2019 vs 2018 BFC lead in

This is a follow on to my last post, about getting into the BFC, making the (bad?) decision to go for it, with little training this year. This post just has two images, which show my training from Strava for the weeks prior to BFC from 2018 vs. 2019:

First, 2018:

So that’s a lot of time on my feet! Roughly 8-10 hours per week running, with at least one long run in the 3 hour range. That 6 hour run less than three weeks out was when I ran the Frozen Head Challenge Loop, roughly 20 miles, nearly all of which were on the actual BFC race course. Not a bad lead in. (Though I didn’t have a very good day! — I don’t think that was due to training!)

So, what about this year?

Not much to say… Not a lot of time on my feet. A tiny bit of swimming, a little bit of mountain biking. Since I got the BFC call, at least I got the 3 hour run in (11 miles, 3500′) a few days ago. But I have been suffering ever since with extremely sore quads that lasted a couple days longer than expected, and the two runs since then have been very meh. I hope to turn the corner in the next day or two, and have one more decent run about a week out — maybe 2 hours and 10-12 miles of single track with 1500′ of climb?

(Bad?) Decisions

Not much writing about running recently — all the way since Barkley Fall Classic last year! I didn’t even write my traditional yearly update for 2018, which only included three big runs — the Run Across Haiti (link to just day 8 of the 8 day, 200 mile run), Boston, and BFC.

The reason for that is there hasn’t been much running. ūüė¶

After BFC, I felt like I was finally getting some motivation back, and started hammering on elevation in all my training. But shortly after that, I started having some sacrum discomfort, which really had me worried – sacral stress fracture is enough to send most runners into hiding. I won’t go into all the details here, as that would be several blog posts, but almost a year later and several doctors, MRI’s, etc. later, and I’ve not run a whole lot – roughly 150 miles this year, after a complete five month break from November – May.

(At least a short note on the injury. It’s been diagnosed as athletic pubalgia / sports hernia — basically a tear in the adductor and/or rectus abdominis that is not healing. I recall a slight adductor pull/hamstring strain while coaching middle school soccer last August which was likely the start of it all. Why the sacrum get’s sore, no one knows, but everyone thinks they are related!)

Now, I did shift to other training modalities — mountain biking, swimming, lifting, etc. So I haven’t been completely lazy. But here are a few graphs showing what I’ve done compared to prior years:

First up, run time, which is 180 hours less than last year this time:

Next up, run elevation, which shows me 77,000 feet behind normal:

But then if you look at all sports combined, it’s not quite as bad:

First, time across all sports, and I’m 89 hours short:

Elevation across all sports, and it’s down to 48k difference:

(Swimming and paddle boarding certainly hurt elevation stats! ūüėČ )

So, what’s the point of this post? I had already started to lose motivation for traditional ultra races last year before the injury, and that only increased as I was unable to run anyway. I’ve been more interested in some run “projects” (self supported LONG runs in cool places, maybe more on that later), or perhaps less traditional races — races like last year’s BFC or Big’s Backyard.

I had not gotten into either of those during the original sign-up/application process, but was waitlisted for both. With the lack of running, I had already decided Big’s wouldn’t be worth attempting (and, last I saw, I was 18th on the wait list for just 70 very coveted spots, several of which go to other last man standing events, and the rest to very qualified runners.)

But BFC is a different matter. Last year was rough — one of my toughest day’s in 20+ years of endurance sports. I want another crack at it. Of course, lack of training would make this year, if I got the call, even harder. But that’s not really the point — we do these things to test our selves, and part of that testing is suffering.

BFC traditionally has many wait listers get in — from the pool of 500+, it seems like 2-3 were getting called per day. With that, I had it in the back of my mind, that I would say yes immediately.

And last week, I got the call.

And last week, I accepted.

Bad decision? Only time will tell. But I wouldn’t have accepted if I didn’t think I had a shot at a 50k finish and a two-star Croix!

I’ll have another post in a day or two which compares my lead in to race date for last year to this, as well as an update on where I am with the injury.

Barkley Fall Classic 2018

I have never seen so much carnage in a race as I saw in Frozen Head State Park for the 5th annual Barkley Fall Classic:

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(A compilation of a few shots shared on FB after the race.)

