UTMB 2014

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I didn’t commit to running UTMB this year until two weeks before race day. During the second week of July my historically-troublesome right shin became a worry once again, and I was able to do very little true running for all of July and August. In early August, in hopes of keeping my Hardrock Qualifier chances alive, but wanting to buy myself a little more time, I had even signed up for the Bear 100 and given up on racing UTMB altogether. However, my shin unexpectedly experienced a turnaround a couple weeks before the race, which made the opportunity to head back to Chamonix too appealing to pass up. So, in some ways, it felt like a bit of a victory that I was even going on the trip and planning to toe the start line. After a solid week of training in the Chamonix Valley—including a summit of Mont Blanc itself as my last long effort 10 days before the race—I tapered the final seven days and eventually departed from in front of the church in Chamonix with 2500 others for a trip around the big mountain.

Pre-race, I repeatedly told myself (and, occasionally, others) that I was fit and prepared to compete for the win. I’m a competitive guy and racing 100mi through the Alps is a daunting task, so it would’ve been difficult for me to line up with any chinks in my confidence. Of course, cold objectivity would have outlined a different story. Sure, I’d been able to log plenty of steep, high-altitude vertical in Colorado’s Sawatch Range for the previous two months, but the longest continuous run that I managed since my effort at Lavaredo at the end of June was an hour on the creek path in Boulder only hours before I jumped on my flight to Europe. A bit too much proper running in Chamonix had re-tweaked my shin only one week before the race, and even though this had been rectified by the taper, it was proof that even with minimal actual running I was still just barely striking a very precarious balance between health and injury.

As such, there was no question that I needed to conduct a reprisal of the conservative start that I’d employed at last year’s UTMB. I jogged through the rain to Les Houches amongst the masses and top women before finally beginning to move up a bit on the first climb to Col de Voza above St. Gervais. The descent down the other side into town was a bit disheartening, which has become typical for me. It’s steep in an awkward way that always leaves my quads unexpectedly wobbly, and I’m still so far back in the field that I don’t feel at all part of the action amongst the contenders.

Even so, the supporting cheers in St. Gervais certainly felt as deafening as ever. And I’m using the word literally here. It is loud. If there is a spot in ultrarunning more charged with energy and emotion than St. Gervais during UTMB, I’d like to know.

Descending through the rain to St Gervais. Photo: Buff Spain.

Descending through the rain to St Gervais. Photo: Buff Spain.

The run up the valley to Les Contamines (30km) passed much the same as last year—trying not to push too hard, passing a couple runners here and there—except that this time it was pouring rain and getting dark (the race start was an hour later than last year). I arrived at this crew spot in 20-something place, ~13min off the lead, but feeling totally in control. Joe gave me my nighttime headlamps, stuffed my vest with gels, and sent me on my way.

Notre-Dame de la Gorge a couple of miles later is one of my favorite spots on the course. For me, it marks the beginning of climbing into the alpine, the terrain that allows me to catch up. However, everyone gets to experience the rowdy atmosphere marked by manic, Tour de France-style crowds lining the bottom of the steep climb and wild, leaping bonfire flames that light the way. UTMB is madness, but often in a really good way.

The rain intensified on the bottom half of this climb, and shortly before the La Balme refuge at treeline I caught and passed the American duo of Mike Foote and Jason Schlarb (who I didn’t recognize in the moment). Foote came with me and we chatted briefly before I was alone again, picking my way up the washed-out trails to the Col du Bonhomme. The fog was thick on the short traverse over to the Croix du Bonhomme and I spent a lot of time fiddling with my headlamps trying to give myself the best vision possible. Thankfully, we soon dropped out of the cloud on the descent to Les Chapieux and I was back in hunting mode.

In all the confusion of the mass start, rain, and night, I had no idea what place I was in or where any of the other Americans were other than Footie (and Hal, who I had passed before Contamines). So, after passing someone (maybe Sondre or Antolinos?) on the drop to Chapieux I was surprised when just above the refuge Brian Metzler informed me I was in 5th place and about 8 or 9min off the lead pack of Francois, Iker, Tofol, and Luis.

mud

Descending to Chapieux. Photo: Thomas David.

