Adam Gifford - The Bear 100

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Bear 100

By Adam Gifford

I am always so impressed with people who can write long and detailed race reports. I can never seem to remember details about any of my races and I tend to just make up stuff to fill in the gaps (…I spent 22 minutes wrestling with an Ibex right after I crested the first 18,000-foot summit…). I also can only remember obscure details that really have nothing to do with the race experience (…a bit of Smith’s Marketplace jelly fell on my shoe as I ate a sandwich at mile 62.8865…).  So this is my attempt to remember as much as I can about The Bear 100 while fictionalizing as little as possible.

My girlfriend and I decided to run The Bear soon after our DNF at Kettle Moraine this past summer. She had never completed a hundred miler and wanted to make her first one “epic” (Note: I did not embellish the fact that I have a girlfriend. No really, I do have one. And no, she isn’t a supermodel from Niagara Falls who spends most of the year traveling to photo shoots which is why no one has ever met her. I have pictures and videos to prove everything). This would be her first hundred mile finish and my eighth. Since I’m more of a list person rather than a narrative person here is a list of everything that I can remember about the race:

  • I hit a really bad spot between miles 25-30. This was probably the worst I have ever felt in any race. I was back to “normal” minutes after leaving the aid station at about mile 30. We had a conversation like this:

Her – What’s wrong?

The happy couple (happy because we haven't been running for 35 hours yet).

Me – My hip flexor hurts.

Her – Here, have an Advil.

Me – I don’t want an Advil! (tantrum voice) I’m hungry!

Her – Here, have a snack.

Me – I don’t want a snack! (tantrum voice) I’m tired!

Her – Here, have a caffeine pill.

Me – I don’t want a caffeine pill!

(If you have ever been there you know EXACTLY how that conversation goes).

  • It got REALLY cold at night. Training in the Florida heat did not help with our cold weather acclimization. My Greenlayer Sports Fleece and Ozone Jacket kept me warm enough to avoid a significant drop in body temperature that would have prevented any chances of finishing. There were reports that the temps in the valleys dropped to 24-degrees.
  • The course was AMAZING. I was able to take a number of pictures and videos, but they never truly capture the true essence of the surroundings. A mountain is an experience, not an image (You can use that quote on Facebook if you want).

    SCARED STRAIGHT!!!! See kids, this is what happens to your feet when you don't wear La Sportivas to a race!!
  • Running the entire race with Lindsay was such a great experience. After doing something like that together I think we are ready for the next big step…a tandem bike.
  • An addict was born at The Bear…I was walking up my apartment steps on Monday afternoon and I heard Lindsay call down to me, “Hey! Did you know that Big Horn only has 18,000-feet of elevation gain? What are the dates for the Western States lottery?” I always forget how quickly we forget the pain and suffering…
  • Congratulations to La Sportiva Blog reader Jon Allen who took 4th place at The Bear with an amazing time of 20:49!!!

I was able to capture much of the race on video. This compilation does a much better job of capturing the feel of the race than the above missive. CHECK IT OUT -

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