Grown men and women would crawl into briars to sit or lie down to escape the relentless sun and find just a little shade.  Projectile vomiting was seen many times.

But, let me back up.  The Barkley Fall Classic is an attempt to simulate one loop of the infamous Barkley Marathons.  I won’t go into details here of what that race is all about, there are many other sources including two fantastic documentaries (“The Race that Eats its Young” and “Where Dream Go To Die”).  Anyone who has done a loop of the big Barkley will say a single BFC loop is much easer, and that’s hard to fathom, but at the same time, after having suffered one loop of BFC, believable, due to the fact that big Barkley has a lot more navigation required, plus some loops will be at night.

I’ve long been more than just a bit fascinated with Big Barkley, since an article first appeared in Adventure Racing magazine almost 20 years ago, long before it became as notorious as it is today.   And as much as once every month or two, I am asked if I’ve heard about it (or even if I’ve done it!).  Laz, the RD (creative / evil / mastermind), has said the Barkley finds you if you are meant to be there.  And I’ll leave it at that.  ūüôā

Last year I was on the wait list for BFC, which gave me a small window of opportunity to sign up for the 2018 BFC before it was opened to the masses.  Good thing, as BFC registration typically crushes Ultra-sign up, and I got in (though still had some issues getting through!).

Rewind a bit in 2018 and I’ve only done two big runs:   Run Across Haiti and Boston.   After those two runs, I have to admit, I struggled both physically and mentally.  It didn’t help that some close friends were going through some tough times.   I finally started to pull out of it in late summer, but a bit late to be as prepared for BFC as I would have liked to be.  But then again, how often do we ever feel as prepared as we want to be for our biggest races?

A few days out from BFC, Hurricane Florence started making it’s way towards NC, which altered the plans of many.   But it looked like our home would be relatively safe, so I went for it.  (Kelly and the kids lost power for about 20 hours on Saturday, which meant I had no contact with them from Friday night until Saturday afternoon, but nothing more than that happened.)

On Thursday I drove up to Boone to secure the 7D home, stayed there, and then took off for TN early Friday a.m. to meet some people that wanted to do a shakeout run in the park.  I made it to the yellow gate in time to get a couple of miles in, and then headed over to packet pick up where we picked up the map.  (The course is different every year, so the course reveal at packet pickup is exciting!)  I totally missed Laz, who had flown in on a red-eye the night before, literally a day after he finished his lazcon, a walk across the entire country!  (Makes the Run Across Haiti seem a bit trifle in comparison!)  I also missed Jared Campbell, the only 3 time finisher of the Big Barkley.

Several of us headed over to Brushy Mountain for lunch and to study the maps:

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They sure like their moonshine in TN:

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I opted to skip the pre-race dinner, movie viewing, and football game, mostly because I can’t eat pasta without serious GI issues, but would have loved to spend more time with everyone.  I was able to get to bed at a decent time, slept fairly well, and woke up around 4 a.m., about 30 minutes before my alarm was to go off.  I had brought my jet boil to my hotel room, so I could make (good) coffee and heat up some oatmeal.

Game face on / Time to Earn It!  — this was taken about 5 a.m. before I drove the 35 minutes to Frozen Head State Park.  This shirt has got to go for hot humid races — for some reason it does not do so well in those conditions!  I pulled it off at Salvation Road and went shirtless.

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I arrived at the parking area with plenty of time to spare, and just relaxed waiting for the seven a.m. start, speaking to a few other runners, but not doing much else.

The race has a history of long conga lines on the first climbs, until the field spreads out, and this year the course would be on the roads for nearly 1.5 miles before hitting the single track.  So the question is always do you go out a bit hard to not get too far behind said conga lines, and risk red-lining too early and blowing up, or do you take it easy, knowing you have a 10, 11, or 12+ our day in front of you?  I opted for a decent pace that I thought was conservative and felt fine to the single track, with at least 50 people getting there in front of me.  And yes, there were lines, but who am I kidding.  It’s not like I was going to run up the mountain anyway.  A good strong power hike was all I would do, and the line I was in was content with that too.  A few people made passes, and we passed a few.

