Run Across Haiti Day 8

So to recap yesterday:

  • Up at 4 am
  • Running by 5 am
  • 28 miles, felt really strong and had to hold back since I knew what today would bring
  • Trucked over to the Eucalyptus House, where we would be for 12-13 hours…
  • Lunch at arrival, Dinner at 6, “breakfast” at 11 p.m., in the trucks by mid-night to drive through the middle of Port Au Prince, then starting a 52 mile run to finish things out
  • Tried to rest as much as possible between lunch and dinner, dinner and “breakfast”

So this run we’d be in pods.  I was given the choice of pod 1 or pod 2, as I’ve been in a bit of “no man’s land” between those in pod 1 and pod 2.  In reality, I’ve run in to the 10k or 15k marks with runners in pod 2 most of the runs, but finished just a few minutes after runners in pod 1 on those same runs.  (I guess that makes me a slow starter — or maybe I’m just maintaining?  Would have to check Strava data, I guess.)

Anyway, I chose pod 1 so I’d be with Jase, Matt, and Dan.  They told me they’d be happy to run 9:00’s for the 1st 25k, so that’s what we did.  Well, the 1st couple were a touch fast, but the guys backed off for me.  But it soon became apparent that I was struggling at even 9:00’s.  Where did yesterday’s easy 8:45’s go?  And then I was struggling at 9:15’s.  I tried not to slow them down too much, but then my stomach started to turn.

I watched them quickly run off after 25k, which allowed me to do my own thing.  I soon had to make a pit stop to move the bowels, but immediately had hot chills for 5-10 minutes. Uh-oh!  The chills passed, and then my stomach turned nauseous.   At 30k I asked for a pepto tab, took one, and 20 minutes later when nothing had changed, took another.  I found the thought of taking in food at this point stomach turning.  I slowed some more, but kept working at it.

I finally hit the turn up the mountain, and after 3-4 miles of mostly power hiking with a few seconds of running here and there, finally started to get some food down.  I eventually left the low places, but never felt as strong as I had in the runs earlier in the week.  I’m sure much of it had to do with the building fatigue of 150 miles in 7 days, and some of it had to do with Haitian food and beverages eventually catching up to me.  But I was able to maintain a good power hike/run combo to the top (which took forever), and then start to run down (which also took forever!).

Here are some shots:

There’s water down there – the finish!

 

I came up on this guy playing drums on the guard rail and stealthily took this video:

 

 

When I hit the 75k mark, with 9k to go, I was told Josh was catching me.  I decided to keep moving at my slow walk/run combo, as I thought waiting might allow stiffness to set in and make it difficult to keep moving.  When I reached town, with just a couple of miles to go, Jules was there and he let me know  I was to have a truck “lead” me through town as there were several turns.  We were making our way pretty good, and even saw some of the crew pointing in the direction to the finish, but at one point reached a place where the  driver wasn’t sure how to proceed.   He asked people on the side of the road where I was supposed to run, but no luck, and then called the crew, but we still weren’t sure.  Eventually Josh showed up, and he said just go straight.  But he was bonking hard!  Luckily, Peaches had some beef jerky that he threw down, and then we were able to run it in together.

The finish!  200+ miles across Haiti, coast to coast!

It was a beautiful site:

We walked about 500 steps up towards the hotel, and found the gate was locked.  We yelled a bit, but no one was coming, so we had to climb.  😦

 

More shots from the hotel level.

I got some food in, and headed back down to the finish to watch a few more runners come in.  I’ll have to write a follow-up post soon.

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