In Chapieux, there’s a quick obligatory material check, and then it’s ~30min on an uphill asphalt road to the base of the Col de la Seigne climb. I was fairly determined to catch the lead group on either this climb or the next (Mont Favre)—mostly because I had last year—and my effort up and over these two hills was probably just a little too hard as a result. I managed to cut my deficit to only 4min, but then on the drop into Courmayeur (77k and the sort of symbolic half-way point of the race) I had to make a pair of pit-stops, so the gap had grown back to 8min by time I reached the gymnasium in town.

I was still feeling good as I headed out of Courmayeur, and my spirits were boosted by the enthusiasm of Kim and Topher Gaylord and Nico Mermoud just as I left the road and stepped onto the trail—thanks guys! In an incredibly ironic bit of foreshadowing, I remember one of the last comments I made to Toph was that my stomach was still feeling great but that maybe by time I got to Arnuva I’d get a little Coke for the long climb up Grand Col Ferret. Oh, how that statement would soon be proven so incorrect.

At first, marching up the hill to the Bertone Refuge was a pleasure. I was all alone, enjoying the still, clear night and the spectacular view of town’s lights receding quickly below me. Gradually, though, my stomach began to rebel at the thought of a gel, and by the time I made it to the aid station, I was full-on nauseous. As such, I quickly filled my flask with Coke there and continued on my way. For a while, I could sip on the Coke, but things only got worse with my stomach, and even though the trail here is a gently rolling contour over to the Bonatti Refuge, I wasn’t running nearly as much as I would had I managed to get more sugar into my bloodstream.

Somewhere in here I began to have distinct flashbacks to Leadville 2010 when I passed out on the summit of Sugarloaf Pass at mile 81 with hypoglycemia and hypothermia. Doing so all alone in the middle of the night here in Italy was a decidedly unsavory prospect, so my new goal became to just make it to Bonatti without losing consciousness. My physical abilities continued to be exceedingly weak.

When I finally staggered into the Refuge, though, the single bowl of soup (saltwater, essentially) I managed to drink and the info that Iker wasn’t looking too good and that I could probably catch him jazzed me up and for the few minutes out of the aid station I moved with some renewed pep. Alas, the physical realities of my (non-) calorie situation quickly set back in, and it was back to the same dizzy struggle to make it the few mostly-downhill kilometers over to the Arnuva aid at 95K.

The thought of heading up Grand Col Ferret—the highest, longest climb on the course—without fuel was terrifying, so I made sure to stay in the Arnuva aid a long time. This meant that I drank two bowls of soup (these even had a couple noodles in them) and re-filled my flask with Coke before heading back out and up into the night.

Getting my body up to Col Ferret was a nightmare, an act of sheer will. The usual term “bonking” doesn’t really begin to describe how tapped out I felt. I simply needed calories. But the nausea continued. Miraculously, right before the top of the hill, I passed Luis Hernando in a cloud of fog, moving myself into 4th place. The officials who scanned my number told me that the leading group was just ahead (this was wrong…the truth was that they were ~30min ahead); passing Luis gave me a meager but woefully short-lived boost of energy (he was even more defeated than myself and would drop at La Fouly) and within minutes I settled back into a depleted downhill wobble. I was amazed that no one had passed me yet.

Although I’m sure things were even worse for those further back in the pack, any energy afforded by the rising sun on the descent into Fouly (108k) was more than negated by the almost comically slick and sloppy nature of the downhill singletrack. Somehow, I managed to only go down a couple of times. I was desperate to get to Fouly as I knew my body needed some kind of sustenance to keep going (anything bland sounded vaguely doable), but my nausea was rendering any of the gels or Coke I had non-consumable.

Running the road into La Fouly (108k). Wasted.

Running the road into La Fouly (108k). Wasted. Photo: Thomas David.

When I finally reached the aid in Fouly, the lack of food was clearly affecting my brain, as I ran right through the aid tent and back onto the streets of town before realizing that I would have to stop if I wanted to find something to eat. So, I ran the extra block back to the tent and through the maze of chutes to sit down and try to eat something. This time I took a seat and dissolved some crackers in the thin broth in order to get some kind of calories. Just as I was leaving, Fabien Antolinos arrived; I was so weak and listless that my usually raging competitive fires were barely poked.

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Shuffling. Photo: Thomas David.

