Well folks, Know No Boundaries has finally put a 100 mile race to bed in our completion of Mother Road 100.3 (that's part 3). The route took us from Baxter Springs, KS to Catoosa, OK finishing at the Catoosa High School track along historic Route 66.
We had a great crowd at the start with plenty of good friends. Some adding another 100 miler to their list (like Kathy & Ken) while others were looking for their first finish. Roman, Charlotte, Caroline & I are in this group.
My two friends Ken Childress (looking for a 7th finish) & Bill Richardson & I posed for a pre-race photo before heading out onto the open road.
Prior to starting, we stood silent for the National Anthem & then we were off. Temperatures at the start were a bit cool, but it was expected to clear up & give us blue skies. And blue skies we had.Unfortunately my hydration pack (where my camera was) was not too user friendly (or at least was inconvenient) for me to get my camera out so there are not too many route photos. Besides, I was determined to finish this one.
The route wound through may small towns such as Quapaw, Commerce & Miami in the early stages of the race. It is funny though, I notice that many marathoners & ultra runners are far from vain because when "nature calls", any shyness goes out the window. Such was one case early Saturday morning when both a guy & a girl took off to the right off the road; one behind a bush & the other behind some safety barrels. In places, the only eyes were equine.
I had a GREAT crew in Cara Rogers-Nance & Randy Nance who where exactly where I needed them & when. However after dark & just prior to the Afton aid station, we were cut off by a train that decided to stop across the route. BUMMER! However this was somewhat short lives as we were only off about 20 minutes. Cara & Randy crewed for most of the first half of the race before a good friend & ultra runner; Earl Blewett; took over. Earl truly kept me focused through out the rest of Saturday night & into Sunday.
In to Afton & then on the scales. I dropped 7 lbs!; 5 more & I would be pulled. I just thought that this was one heck of a way to loose weight - - - NOT! Luckily I maintained this the rest of the race.
In to Vinita where some hot chicken soup was a taste of heaven. My son Michael had been there for a few hours lending a hand to the race doctor & offering quick massages & wraps as needed to the runners as they came through. I understand that Bill Rodgers needed (2) IVs. (Watch it there Bill.)
By now the darkness was beginning to be mentally taxing as I had been running in the dark for about 4-5 hours. Luckily I picked up my pacers; Lori & Dave Veteto; in White Oak. Lori was first up to the next aid station then Dave jumped in. They played this back & fourth game until we got to Foyil around 7:30 Sunday morning. All I have to say about Lori & Dave is that they were God-sent. For (2) people who I only recently met, they gave of themselves selflessly & I can assure you that if it were not for them, I would not have made it through the wee hours of the lonely night.
As expected, Sunday was brought in by a beautiful sunrise.
When we got into Claremore, Earl bid me farewell as his wife only had some much patience. Cara & Randy jumped back in here however Earl was totally critical during some critical times. (sorry about your cell phone Earl).
Through Vertigris & then into Catoosa was ever so welcome as I was really tired by now (no kidding, eh?), my feet hurt, my shins hurt & other things hurt that I never realized.
What I did realize though, was how great it feels to break through a major boundary & finish the race set before me.
29 hours, 36 minutes & 2 seconds for an official finish about 20 minutes before the cut off.
Roman Broyles also had a stellar performance as he hung on & persevered for a 32+ hour finish & a first for him as well.
I learned a lot from this about my fellow man (& woman) but that is for another post.
In the mean time, run on & God Bless.