Monday, September 9, 2013

Haliburton 100 Mile Victory

The elusive Haliburton victory is finally mine,still hard to believe. I ran the course this year in 18.36:03 a personal best for me in this race by more than an hour.Trying to summarize everything that went into this race will be tough,but first and most importantly I need to thank my wife Robyn,between the long hours training and trying to balance our busy schedules she does an amazing job supporting me.Waiting at a finish line for almost 19 hours for someone to finish a race while hearing horror stories of injuries in the forest and bear sightings has to be a ridiculously stressful event in itself,but she does it for me time and again.
The race went really smooth this year,trails were in good condition and the weather was as good as it gets for a September race.I ran a large portion of the first half of the race with my friend Mitch who was completing his first 50 miler and had a great race with a second place finish,having someone to run with for this long in a race was a first for me and a welcome diversion from the job at hand.Going into the second half of the race there was the feeling of running out front with no idea of how close second place was keeping the pressure on so I continued to push as hard as possible.Haliburton is a double out and back course with a loop at the end so as I started to see some familiar faces of friends and other racers I received excellent motivation.You cant help but be inspired watching each individual runner work through their own struggles,everyone travels through highs and lows during these long events and the cheering and smiles from everyone along the way really helps keep you thinking positive.Near the end of the race my stomach was giving me some difficulty,I think it was largely due to the humidity of the day and miscalculating my salt intake early on in the race.The last 10k was a struggle but the aid station volunteers were amazing,a few huge smiles and handshakes and I pulled it together for a strong run into the finish.
Haliburton is a very beautiful course and I definitely encourage anyone to try one of the events there,Helen, the race director puts her heart and soul into the event and it really shows.The fact that it is a more remote location encourages everyone to camp on site and the result is more of a family reunion feel than a race,if you get the chance go,you won't regret it.
My gear for this race was the Sugoi Titan 2 in 1 short and Ready T,these shorts are amazingly comfortable and light. Shoes were of my Brooks Cascadias as usual they performed perfect with not a single blister after 100 miles and for a first time I didn't even lose any more toenails.
Thanks again to all my friends for the congratulations and encouragement,I am truly blessed by all of you.