Bloody 11W 2012 Results

Bloody 11w

Bloody 11wThe results of the Bloody 11W have been posted on the race website.

Abigail Meadows 34:48/38:46
Sal Coll 35:00/39:50
Naresh Kumar 41:03/44:17
Steve Durbin 53:44/57:44
Lazarus Lake 55:25/ 61:48
William Brown 28:22 (100 mi – Fun Run Finisher)
Frank Lilley 58:25 (100 mi – Fun Run Finisher)
Paul Heckert DNF
Thomas Nagies DNF
Stephanie Carter DNF
Christopher Knodel DNF
Brandon Wilson DNF

Laz posted about the run on the Ultralist:

Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2012 05:19:18 +0000
From: lazarus lake
Subject: not this day-part 1 (bloody 11w content)

i dont think i ever doubted that i would finish.

i had some well-founded fears about what it might take, but i knew i would finish.
what choice did i have?

i havent ever been a big enthusiast about “dedicated” races.
i cant see myself ever running a race for someone else.
ultimately we, or at least i, have to do the races for ourselves.
the responsibility of a relay is something different altogether.
you might run the race for yourself, but in a relay,
if you quit, you quit on everybody.

i couldnt quit on naresh.
naresh is a young guy,
he didnt have to spend his time and resources to organize a race with a time limit within the reach of the old farts.
i couldnt quit on durb.
durb is a lot faster than me.
he probably made his race twice as hard
(and surely twice as long)
by running with me so we could share resources.
i couldnt quit on terri.
she could have spent labor day weekend doing something fun.
maybe even something that allowed time for sleep!
terri was the kind of crew you dream about.
she understood the crew job exactly.
the crew is not to provide comfort or ease suffering.
the crew is there to allow you to stop as little as possible.
and most of all i couldnt quit on the guys who deserved to be there.
i heard from a lot of them.
people more deserving of this one last chance than me;
encouraging me, rooting for me.

talking about it prior to the race,
i found there was general agreement on the advantages the old guys bring to races.
there is experience,

well, experience and not much else.
i had a little bit else.
i had my responsibility to the team.

we left knoxville in the light of a full moon,
walking steadily.
i had on my favorite shoes, soft and well-worn.
they felt really good on my feet, but i knew they wouldnt last the whole race.
the forefoot was worn so thin i could step on a dime, and read the date.
that wouldnt matter for a while.

i focused on enjoying the scenery and counting the miles.
i always hate the part of the race where it doesnt seem like you have gotten anywhere.
until the first 30 miles are in the bank it doesnt seem real.
these days those first 30 miles take a long time.

we had to settle for reaching intermediate goals,
like seeing the start of clinch mt when we reached blaine.
at 140 miles long, it reaches well into virginia.
we would be alongside it’s base for about the next 70 miles, before turning to the east.

with us hitting 2.5 miles an hour like clockwork,
and terri performing like a pro, so that we could never stop moving,
the 12 hour goal for 30 miles was met exactly.
a couple of hours later it finally came time for a break,
and i switched to my second (and best quality) pair of shoes.

for those who dont know it,
11-w has a lot more history than just its tenure as one of the nation’s most dangerous roads.
as the natural route thru one of the oldest geologic features in north america,
it follows the route of the lee highway,
one of the first stagecoach roads into tennessee,
the main indian trail down the holston valley,
and the migratory trails of millions of years of animals back to the days of the dinosaurs.
durb was kept busy snapping pictures of 200 year old houses and various other relics.

the day was hotter than we had hoped it would be,
a whole lot more humid.
and the town of rutledge seemed to take forever arriving.
we amused ourselves by spotting a firetower atop clinch mountain,
and talking about how many there used to be up there.
an hour later durb commented; “there’s another firetower.”
it was the same one.
distant landmarks dont give much satisfaction when you move fast.
at our pace objects atop clinch mt seemed to stay in view for half a day.

good fortune held as we finally came to rutledge proper,
and arrived at the local hardees just as i was ready for a major pit stop.
indoor plumbing is man’s greatest invention after fire.
when we went inside we found paul, frank, and TJ were already there rehydrating and taking a rest stop of their own.

it was a surprise to catch anyone during a race,
even more of a surprise this early.
but terri was proving to be a powerful secret weapon.
we left the trio there, and hurried back out on the road.
the 2-lane didnt end until bean station, at 40 miles,
and we wanted to finish as much of it as possible before dark.

as we moved down the road we kept watch behind us for the trio we’d left in rutledge.
eventually we saw tj’s figure in the distance.
he’d make up ground running, and then fall back walking.
knowing how slow i am, tj will have to improve his walking technique in the future.

i had thought of the 11-w course as a perfect course,
lots of mountain views, but no major hills.
running it we discovered there were more than plenty of climbs and descents.
atop one climb i spotted the familiar shape of short mountain in the distance.
amidst all the granite and limestone hills,
it was an anomalous mountain of sand.
a silica company mining operation has left huge scars that can be seen from great distances.
atop the mountain was a tall tower,
whose blinking red lights we would chase all night long.

