Bike Commute 3 miles
Run 8 miles
For those that don't know, this weekend is Colorado's Hardrock 100, one of the most difficult 100 mile foot races in the world. This race has 33,000 feet of climbing and at one point climbs to over 14,000 ft. This course is so tough that the fastest time ever run on it is 26 hours 39 minutes. Compare that to the Western States 100 that has been run in 15:36 and you can begin to appreciate just how tough this course is compared to a "typical" 100 miler.
Scott Jurek and Karl Meltzer are 2 of the best 100 mile runners in the world and they are locked up in a much anticipated battle at Hardrock as I write this. Last I checked they were both through the checkpoint at mile 67.7 and Scott was holding a 6 minute lead on Karl. Looks like this one is going to go down to the wire.
It's so hard for me to imagine being locked in such a tight battle in such a long race. I've done two races over 20 hours this year but in The Susitna 100 I finished more than 2 hours ahead of the next runner and in The 24 Hours of Light I busted out 8 or 9 laps more than the 2nd place rider. In both of these cases I think it helped a lot that I was able to relax and not focus much on other competitors throughout most of the 2nd half of these races.
I just don't know how I would handle the battle that Scott and Karl are locked in right now, on top of the battle that develops within myself after 12+ hours of racing. I guess this is an aspect of endurance racing that I still need to encounter and conquer. My race next weekend will certainly provide me with the challenge of directly competing with other runners throughout the entire race, but this will only be a little over 3 hour race. I may have to wait until next year to experience battling so closely with another racer as far into an event as what Scott and Karl are right now. I look forward to this challenge but for now it's kind of nice to just be sitting at home "watching" this battle unfold down in Colorado. Not sure I'll get much sleep until this one's over.