Once I left town and got back on the trail, the soup and crackers hit my stomach and waves of nausea forced me to a walk. Fabien passed me shortly thereafter. He was barely moving himself, but he dropped me pretty quickly. I would gamely intersperse a few strides of pathetic shuffling (see photo), only to feel like throwing up until finally I did just that. There wasn’t much to throw up—I’d barely been eating anything for the past six hours or so—and the oft-referred to “restart button” of puking seemed to have not been punched; I still felt horrendous. And then Schlarb came trotting by, looking pretty rough but still running. Not too much later the trail trended back downhill and I began shuffling again and actually re-passed a now-walking Antolinos. It was pretty hilarious just what a slow-motion game the 4-6th place “racing” amongst him, myself and Schlarb had apparently become.

The 1500′ bop up to Champex-Lac—a lifesaver of a crew checkpoint at 122k—was more of the same for me, and when I got there I was determined to stay as long as it took to get some food down. This ended up being 20min. I drank a bowl of soup and crackers slurry, sipped some coke, and felt rescued by some lovely person’s procurement of a bag of potato chips. I knew that competing in the usual sense was pretty much off the table, but the bits of food and my crew’s enthusiasm (many thanks, Joe and Jools) had lifted my spirits and I was determined as ever to finish this damn thing. So I trotted out of town, even as I slipped to 6th place, with Sondre Amdahl’s arrival. No surprise considering my slothly pace.

Climbing to Champex (122k).

Climbing to Champex (122k). Photo: Thomas David.

Unfortunately, the ingestion of calories induced another rebellion of my stomach out on the trails (which I successfully slotted in between the many groups of trekkers on this portion of the TMB out to enjoy an otherwise idyllic Saturday morning) and I was left feeling weak as an infant, pathetically oozing my way up the Bovine climb under merciful cover of a cloud of mist. Somehow, against all odds, I worked myself back to within 100 yards or so of Sondre near the summit, but that was shortlived and my descent down the other side to Col de Forclaz and Trient saw my demeanor change from frustration to one of confused delirium. By time I made it to Trient (139k) I was dizzy and barely coherent. My caloric resources were completely tapped. It’d just been too many hours of exertion without getting any glucose in the bloodstream.

In Trient, there was another obligatory material check, and here I was levied a 15min penalty for only carrying one headlamp (the requirement is to always have two headlamps with spare batteries). My strategy for this mandatory equipment is simple: when I prepare my pack, I carry a ziplock with the items I don’t expect to use—my reflective space blanket, elastic bandage, mobile phone, whistle, and two Petzl E-lites (a trivial 27g each) with two spare batteries. This satisfies the requirement and I never have to worry about ever being non-compliant when I transition from day into night and vice versa (I use a Petzl Nao on my head and Petzl Tikka XP for running at night, so during the night I’m actually carrying FOUR headlamps).

However, when I presented my ziplock in Trient it held both spare batteries but only one Petzl E-lite, not two. My only explanation is that I must have lost the extra E-lite when re-packing my vest after the mandatory equipment check in Les Chapieux, where my mobile phone was one of the checked items. This meant that I had to open the ziplock containing my phone and headlamps, and it must’ve fallen out then. Twenty-seven grams is such a trivial amount of weight that I hope people realize that I would never risk non-compliance by voluntarily omitting the extra E-lite (there are plenty of other legal ways to cut 27g, such as carrying one less gel, for instance). In any case, I was so punted that the penalty ended up having no effect on my race (other than as a reminder to be more careful at checkpoints, so as not to fumble mandatory gear) as I ended up spending three and a half hours in the Trient aid station.

My time in Trient was a brand new experience for me in the ultra world. I was supremely empty and nauseous. Joe was extremely patient with me and after approximately an hour of effort I consumed three whole potato chips. Finally, he suggested I go lie down on a mat in the medical building. I did this. I napped fitfully for maybe an hour or so after which life continued to suck horribly; my stomach was no less upset. I never fully voiced it, but, I, of course, very much wanted to drop. Finally, Joe brought me a tablet of Immodium, which I took with some water, and 15min of napping later I was basically a new man. The Immodium had seemingly settled my stomach, and with this discomfort addressed I was able to think with a little more rationality and optimism. Fuck it, I’m gonna finish this thing. There is no way I’m dropping in the same aid station two years in a row.

Leaving Trient. Photo: iRunFar.

Leaving Trient. Photo: iRunFar.