We reached the top and started a strong descent.  I was bit worried about how that would go – if everyone would be good or bad on technical descents, but it wasn’t too bad.   I left the group I was with, but soon caught a group in front, but it’s not like we were going very slow.

About 5-10 minutes into the second monster climb is when something went drastically wrong.  I got light headed, and had to step aside.  I watched 20, 40, 60, maybe 100 or more people pass on this climb, as I had to step off for 30 seconds to a minute at least 5 or six times.  I’ve never gotten light headed / dizzy like this in 20+ years of racing.  It would stop within those 30-60s of rest, and I’d go on, so I wasn’t too concerned about overall health.  I never felt like I was going to pass out.  But it would soon come back.

The next thing to go wrong was that about 3 hours in, my toes started cramping.   That would stick with me for the rest of the race, but the cramps worked their way up from my toes, to my calves, to my quads, to muscles I didn’t know I had above the quads.   About 10 hours in, my middle finger on my right hand cramped!  And then post race at dinner, both hands were cramping trying to eat chips and salsa and tacos.

Thankfully I have a few photos from photographers on the course:

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We finally left the single track climbs and started a long gravel road section down, with some pretty steep descents at places, as well as monster mud puddles that you could try to skirt, but risk falling in.  I slid into at least two of them.  I ran almost all of this strongly — the toes only cramped on technical sections with rocks and roots, and the rest of me felt good.  No light headedness on the descents.  I probably passed 25-30 (or more?) people in this section.  I reached the 1st aid station about 4.5 hours in, and was so hot I pulled off my shirt and raced w/o, even though I knew the pack would chafe without a shirt.  I refilled water and was quickly out, now ready to tackle some of the famous sections of the Big Barkley.

A view of Testicle and one of the lines forming in front of me…

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Me coming out of testicle:

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And about to drop down Meth:

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Meth had some 70% grades (drops) on loose gravel and rocks, and at one point we saw a swarming bees nest to the side, so we literally slide 30-40 feet as fast as we could hoping to not get stung.  I used my garden gloves and shoes to keep my butt off the ground.  Much of this was exposed, and the sun was really starting to beat down.

After Meth we had a bit of road to run (and walk) to get to the prison, all in the sun.  Thank goodness the aid station here had ice.  I took some and put it in my hat, as well as filled one bottle with it.  We ran up to the prison, through the prison yard, and then had to “escape” on these ladders:

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My toes cramped at the top and going down the back side, so I didn’t realize Jared Campbell himself was punching bibs there (and cheering us on from the top! see photo).

After the prison escape, we went through the tunnel, which is much longer that I ever thought after watching the documentaries.

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After the tunnel is Rat Jaw.  I really have no words to describe the hell that was rat jaw! But I will try.  First, you come out of the tunnel from the prison, climb a bit of a gully, and turn to see the 1st pitch:

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It’s loose dirt and gravel, with not many roots to hang on to.   You make it over that, and it’s nearly a mile at an average grade of 40% (you climb close to 2000 feet in that < mile), with some sections like the one shown above.   And much of it is covered in briars, as seen here:

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And this year, the sun was beating down on us.  It had to be over 90F in the sun, and there is little shade to be found.  Unless you crawl into the briars to sit and lie down.  Which many did.  As did I.

It was by far the hardest mile of my life.

Finally, after well over an hour (probably close to 90 minutes), I came out at the top – thanks to Misty Wong for these fabulous photos.

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I’d like to say that after that last one, I yelled out something like “I conquered Rat Jaw!”  Instead, I found a bit of shade on the road, and sat down for a few minutes.  There were may of us there with a look of shock and bewilderment.  EMTs were treating one runner, with a pulse oximeter on his finger.  Maybe lack of oxygen would explain my light headedness, but I didn’t stick around to have mine measured!

I did eventually get up, climb the “far tar” (fire tower), and run down the half mile or so on the gravel road to the next aid station.  There I stayed a bit longer than normal, trying to get some calories and water down.   I had gone much of rat jaw with no food, it was just so hot.  I was still struggling with cramping, as well as the light headedness on the big climbs, and knew this was the chance to try to refuel and rehydrate.

