2006 San Diego 100-Mile Run
by Ben Gaetos
SD100 turned out to be 103-104 miles for some of us. About two miles to the finish, a botanical researcher, unaware of the race, installed several red and yellow ribbons on vegetation. The race used red ribbons and some yellow glow sticks. It was installed on two directions. It took awhile to realize the disaster. Runners wandered until everyone decided to retrace their route.
Gary Hilliard crewed me and kept me focused. Marc Johnson, who paced his wife Tanya, also checked my condition at aid stations. I was on pace for sub 27 hrs at the 50 mile turnaround. Gary asked me to sit and reminded me to run a smart race. The most time I spent at any aid station was eight minutes. At M38 I changed my shoes as they felt really tight. Gary told me that I was ahead of schedule and had all night to complete the race with no problem at all, even walking the entire way. My stomach acted up from M54 to the finish. That was also the main problem for most runners, other than injuries and cutoff times. I took ginger candies and Rolaids for temporary relief.
I wasn't bothered from miles 50-76, without a pacer. I just kept walking and followed Gary's advise. There was quite a bit of error on the pace chart from Penny Pines to Todd's Cabin, where I hooked up with my pacer. It's 3.8 miles uphill and called for 41 minutes. From that point on, I stopped referring to the pace chart and just aimed to finish safe.
I felt tired at about M92 and thought we were lost on a few occasions. Course markers were well spaced apart. The last 6 miles, my pacer encouraged me to start running. I was able to kick off developing leg cramps. The course is mostly rocky and loose and I tripped and stumbled a few times, even in daylight.
Overall, it was a great experience. I had so many thoughts in my mind. Oct. 21 was my late dad's birthday. I marked my bib with his name. My pacer brought my wife and daughter to meet me at the finish. My wife said most of the runners were beat up at the finish and I looked like I just run a marathon (4 times!!).
79 runners signed up and only 51 finished. Thank you for all your great advice. I followed each one and kept focused, one aid station at a time.Back to story index page