I got up, and while a pair of medics worked on my wrecked feet (the rain and wet trails hadn’t done me—or anyone else—any favors), I began nibbling and eventually gobbling food. Potato chips and fig newtons were the main fuel, and after donning a fresh pair of socks and an extra plush pair of Fresh Foam Trail 980s, I was ready to get back at it after a three and a half hour pause. F’ing hell. I’d arrived at 11:30am with only 18mi to go, but now I just wanted to try and march it in before night fell. Let’s do it.

Descending the steps behind the pink church that marks the Trient aid station.

Descending the steps behind the pink church that marks the Trient aid station.

There’s not much more else worth telling, except that I learned a lot those last two hills. The climb up and over to Vallorcine was a manageable chunk once I turned my brain off and just executed, learning to truly stay in the moment. The stumble up Tete aux Vents/Flegere was hideous. There was a lot of cursing; that last hill is sadistic and makes anything else I’ve ever done in a race pale in comparison of difficulty.

Top of the last major climb, before Flegere. Photo: Buff Spain.

Top of the last major climb, before Flegere. Photo: Buff Spain.

The finish in Chamonix was insane. Being 8pm, six hours after Francois crossed the line, I expected my crew and maybe a small group of friends to greet me. Instead, I felt received by Chamonix as if I were the champion. It felt both massively undeserved and incredibly, touchingly supportive. I was moved. Thank you to everyone for all the support and well-wishing.

Finishing at far less than my best was totally worthwhile. When I ran Lavaredo earlier in the summer, I commented to a couple of friends that it was a great experience, but it didn’t involve any of the struggle or challenge that one looks for in a seasonal capstone race. So, professing to be seeking that kind of difficulty at UTMB, it would’ve felt pretty disingenuous on my part to just wilt and give up when the race actually delivered on said difficulty. Simply persevering was rewarding in and of itself, and I don’t think it was that I didn’t know that before, but that I’d never really given myself the chance to experience such perseverance while disentangled from the satisfaction of also having executed a top-level performance.

This was the first time I’ve ever had significant stomach issues in a race, and it has, of course, made me re-think my previously-reliable strategy of GUs and Coke for 100mi races. Going forward, I’m going to experiment in training with more “real food” starch-based fueling and will plan on utilizing those at aid stations, supplementing with far fewer gels while out on the trail. I’ve made a concerted effort this year to cut way back (but certainly not completely eliminate) the amount of processed wheat and sugar I eat in my daily life (race day at UTMB was the first time I’ve dipped into a jar of Nutella in months), and I’m curious if this possibly left me less well-equipped to deal with the onslaught of sugar that gels represent on race-day.

Beyond that, if I don’t get into Hardrock next year, I’ll most likely be returning to UTMB in 11 months’ time. Chamonix is too spectacular and the event is too electric to pass up the opportunity for another chunk of time in the shadow of the massif and another shot at the win.

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48 thoughts on “UTMB 2014

  1. Anton you have kickstarted a running trend with me and my friends and all you write are a great inspritation. We are a young bunch who would like to try forces with these crazy races one day. Please keep it up, you rock!! Also why do hair grow so slow

  2. Great read and a great inspiration. I’m training for utmb next year and your point about perseverance being rewarding is a salient thought and one that I’ll have packed my running bag next to the two legal head tourches ;).

    UTMB is a special race and if it possible of pushing athlethes of your calibre to absolute limit its no wonder people just keep coming back. Please rememebr you have a moral duty to do so as its inspirational for all of us!

    Good luck in your next race preparation and who knows I might see you on the start line one day.

    Stuart Mckenna
    #keeprunning

  3. Thanks for the report. I definitely think you should consider running the Réunion island Diagonale des Fous… crazy atmosphere.

  4. Once you start your way to a more clean – unprocessed diet, your body gets cleaner too. You can see that your body reacts more aggressively once you put in it things that are not good for him. The only difference is that in those years of processed foods he got used to it and it wasn’t able to notice all the harm of it. Once it gets cleaner it also gets wiser. I think you might try to switch coke with fresh OJ (that is sooo delicious and rejuvenating as well) and gels with some simple or starchy carbs. Ripe fruit is always the best option: Provides stable energy and doesn’t use your energy reserves for digestion but for moving instead 😉

  5. Very inspiring to read of you working through the struggles when we often hear of the top Elites dropping when they “aren’t competitive”.
    Thanks for the read and well done on a titanic effort. You’re a bloody legend.

  6. Fantastic. Well done. Proud just reading about it. Gels are such a contrasting pick with everything else in your immediate universe. You will find something more “you”.