We had about a 4-5 mile run on single track, mostly down, to Laz, and the decision point. I was able to run all of this pretty well, and passed something like 8-10 people.   It’s here at Laz that if you make it before the 9.5 hour cut off, you get to decide if you want to go and get the 50k, or be relegated to a marathon finish as a consolation.  There was never any question in my mind, even though I had suffered today like no other day in my racing career, that I was going to give it a shot.  But I was surprised how many other runners in my general vicinity opted to stop!   We had reached Laz more than an hour before the cut off, but still some didn’t go on.

I took my poles from my drop bag, grabbed some food, changed socks, and grabbed a dry shirt, and headed out for the last 9 miles of the race.  The hike to the top of Chimney Top was long and slow, and there are some super steep sections near the top.  I was still having to pull over and stop to wait out the light headedness, yet at the same time I was still passing other runners.

A group of us reached the last aid station, and then 3 of us took off, again passing 8-10 runners before we reached the road at the bottom.  I have to give thanks to the guy that ran in front of me to the road, as I would not have run that much without him, but when he reached the road he had to pull over as he was close to vomiting.

I did make the finish, but man was I spent.  I quickly found some shade in the grass and sat down for a while.  Thanks to the other runner who brought me a few cups of water!

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Here are my split times:

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This year, of the 400+ starters, there were 203 50k finishers,  127 marathon finishers, and 123 DNFs, one of the highest finishing rates in the race’s history.  (Which likely means next year will be harder!)

Someone on FB posted split analysis, which shows me as 146, 91, 104, 81, and 82 for each leg.  That 1st one was rough, when at least 100 runners passed me on the 2nd climb as I really struggled.  But after that I was much more consistent…  What’s most interesting to me is that for Prison to Shelter C, I was only 5 minutes slower than the eventual winner.  That shows how hard Rat Jaw would be if you were the one that has to bushwhack the briars, creating the eventual path later runners follow (including me!).

The Croix de Barque, the hardest medal I have ever earned, given to 50k finishers.  For multiple 50k finishes, you get multiple stars:

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I was pretty disappointed with my day at BFC, but after looking at my ultra signup rank, maybe I shouldn’t be.  The USR rank is your time divided by the winning time, and my BFC ranking of 76 lines up with my historical ranking of 74%.   However, knowing how bad the cramping was and the strange light headedness that stuck with me most of the day, I 1st have to be proud of the fact that I was able to finish, and 2nd know that I can do better.  I sure hope I can get in again next year to give it a another shot!

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The shoes stayed in TN.  They did have over 600 miles and were starting to tear.  I figured the BFC was a good way to end this shoe’s career.

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Gear:  Hoka speedgoat 2’s, Ruhn compression shorts (the longer ones), injinji toe socks, inkburn shirt to start, shirtless for most of the race, then light icebreaker sleeveless for the last few hours, UD vest (the big one of the 3 I own). UD bottles and 70oz bladder.

Nutrition:  Mostly tailwind (4 or 5 packs), vFuel (equiv of 7 gels), and a few date rolls;  a couple of chips and granola at one of the aid stations.  Total was pretty low on calories — maybe 2000 for nearly 12 hours and 301+ (++?) miles, but that is going to be the case in that kind of heat!  I took in more salt in the form of Endurolytes than I have ever taken, but maybe Endorolytes are a bit low in sodium after all.  (Per some recent podcasts I’ve listened to, though those guys are far lower on the LCHF spectrum than I am.)   Also took in BCAAs like normal.

Boston 2018

Wow, it’s almost July and I never wrote anything about Boston 2018! ¬† Well, better late than never.

Most of you know the story this year was the weather — cold, windy, and rainy. ¬†I estimate we got at least 2″ of rain during the run and fought 20-30 mph head winds almost the entire way. ¬† For most roadies, it was probably a downer. ¬†For me, someone who doesn’t run road marathons more than once every couple years, it added to the adventure. ¬†ūüôā ¬† Also, as a mountain ultra runner, we are pretty used to conditions that can be quite bad for long periods of time.

