 posts and let folks pick.

Matt Maxwell said...

Jeremy: ...says the guy who ran Arrowhead.

J-No: I didn't know the Conspiracy was that weekend until I got home. Limping is what we do best!

Wildknits: Nice job yourself. You were hours ahead of me.

Buff: I was tired at Sonju. I love that point where you don't think you can go on and then you do.

Jim: Yes it is.

Mark: I do have it saved, but it's only about 2/3 done and not much more informative.

Mark Seaburg said...

Very strong work Matt. Careful taking ibuprofen during endurance events. Risk of renal failure is great. See you at Arrowhead. How about Tuscobia?

Matt Maxwell said...

Yeah, I'm aware of the ibuprofen problem. I've found I don't need it during bike events, but running, well it hurts more. I took 4 total during Superior though I don't know what the threshold is if there is one. Amazingly, I find that if it's not available I can still go on so maybe that is telling me something.

w/r/t Tuscobia, I don't know. It will depend on some other people's schedules.