Mark Tanaka - 1st & 2nd after the Top 10

Saturday, June 26, 2010

1st and 2nd After the Top 10

By Mark Tanaka


The great thing about our yellow Sportiva race jerseys is that we Mountain Running teammates can spot each other real easily.  So it was inevitable that I met Bruce Grant before the scenic and revamped (to have minimal repetition and to be more challenging) San Diego 100 Mile Race earlier this month.

Although Bruce is from Canada, he actually knows how to speak English, so we could have a fairly meaningful conversation.  Bruce seemed to think I am lot faster than him, but whatever misguidedly large lead on him I may have had for most of the race, near the end I both peetered out and took a wrong turn, and he ended up finishing less than five minutes after me.  Which showed team solidarity.  We were this formidable impenetrable yellow and green wall of 11th and 12th pace overall that apparently the people who came in 13th through 19th, try as they might, couldn't penetrate.

So while we were hanging out with the other finishers, who all looked like they were up all night without sleep running in the cold dark mountains, Bruce all of sudden got really pale and dizzy and had to lay on the floor, which was a great photo op for me to showcase the Wildcat's FriXion® X-Axis rubber outsole.

I wore my Raptors, which have a similar tread pattern, but a stickier FriXion®XF/ Impact Brake System™ X-Axis™.  It is conceivable that Bruce actually kicked my ass by 1 minute, and the Raptors, over the course of 100 miles, are just 6 minutes faster than the Wildcats, though maybe you'd think the stickier thing might slow you down.  Honestly, I haven't been prepped on the this by my sponsors, and although I love both shoes I've never tried to scientifically compare them so maybe I'll stop rambling and say that just like at Massanutten, my Raptors worked great for all 100 miles of this race, plus the bonus 1.5 miles I ran after a missing a turn 3 miles from the finish.

Back to Bruce.  Eventually my doctorly instincts kicked in.  I first made sure Bruce was not dead (luckily he was not, because I really hate filling out those death certificates) and then asked if he was okay.  He asked me if I have any electrolyte tabs on me, and I luckily had two in my pocket, which I gave to him FREE OF CHARGE.  How's that for a Good Samaritan?

So here's a few post-100-mile race tips:

  • Don't stand around too much post-race.  Blood then pools in your legs and then you may pass out.  (I actually did this during the race at one of the aid stations trying to catch up on my calories.  Even though I didn't get dizzy, I could barely run for a whole mile.  Bend your knees, sit and elevate your legs, stretch out, but don't stand too long.)
  • But maybe Bruce was sitting down and just stood up too fast.  So even if you are like me and run without a crew, arrange a crew at the finish to carry you around in a palanquin.  You just ran 100 miles-- you deserve it!

unlike my kids, who need to get off and resume hiking...

  • Start hydrating and eating as soon as you can.  Usually they have food for you to eat at the finish line, but if you want to be sure, drop a cell phone at the last aid station before the finish so you can, if you get reception and they deliver that far, order an extra-large pizza to wait for you at the finish.  You can also stash a 6-pack of beer to down if you have a designated driver.
  • Sometimes they have showers at the finish so figure this out before the race and if so, bring a towel.  I forgot to bring a towel, so I smelled nasty until my wife picked me up with the kids and brought me back to the rental cabin.  Think of not just a race to the finish, but a race to get clean and fragrant.
  • Bonus for Bruce who I think carried his camera the whole race.  But if you don't do that, always have a camera in a drop bag at the finish so you can take cool action photos of your friends and teammates.

link to my longer race report, "Couldn't Blame It On My Crotch at the San Diego 100 Mile"

race website

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