My friend and co-worker offered a place to stay in Hopkinton the night before, which I jumped at. ¬†I also asked if my good NC friend David could crash too, and he was welcomed. ¬† We jumped at the chance — the ability to skip the long bus lines in Boston and not have to hang in the athletes village for a few hours — especially in that weather, was incredible! ¬† My family had come to Boston for the weekend, but Sunday night I left them after we had dinner with Matt and family, and headed to his place. ¬†We were able to sleep in and have a leisurely morning before Matt drove us to the secondary shuttle spot in Hopkinton, which was then just a 10 minute bus ride from the village.

As we were getting off the bus in the village, I heard them calling my wave already! ¬†So I shuffled through the village, which took a very long time as everyone was trying to stay on the pavement — the grass was a total mud pit. ¬†Much of it must have been 4-6 inches of mud. ¬†People had extra shoes or were wearing trash bags or grocery bags on their feet, but it was still a disaster.

I eventually got out of the village and was walking towards the start, but now time was a bit short and I had to skip the port-o-pot lines.  I got to corral 3 and was surprised to make it to the very front just 2-3 minutes before gun time.  I stripped off my throw away pants and trash bag top, and was ready to go.

Side note: ¬†I was really amazed, however, by the clothes some people were wearing. ¬† Singlets, sports bras, short shorts… ¬†Wow! ¬†For sub 30F feels like with the wind and the rain, I thought that was crazy. ¬†I had on Ruhn compression shorts, and then a 200 weight ice breaker top, arm warmers, gloves, and a rain shell. ¬†Also, a hat to keep the water out of my eyes and a buff.

Due to the weather, I have just one photo of me:

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As for the run, I had really dropped all expectations. ¬†I had been really inconsistent since Haiti — really more bad runs than good — but just went in with the intent of having some fun. ¬†Especially with the added adventure of the weather! ¬†(And the headwind meant that running a fast marathon was likely out anyway!)

There’s not much more to write. ¬† I was never that cold (until after I finished and had to wait about 10 minutes for the family to bring my warm clothes — I had no clothes at the finish due to my Hopkinton start), and ran pretty steady. ¬†I had one long mile split (8:34) when I hit the port-o-pot at mile 9. ¬†This was the same spot Shalane was in and out of in something like 10s, while it took me considerably longer (but I had been holding it for a long time!) ¬†I ran a 3:26 and change, which while 8 minutes slower than my qualifying time, I was pretty happy with considering the conditions and my running state heading in.

Here’s some strata data:

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And overall data from BAA:

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That min/mile at 25.2 has to be a mistake — I was moving the last couple of miles!

 

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. ¬†ūüė¶

 

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.

Run Across Haiti Day 7

Back at it on day 7. We were up early and running just after five, with today’s route taking us a little over 27 miles in to Port-au-Prince, a relatively flat section that would be busy with traffic.

I knew early the rest day had done a lot of good – I felt really good and had to hold back all day. Early on I thought about trying to hang With Jase, Dan, and Matt, but decided better of it. 28 miles is a long ways and we have a quick turn around. We will depart from The Eucalyptus Village by midnight and start the final 52 mile push shortly there after.

I didn’t takes as many photos today, but here are a few:

Sunrise over the mountains.

Burning trash – something we’ve seen a lot of!

Some government housing:

So after Jase, Matt, Dan and I finished, they put us four in a truck to head to The Eucalyptus House, which is a bit of an Oasis in Port-au-Prince. Sort of a dorm style retreat. We’ll be here until midnight or so and then take the buses and trucks a bit out of PaP before we start running.

Photos from Duy Nugyen:

Run Across Haiti Day 6 – rest day/trip to Menelas

Today’s been pretty emotional. After sleeping in until just before six :-/, we had a leisurely morning of good coffee and then breakfast. We soon piled into the bus and vans to Menelas, the community Work supports.

We actually started in the community of Truitier near (in?) the landfill near Menelas, where plastic bottles are recovered and turned into fabric by Threads, Works sister company.

Viv took some time to explain the history of work and some of the programs they offer.

