Hills from Hell – Director and Volunteers from Heaven

I have been excited all week that my son is here. He came back from his Freshman year at the Colorado School of Mines in early May, spent a few days here and immediately left for Germany for an immersion course as he will study there all next year. He returned last Monday night and it he has sure matured well, and now he can insult me and I will never know… Between that, my weight 9 pounds more than last year at this race, and a killer week at work, I wondered how I would do this year?

I was not able to get to sleep Friday night, mostly from nerves but mostly fireworks… They seemed to never end. I woke at 4:00 AM and had no issues from the time I got up to the starting gun. The race was very uneventful for me, well sort-of…. I had a goal of keeping the heart rate in the 120s for the first half and trying to stay in the 140s for the second half.

I was happy to see Philip once again at the start. He sure has been working hard since the Superior 100. Last year, I went out faster and did not see Philip until the end. This year, I caught him up in the downward slope at about mile 23, once again he was moving well, but at 250 pounds, I tend to give up trying to slow down on the downhills. Someday i will really regret that!

To start the race, I hooked up with Les who I pretty much ran about 10 miles together. Once again, as two weeks earlier at Grandma’s, it was early in the race when Karen Gall passed me, with that great attitude, she will always succeed. She is so consistent.

After the first river run on the first loop, Les looked strong and I never saw him again. (Until the end.) I came into the half in 3:38, which was 23 minutes slower than last year.

The second loop I started with a young woman from Roseville, can not recall her name but she runs with Lynn Gannon. We ran to the first aid station and then she was gone. She was looking strong and it was a pleasure to run with her. From that point on I met several people and as I just kept going. Was not worried about time, I just watched the heart rate monitor. I had been drinking 20-30 ounce of fluids an hour, which is more than I would typically drink, but I was sweating a little more today.

It was strange that even though I felt slow, I did manage to pass five people during the last 10 miles. The knee was good, (I did take a dive in on the snowshow track, those who felt the ground shake, assure me, it was not an earthquake, just me falling hard and rolling.) the heart rate was down and I just kept going on. I was really having an indifferent run. In the words of my old collage professor, he said there are “days I feel like a wart on a fat man’s butt”. That means I am just hanging in there, no one notices, no one cares, we just are being. That was this race, I was just being… Not really concerned about the time, just the heart rate.

Well, I was surprised at the finish I had ran 3 minutes faster than last year. That means I did the second loop 25 minutes faster than the year before. I know people thought the heat was more of a factor last year, but I felt it was warm this year as well. I know I did not recall sweating as much last year as this year, I was drenched, but was really heavy in fluid consumption. I took one S-Cap at mile 10 and 2 more at mile 20.

After the race I got a chance to talk with Wayne, who successfully completed the 25 K. I was able to see Philip come in, just under the 8 hours mark… Had a great conversation with many people including Mike (I think that is his name?) who was a fellow trail mix aid station worker who did the 50K also. He has some great results in Chippewa and did well here. GREAT JOB! There was Karen’s friend from Norway. He finished and we were expecting expletive in Norwegian, but I think he was to tired… I know I missed a few people…

All in all this is a great race because it has such a dedicated Director and the greatest core of race volunteers. Without the hundreds of hours these folks put in, this would not be the event it is and I can never thank them enough for giving so many the opportunity to compete in such a wonderful event.

Carry on!



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6 responses to “Hills from Hell – Director and Volunteers from Heaven

  1. phillip

    Londell, when you were coming down Nigel’s Hill it was like a freight train. . . there was no stopping you.Fantastic!Man, you can sure move — and in the heat, too.Looks like you’re on pace for the Superior Sawtooth. Larry told me at the finish, “Imagine: you would have another 70 miles to go at Sawtooth.”My reply?”No way I can do that. I want my money back :)”Phillip Gary Smith

  2. Wayne

    Way to go, Londell. Obviously going by heart rate was a good plan and I’m glad it worked out so well. And I’m really glad the knee is back.

  3. keith

    Good to see you yesterday! You did a great job out there! I thought it was hot, too. I couldn’t drink enough, I tell ya.And when I got home, nothing in the cupboards was safe.Way to go and keep up the good work!

  4. Kel

    I think Afton is a great test for the knee! Sounds like you had a great run!

  5. RunWesty

    Good effort, nice meeting you again, glad the knee held up. Now you can focus on Superior.

  6. SteveQ

    Great to see you out there. Looks like your knee’s holding up well.

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