after a few hours terri suggested toasted cheese sandwiches.
durb & i were game.
we’d been moving almost nonstop for about 15 hours and were starting to feel a little wear.
with 2/3 of the race ahead of us we didnt need to kill ourselves just yet.
terri located a perfect spot for a picnic,
the parking lot of a factory in tate springs.
she even found a table in the trash pile next to the dumpsters.
tj caught up soon after we stopped, and joined us for supper.

it was sort of like a family cookout as terri whipped out rich delicious toasted cheese sandwiches on a camp stove,
and we greedily scarfed them down.
it was here we dubbed our little excursion the “roving camping trip in hell.”

we left tj still sitting in the parking lot as we headed out into the darkness.
just a few more miles and we would reach bean station and wide shouldered 4-lane.

as we trudged thru the darkness word trickled back about the action up ahead.
naresh and some others were having blister problems.
there had been some drops.
at least one unfortunate runner had missed the turn at bean station,
and ran all the way to clinch mountain on the wrong road.
experience was moving us up in the field.
my feet (altho slowly growing sore from the hours of unbroken walking) were unscathed by blisters.
i had studied the route carefully and committed all the turns to memory.

it was almost midnight by the time we came out of bean station.
short mountain, apparently looming over us, was still an hour or more away.
midnight to sunup is prime time for the open road runner.
traffic fades to nothing, and the runner has the road to himself.
i moved out into the traffic lanes to find a more comfortable track.

as we followed the highway’s huge loop around short mountain i encountered another problem.
some of the uphill slopes were too steep for the blood supply in my bad leg,
and i had to slow down considerably to get up them.
there were going to be a lot of hills like that on the remainder of the course.

altho i was delving into distances far beyond what i had attempted since the surgery,
i still had set out certain intermediate goals.
30 miles in 12 hours we had nailed.
besting my time at 42 miles (the furthest i had gone) was achieved.
reaching the halfway point (56 miles) in 24 hours turned out to be a lot more challenging.
i found myself pushing hard down the long descent on the far side of short mountain.
by the time we reached the bottom, and the halfway point, just a little over my goal,
i found myself just about wasted, and we had to take another break.
anything i had made up in the frantic last couple of hours was gone before we got moving again
and the predawn light revealed that we would be starting up a long, steep climb.

when i stood up on my feet again, they hurt like hell.
in what would be the pattern after every stop the rest of the race i hobbled away extremely slowly as the pain in my feet slowly subsided and my stiff legs loosened up.
durb, meanwhile, would let me get way on up the road before he started.
steve didnt have a problem running fast, he needed breaks to stretch his bad back.
we had worked out our routine over the first 24 hours,
me leaving steve behind and him running to catch up.
i couldnt move fast, so i couldnt afford to ever stop.
durb couldnt survive continuous motion.
terri, somehow, managed to keep us both fed and hydrated.

a couple of hours later i got the thrill of the race.
reaching the motel in rogersville (61 miles) what did i see but a staggering figure coming out the front door.
it was naresh.
the look of surprise on his face,
to find himself run down,
was worth a million dollars.
naresh walked with me for a mile or so before he warmed to the task and took off on his blistered feet.
durb, meanwhile had gotten much further behind than usual.
walking thru lovely rogersville, i wondered if he was going to be able to hold out and make the whole distance.

rogersville marked the end of the part of the race with a definite plan.
i had held out a remote hope that i could finish in close to 48 hours.
that was obviously out of reach.
while i had used to be able to go for 48 hours on a single 15 minute nap,
it was obvious i wouldnt be close to that.
during the night durb and i had cobbled out a plan:
run until it got really hot on the second day,
then get a room for a few hours of air conditioned sleep.
if we got far enough we should be able to finish the run in one more big push.
terri concurred.

we got lucky sunday morning and had cloud cover until nearly noon.
even tho i was still going really slow because of my foolish pre-dawn push,
we managed to get to 67 miles in a little over 30 hours
before the steaming heat and humidity convinced us it was time for a break.

while terri drove us back to the rogersville motel, we planned our break like a pit stop.
when we hit the motel everyone was doing something the whole time,
and the shower stayed in constant use.
in a matter of minutes everyone was clean, fed, and in bed.

i lay down expecting sleep to be almost instantaneous.
instead i had this incredible pain come from nowhere to engulf my bad leg.
on a scale of 1-10,
extracting my own molar without anesthetic rates about a 7.
this was a 9.
my leg was twitching uncontrollably and i had to clench my jaws to keep from hollering.
i wished i was alone, because i would have liked to holler.
after a few minutes i started to worry that even my muffled sounds were keeping durb and terri awake.
i listened to hear their steady deep breathing.
i neednt have worried.
after 31 continuous hours on the road they could have slept thru a train wreck.
for the first time i started to feel some doubt.
i finally got my leg to quit jumping around like a frog leg in a frying pan,
but the waves of excruciating pain wouldnt let up.
i wondered what i had done to my leg.
i wondered if there was any way i would be able to go on when i woke up.
i wondered if i would even be able to sleep.
and then i joined my companions in dreamland…

to be continued

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