04 August 2010

My Grand Mesa Adventure...Part Two

After leaving Anderson Lake AS and having a new race goal Duncan and I made our way to Carson Lake. This was the first segment in which we busted out the headlamps. DC had an ULTRA powerful prototype from Black Diamond that was awesome! It definitely helped having two lights to find the way in the darkness. The race used pieces of aluminum with 3M reflective tape attached to the metal. These worked awesome...when they were standing up on the poles that were pushed into the ground. There were times when we would light up 3 or 4 at a time and then it would turn into the big black void where we would have to run and scan in different directions before lighting another one up. At one point we were running cross country through vegetation that was up to our waists! This part of the race was surely my HIGH for the day. All I remember is laughing hysterically with Duncan about who knows what for what seemed like an hour. It was one of the most memorable moments of running in 2010- just having a blast!!! As we approached the AS I heard music. I told DC that this would be the AS where I could obtain and empty my cold carbonated unsweet drink!
As we rolled in they asked the prerequisite, "What do you need?" After answering, the AS crew looked a little hesitant. Then, Andrew appeared and handed me just what I needed. In less than a minute I drank the most refreshing cold carbonated unsweet beverage ever! I think it shocked everyone their including my wife, and AC/DC! The great part of it all is that when you are in a calorie deficit your body just soaks it all up without any of the side effects. It hit the spot!

From Carson Lake to Flowing Park miles 80-87 ish I ran great. It surprised me how well I was running this deep into a 100 miler. Was it due to my new fueling strategy? After a quick stop at Flowing Park we headed off the earth descending the Drop Off Trail. The name says it all. This descent required more of a walk because of the gradient, rocky terrain, and darkness. At the bottom I began to hit my race LOW. For the past hour I couldn't drink, couldn't eat, and began to feel like junk. Its funny how lack of calories, water,and electrolyte imbalances can wreck havoc on your mind and emotions. I turned into Negative Nancy! Duncan was a trooper to put up with me the last 12 ish miles. I knew I needed to stay positive...yet everything around me was difficult, uncomfortable, and exaggerated. I would kick the crap out of a rock and wonder if my big toe nail was still attached. Then I would catch a toe and introduce myself to the earth horizontally. All the while angrily yelling the FUN word. For some reason it made me feel better to say it, like I was winning the battle each time I got up and kept moving. In a nutshell it was an UGLY finish.
I kept thinking I was going to get passed at any moment- I was crawling!

With a mile to go I knew DC and I had done it. We trotted in the last 400M and crossed the finish line with RD Phil, Annie, and my wife cheering next to a small fire. Minutes thereafter RD Phil asked if DC and I wanted to toast with a cold carbonated unsweet beverage. It was just before 5AM...what do you think we did?


  1. Threw up into the fire?

    So, what's your read on the strengths and weaknesses of the race's inaugural year?

  2. PRETTY AWESOME:) Was there any chia in the beer? Was it corn beer...hehe...:)

  3. I obviously knew about your first 37 miles, so I was real interested to hear about your experience the rest of the way. Sounds like you had some fun, as aided by DC and some cold carbonated unsweet beverage.

    By the way, how did you find the 5 miles after the dropoff? Have trouble with course markings? And what did you think of the climb back up to Granby Lakes aid?

    Congrats on a finish, win, and CR. It was great running with you.

  4. Hi Ryan. Is there a way to contact you (email, facebook)? Would you be interested in doing an interview?

  5. Roman- I can be contacted via email at
    ryanwburch@yahoo.com I'm game for an interview.

    Jim and Jon- the race strengths were awesome people at the aid stations and another beautiful Colorado course! They could improve on the course markings. It was an adventure-the climb up Granby Lakes was steep- wasn't fully expecting that. It definitely helps to have a pacer at night to assist with routefinding.