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2997 SD100 Race Report

by Greg Minter

The San Diego 100 ran last weekend. It's a bit inland from San Diego proper, in an area called Cuyamaca State Park. This was one of the areas hit by wildfires several years ago, so there were still lots of big blackened trees. Anny commented that "it looks like a tree
graveyard," and the terrain was quite spooky at times.

We started in the dark, on a rolling trail through some of the tree graveyard for about 5 miles, then into a 7 miles stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail with stunning views of a desert sunrise. From there, back toward the start/finish for an aid station stop at mile
20 at 4 hours, 15 minutes. From there, the course criss-crossed the highway several times. The next 30 miles had three moderate climbs, but the terrain was all-in-all pretty runnable. I came into mile 42 at 10:13, saw Gabor Kozinc and Wendy Young still there...Gabor was
having achilles trouble. Also Steve Matsuda and Diana Rush had made it down. Finally headed out to finish off loop 1. Unfortunately, it gets dark early now, and I didn't take a
flashlight out of that station...had to take it real slow and run in the moonlight down some pretty technical terrain, but finally made it in. Anny, who was crewing and pacing, was going to rest this section, try to get some sleep here.

At mile 50, picked up my head lamp and warm clothes, and headed out for loop #2. The headlamp was quite annoying (Black Diamond Zenix?)...Lots of light, but very diffuse, which meant it didn't highlight details (i.e., rocks & roots) very well. No worries. Made it to the next station (55) but only 10 minutes or so out of there, my headlamp went out. It was pitch black at this point, but I had my back-up handheld flashlight. Usually I just use it to get around in the car, but it turned out to be my best light of the night! For the next seven miles, back on the P.C.T., it was extremely windy, so much that once or twice I was almost blown off the trail. Woof!

At 62, met a guy named Adam who was sitting in his chair, having gotten sick to his stomach (happens a lot in ultras). I told him we could run/walk the next section easy, and we headed out. At mile 70, about 1:30am, picked up Anny (my fiance!) to pace me the rest of the
way. She had gotten about 3 hours of sleep and it was bone chilling cold when I stopped. She had 3 layers on and was still shivering until we started moving. At mile 82, we were climbing a big hill and saw a *beautiful* sunrise...second of the race, always a special

Heading back toward the last couple of aid stations is always great. We made it to mile 93.3 at about 27:45, so I had 3:15 to do the last 7.2 miles. The winds were crazy in this section! Tumbleweeds were thick, and more than once, Anny had to get behind me to keep from
getting bombarded. But we took it easy, and made it across the finish line in 30:11.

It was my first trail 100 in 8 years, so I guess I've still got it! I owe a lot of it to Anny, who's been a great partner in keeping me focused on my training and helping me eat really healthy...I've lost about 30 pounds this year! We also did hill repeats every week, one night a week, which made all the difference in the world. Lots of thanks to my friend Steve, too, who took over crewing duties for everyone after Anny started out with me.

One other note. On the first lap, I did great, and was passing lots of runners. But on the second lap, I kept hearing comments like "Only 6 runners behind him". How could that be? Well, turned out something like 48 runners dropped along the way (with only 100 or so entered). People were struggling behind me. So even though I was one of the later finishers, I was still a FINISHER.

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