Unlike Hollywood movies, not all stories have a happy ending.
First up, I take 100% responsibility for the DNF. I will not blame anything but my training failure.
So what went wrong? The 60km checkpoint did me. I will spare you the details. But stopping was the right thing to do.
I only just made the 50km cut-off time by 2 minutes. And there was no way I was making the 11 pm cut-off. My pace had slowed to 20.00 minutes per km. I didn’t train for the hills properly.
Incline running and walking on the treadmill does not substitute getting out on the trails. I will not be attempting another TNF100km unless I can train on similar terrain.
To Make It Worse!
I was told that it was runnable and an easy 100km course leading up to the race. If that was easy, then I’m way out of shape, which is most likely coarse of the DNF, to start with.
These are 2 questions I should have asked myself before setting the goal of running 100 km. In hindsight, I should have gone for the 50 km first.
- Can I train on similar terrain?
- Is this too far from what I have already completed?
This is also something I learned from my first marathon.
- Find a coach.
- Follow the training plan.
- Lose some weight.
Read More here.
It’s been 4 days since the race, and I can’t believe how badly I trained for the event.
What was I thinking? I should have spent more time in similar terrain, getting used to the conditions. No wonder I failed!!
My three points of failure.
- Not training in similar terrain, hills and heat etc,
- Not preparing for the all day running, by doing some 10 hour runs in training,
- And on the day, at the 50km check point, they had no water. So I filled up on whatever the blue stuff was and kept running, big mistake.
The details leading up to the 60km race exit point.
The below screenshot is the last 10kms I ran. The elevation started at 51kms, slowly rising for the next 3kms to 500m. Under normal conditions, not too hard.
But then we went up again to a height of 600m within 1km, in the middle of the day. And I’m drinking some blue shit that is making my kidneys cramp.
This is were it gets fun.
I’m 50 to 70m from the top, and I start dry reaching, empty vomiting. I’m dizzy; it feels like I will fall back down the hill. I stop, get my shit together, and push through to the top.
There is a guy, flat on his back, with a yellow-vested marshal standing over him, asking him if he can walk. No, I can not walk; my legs will not move.
I’m thinking shit; I don’t want to be that guy. But I carry on, down the hill. Until the vomiting starts again, this time it’s not empty.
I start walking, thinking it will pass, it will pass. But really, I still have a marathon to run and 4 hills to go. I know I’m done.
A fellow runner asks, you ok, mister? Yes, I’m good, just emptying my stomach to make room for more water.
I asked, at this pace, what time do you think I will finish?
He smiled and said, we have 9 hours left before the cut-off, but you are running at a 12-hour pace. For the next 3 km, I’m doing my best to keep some water down, eat some food and get my mind back on track.
But nothing is working.