UTMB 100…a race I didn’t finish
It could’ve been worse. I could have taken a fall off a cliff and died. I could’ve snapped a bone in half and stabbed myself with my trekking poles. My injury could’ve come a few days before the race I and wouldn’t have had the chance to even start.
But I did get to start…I got to run the race I had dreamed about for 39 miles up in the lead pack and everything was going to plan…
But life doesn’t always like to follow exact plans. Sometimes unpleasant surprises happen.
For those of you that don’t know, I didn’t finish the UTMB100 this year. After falling and cutting my knee on a rock at mile 39 I received stitches at mile 50 and then hobbled my way up a 3000’ climb at mile 55 before having a helicopter come in to rescue me. The actual blow to my kneecap had reduced me to a 0.25 mph hobble on the downhills and it became a “no-choice DNF.” For all the gory details you can check out my super long VLOG here:
I guess the big takeaway from this whole experience is that I still feel very fortunate to be in the position I’m in. [as long as my kneecap isn’t really damaged too bad…which I don’t think it is]. I mean, I got to spend a solid month in Chamonix (the most beautiful mountain town in the world that I’ve been to) training and exploring with Sandi as a full-time runner. That experience alone and the actual process of training for UTMB is something that can never be taken away from me.
While I really would’ve liked to finish UTMB (and I really would’ve liked to podium or be in contention to win), just being there was a dream-come true. Actually the past 3 years have been a dream come true. I’ve been very fortunate and there isn’t a day that I don’t take for granted in the sport of Mountain-Ultra-Trail running.
So what’s next? Well, I’ve decided to take my cross training up a notch and get a road bike:
I can still count on my hands how many times I’ve ridden a road bike in my life but I must say it is quite exhilarating to click off 1:42 mile splits (downhill) and attack epic road climbs around Boulder faster than I could ever run.
About a week after my fall I was back home in Boulder moving into a new apartment with Sandi. I drank a couple Avery IPAs and then took my stitches out last Saturday night (I was also finally off antibiotics). Initially I was super eager again to get out and race I had this crazy idea that I could jump in the Run Rabbit Run 100 in 1.5 weeks and try to finish a mountain-trail 100. But then it hit me that I could barely walk without a limp. That would’ve been a bad idea.
Right now this week is a real “testing week” as I’ve done some 3-4 mile light runs to evaluate the knee and see if I need further treatment. Depending on how things go in the next couple of days, I’m leaning towards jumping in a late Fall road marathon to try to chase the 2016 US Olympic Trials Marathon Standard of a sub 2:18:00 again before showing up in San Francisco to defend my title at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-mile Championships in December. In any case I’ll be uploading all my runs (And Rides) up on Strava.com for all to see.
Big Thanks to Sandi and my parents for coming all the way over to France/Italy/Switzerland to help support me in this dream. Hanging out with you guys over there was the best! Also, thank YOU for all the support and amazing comments. You guys really are awesome! Hope your late summer running is going well!
Any Surface, Any Distance:
@SageCanaday ( on Instagram and Twitter)
Vo2max Productions (on YouTube)
Shameless Sponsor Plugs:
Hoka One One: Kicks… “The Speedgoat”
Flora Health: “Udo’s Oil” and “7-sources” as well as Gogi Berries, Teas etc.
Compressport: Compression recovery socks (R2) Calf Sleeves
Ultimate Direction: Race vests/Fastpacks and new “Groove” belt system I’m testing out!
Julbo: Shades (Stony model is my favorite)
Ugo Bars: Awesome bar snacks!
Vfuel: Endurance gels
Trail Butter: delicious flavored nut-based butters that come in packets for easy snacking/fuel!
Avery Brewing: amazing craft beer (I usually fly with some for international races)
Drymax: Max Protection socks…no blisters!
Strava: Gps and all training logs/data