Sunday, March 21, 2010

High Hopes For Umstead 100

Next Saturday (March 27 at 6:00 AM) is the 2010 running of the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run.  It is one of my favorite 100-milers, more so due to the great experiences I've had there over the last two years.  In 2008 I paced Meredith through the cold and persistent rain (as well as some amazing bouts of good old ultra-running vomiting on her part - some of the best I've seen).  Last year, less than 2 months removed from Rocky Raccoon 100, and with the help of my pacer Jen Vogel, I surprised myself with a 21:39:37 finish (32nd overall), while watching my good friend Dave James win (15:05:10).  See "Race Report: Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run" for a recap of the 2009 event. 

I am very much looking forward to next weekend's event.  There will be a ton of friends in attendance, but in particular, I'm am most looking forward to getting to run in a 100-miler with my friend Ira.  I haven't had a chance to run much with Ira since we ran in our first 100 mile race together in the 2007 Grand Tetons 100, and since then he has accomplished some amazing feats, including twice running the entire length of Long Island (about 120 miles) to raise funds and awareness for a great charity that supports critically-ill children and their families, Friends of Karen.  The mission of Friends of Karen is to provide emotional, financial and advocacy support to families of children with life-threatening illnesses.  Since 1978 they have helped over 10,000 children.  To find out more on how to help this great cause, check out their "ways to give".

I am also extremely lucky to once again have Rick Gaston as my crew/pacer for a 100-miler, the 4th 100-miler that he has paced me at.  The first 3 were all amazing - 2008 Javelina Jundred (26:41:35), 2009 Rocky Raccoon 100 (23:24:39), and 2009 Javelina Jundred (23:42:11).  We have gotten stronger and faster with each performance (2009 JJ100 was almost 3 hours faster than the prior year).  Which is why we are setting a lofty goal  for 2010- to kick, scream, fight, and crawl (if we have to) our way to a sub-20 hour finish.  It isn't going to be easy at all.  In fact, it is probably very unlikely.  But one this is certain - with Rick pacing me, we will go into it, and come out of it, fighting.

Below are my 2009 Umstead Splits (12.5 mile loops).  I'm figuring that my first half in 2010 is going to have to be about 30-40 minutes faster to have a realistic shot at sub-20.


  1. Wow, that's a serious goal. Best of luck to you this weekend. I'm looking forward to reading about it.

  2. Great goal, Tony...I'll be pulling for you. You keep getting stronger and stronger (physically and mentally), and I know you'll wring the best time you can out of yourself this weekend. Just remember, it's only 100 miles! Good luck!!

  3. With your ability and strong training, you have a very good shot at this. Best of luck and stay focused on the target.