Two thousand people live Truitier¬†in/near the landfill. And this is Haiti’s only landfill, which explains why we’ve seen so much trash everywhere – there just aren’t any trash services.

Here are some of the recovered bottles. Besides Threads, HP buys the recycled plastic for ink cartridges.

These are some of the homes either on the landfill property or right next to it:

The community came out and knows why we are there and spent time with us:

Right across from the landfill, Work is helping to build this classroom to help support the community:

From there we drove the few minutes to Menelas, where we got to see the home of Giordani and meet his family. He took the time to explain how Work has helped him. He will graduate this year and become a tap tap driver. He used the money he earned on last year’s run to build a new foundation next to his current sheet metal home, which currently sleeps 11!

This shows the tight quarters:

This shows his home, bathroom, and the new foundation:

After that, we went to the local school, went to the roof, and were able to see the entire area, which gives a sense of the scale. Rather than look at the problem of poverty and say it’s just too big to solve, Work solves the problem one family at a time in the community they have chosen to support.

Before we left, each runner and crew was given a pin from someone Work supports, in the outline of Haiti, with our running route marked, and a heart over Menelas.

Tomorrow we start early for what looks to be a tough 28 – we drove all of it today on the way to Menalus. Then we’ll have about 12-13 hours at a guest house, before we take off on the final 52 at midnight.

Photos from Duy Nugyen:

Run Across Haiti Day 5

Today was another 5 a.m. start, with 20 miles of rolling pavement (and sun after ~ 7:30!), but the destination is something we’ve all been looking forward to – the resort Wahoo Bay! That, and the fact that tomorrow is our one rest day. Much needed for all of us.

I started at my usual conservative pace, coming in to the 10k near a large group. From there we started to spread out, and I ended up on my own for most of the day. From around mile 13-14 on, I really felt a lot of fatigue in my legs. Expected after 100+ miles over 5 days! I finished in a little over three hours.

I didn’t take quite as many photos today, but here they are.

(Insert video of me finishing)

(Insert video of Ange finishing)

 

Here are some shots of the resort. I’m sure I’ll take more later and will updated this post then.

This is the first hotel where I’ve actually seen other guests. The beauty and cleanliness of this area shows how much potential all of Haiti could have with the right economic development, clean up, etc.

Shots added later, some Duy Nugyen, some me.

Run Across Haiti Day 4

Haiti Day 4

We all knew today would be tough. Thirty four miles, mostly exposed once the sun came up, and extremely hot. By the end, I was calling it “trail runners hell” — 34 miles of pavement in the sun, with one small hill, having to dodge and avoid cars/motos most of the way, especially in the busy towns.

I ran the first 10k with Josh, and we talked music and HRCA and many other things.

I spotted a couple of abandoned wrecked cars, hoping this wasn’t a sign of future carnage on today’s run for the team.

At the 10k, I picked up with Jalyen and Jacque for a few shared miles. I saw this cemetery which reminded me of the one Kelly and I saw in Barcelona.

And also this mural on a random wall.

At the 15k, I picked up with Dan and Ozzie and we shared at least fifteen miles running in a strong pace line. This section was the infamous rice paddies, which truly seems to go on forever. And this is when it started to get really hot – still with 30k to go!

Long and flat and straight and hot:

The three of us eventually separated, with Dan in front, then me, then Ozzie.

Here I am at the top of the lone hill around mile 29:

The town was pretty busy and I found myself walking some – but I might have used the busyness as an excuse! I was so ready to be done! After about 3 miles in town, I got to the finish where Dan, Matt, and Jase had come through ~10-12 minutes before me.

I sat in the gutter and immediately these guys came out to say hello:

Jase and I opted for omelettes and fries, which took a long time to come out, but they hit the spot!

We are in a pretty nice hotel, and like most of the hotels we’ve stayed in so far, we seem to be the only guests! We are able to climb the 4 floors to the roof for this view:

Tomorrow is another 20 miles, when we reach Wahoo Bay, which I’ve heard is really nice. We’ll then have a rest day from running, but we will go in to Menalus to meet the some of the families that Work is supporting.

Photos from Duy Nugyen: