Kettle Moraine–Judy’s Race Report

After reading Rex and Bob's great race reports, I didn't think I
had much to contribute, but I've been getting pressure to put some
thoughts down.   It took me a while, but here it goes.
 
About the time of HURT 100 in January, Bob and Rex told me about
their plans to run Kettle Moraine and they asked me to join them.
Take two flights to Omaha from Washington state, drive eight
hours to run a race in Wisconsin???   Hummm…….these boys are a
blast and it would be surely be a great time and a memorable
experience.   It would be the easiest 100 I've attempted in my short
time as a 100 mile runner (not that running a 100 miles is every easy).
I could run it without a pacer and spare my sweet Rob the duty of
joining me…….OK, I'm there
 
I spent a great night on Thursday at the Murphy home, complete
with a fabulous meal cooked by Darcy.   We left the next morning at
6AM for our journey.  The eight hours drive through the flat
countryside flew by  Those of you have had the pleasure of spending
time with Bob and Rex together will understand.  I fondly remembered
the hours training with them on the HURT trails and the laughs that
made the pain go away.
 

I thought about running the whole race with them.  It would be so
much fun - they would entertain me, keep me company.  But that wasn't
what my heart said to do.  I needed to do this by myself.    They
needed to stick with their plan of running together and I didn't want
to upset that.    After about a mile or so, I lost them, looked over my
shoulder a few times hoping they'd be a few steps away, but didn't see
them I so just ran.  
 
Because of the out and back nature of the two legs of the race, I
was able to see the boys a few times.    The first time I saw them, I
was so excited.   Bob snapped at me and shouted "stay focused".   No
love there. The second time I saw them, my blistered toe was bothering
me and I think that they were just trying to get to the turnaround
before dark, so there wasn't much love at that point either, just a
little "looking good" talk.   The third time I saw them, I was coming
back from the 85 mile turn around on one of the many, many  staircases
(who said that this race was easy?) wondering why four miles seemed to
take hours.   I tried to be chipper in the wee hours of the morning
and made an attempt to be excited to see them, but Rex didn't sound
good and just grunted at me.  I wasn't worried, as I had no doubt he
would finish.   Little did I know that his lip had swelled and he
looked as if he had a canoe hanging from his face  Darkness is
sometimes good.
I was slow and sluggish and whatever hopes I had of maybe
breaking 24 hours were gone  (I did the trail math – I had a  very good
shot at the half-way point)  It didn't matter – I felt OK and I would
finish and smartly stopped to fix my toe.    The course wasn't as easy
as I thought it would be.    The climbs were not long enough.  I love
to climb, but just as I got my uphill momentum, I had to switch gears,
run down for a little while, then climb again.    We ran through
the prairie which was pleasant scenery, but there was grass on the
trail.   A lot of it.   That took more energy that it should of.  I
swore at Bob a few times in my head as he had said "just take it easy
the first 60, the last 40 are easy."    Not so.   Four miles between
aid stations took well over an hour.   (He later confessed that he
was wrong about the last 40 miles.)
 
I made it through the night and felt as if it were a milestone –
almost as if I had "grown up".   I thought about the pacers I've had
and how much they helped me and how they made me tough enough to do
this one alone.  After all, I'm a Brooklyn girl – what business did I
have traipsing through the forest int he middle of the night.  I've
been spoiled at aid stations at races like HURT and Miwok where
volunteered take your bottles, fill them, bring you your drop bags.   These aid stations were the self-help kind   At miles 85 before dawn,
I was struggling to grab my bag in the middle of the tarp, trying not
to stiffen up as I was crouching to retrieve items.
 
The mosquitoes arrived with dawn.  I had a towelette with bug
repellent and wiped it on my skin.  They still swarmed every time I
stopped.  I'm allergic to mosquitoes and I get huge bumps when they
bite me.   I told myself "Keep moving so they stop swarming".   I
shuffled to the end.   I caught up to three guys with the finish in
sight and said to them "please run faster as I'm not passing you at
this point and I am not walking".  So they kicked it in.  There
were a few people at the end cheering us on.   I heard the
conversations of "I thought I might break 24".  That made me smile as
we were all wrong, but all happy to be done.
 
I crossed the finished line, changed so I wouldn't get cold,
grabbed the camera and waited.   I didn't have to wait too long
and Rex and Bob made up some time on me.  Watching them finish
together was great – such good friends, distance separating them,  most
of the year, but together here.   Rex finally getting it done, Bob
being there for him.  I kept thinking of how supportive Rex was in
January when I was a mess and struggling at HURT.   
 
Rex was smiling, but his face was distorted from his swollen
lip.  I gave him a hug and tried not to let on how freakish he
looked.   
 
We somehow drove the 30 minutes back to the hotel.  It's so
strange to have have three people barely functioning taking care of
themselves.  Usually, someone is around after such an event to
help.    Boy, we are so spoiled.  I think we might have slept 10
minutes that afternoon.  Rex was saying that he was happy to have
finished, that he would never run another 100.   Yeh, we believe
you.  I had a huge lump on my forehead from a mosquito bite, but
otherwise felt pretty good.  Loopy, fuzzy, not functioning well at
all.  We feel asleep early that night, but were up in the wee hours of
the morning, laughing and laughing.
 
And so we drove through the Midwestern states again the next
morning.  The ride back was still fun even though we were shot.  I
felt lucky to be just a passenger.  I got dropped me off at the
airport and I was home again in the wee hours of the morning on
Tuesday.  When the cab driver asked me for my address, I couldn't
remember it.   
 
I'm still on a high a week later.  I miss my HURT friends, but
our friendships are still there.  I can't wait for next time.
 
 

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