  7. Truly an amazing race report, thanks Tony, although I wonder about those Spainyards, have done several ultras in and around Barcelona and it’s backcountry upp in the lower Pyrinees, at a race called Matox 69K and 7000 m of + altitude! they served on all aid stations except the two last ones, milk, cheese, butter, deluded red wine type 60/40 and air dryed ham, old hard bread with liver pate, beef broth, eggs, avocados, olive oil and so on! On the last two stations about 10 k to go and 1500 meter off + elevation they served goodies gelly sweets as much as you could eat! Jesus that gave a boost all the way to the finish line!
    Anything you have any expirience in, please comment, thanks for your report!
    Best regards
    Fred

  8. *Monsieur* Kupricka: this is all I find to say after reading your report. Hats off to a great champion and a great runner. Doing what you did between Trient and Chamonix after experiencing sickness before, and never giving up….definitely explains why you were welcomed the way you were in Chamonix. You deinitely deserve that.

    And, on a personal note, I know a very good friend of mine who will *love* reading “that last hill is sadistic and makes anything else I’ve ever done in a race pale in comparison of difficulty” when you write about Tete aux Vents…so we know that us, anonymous runners at the end of the race, are not the only ones suffering in these damn rocks !

    Kudos !

  9. Anton,
    Congrats on a gigantic victory of the mind after persevering against incredible adversity!

  10. Thanks for posting this. It can’t have been fun reliving this race! But very informative, as always.

    “I commented to a couple of friends that it was a great experience, but it didn’t involve any of the struggle or challenge that one looks for in a seasonal capstone race.”

    File this under be careful what you wish for, I guess!

  11. Amazing blog and I second one of the earlier poster’s remark, it’s so good to see an elite finish the race no matter what. This blog captures the heart of ultrarunning, that is persevering through a seemingly impossible task defying all odds.You are truly an inspiration and a badass. I feel this experience will make you stronger than ever. I look forward to your next race!

    -cheers

  12. Wonder if using the real fruit gels would be easier on the stomach? Or perhaps the baby food (fruit of course) that come in the gel-like containers? I know Tim VanOrden of Running Raw has used this means for fuel in the past and says it’s worked well.

    Anyhow, way to grind it out and finish. Though it wasn’t the result you had hoped for, the respect folks have for you will only increase.

  13. great read and so glad you tuffed it out and finished this year despite feeling hideous. Really interested in your comment about cutting sugar and starches from your diet and wondering if the gels were more troublesome because of this. I had a smiliar problem at Ultravasen (90k trail race Sweden) this year, I had stomach issues within an hour of racing and had to stop far too many times. I find any caffeine gels make me puke straight away. However, I too had cut most carbs out of my diet the 8 weeks prior to the event and rarely used gels or any food/drink in training. I think it is hard to know what you will feel like eating on an ultra until you are out there……and then it can be too late. Enjoy the recovery

  14. Anton,

    Great job gutting it out and maintaining a positive attitude. It truly is inspirational.

    I know you’re supported by GU but I was wondering if you had considered other brands of gels which are much easier to digest? I have no personal experience with it, but V-Fuel seems to be getting a lot of positive buzz.

    I’m still of the opinion that mixing in real food is the way to go, especially in the later stages of a race.

  15. Great blog! Thank you. If I am lucky and be selected for next year ( I have 9 points already) I really hope to see you there. Thank you again for inspiring a lot of runners.

  16. Way to tough it out, Tony. I guess you got your money’s worth on that one (and HR qualifier)! Hope the HR lottery gods are good to you this year.

    Is it possible that dehydration kept your stomach from recovering? I think your plan to do real food in the future will help. Also, I’ve heard great things about the high-fat, targeted carbs ketogenic diet in helping with nausea. Hope you find what works best for you.

  17. Enjoyed your post. You might consider contacting Skratch Labs in Boulder for more food based fueling options. I’m not affiliated with them but have had great success with their products and recipes.

  18. Good job writing and great job finishing.

    I certainly don’t know, but it’s conceivable the GI distress was not related to food choices. The symptoms sound like too much sodium, causing an electrolyte imbalance; some orange juice or a potassium pill may have helped.

  19. Great blog! I’m sorry you experienced all those problems but it is great that you finished. I also wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run due to some injury and about one month prior I committed. It was my first 100 miler so all I wanted to do was finish. It’s funny because you mention the different points you were at in the race and I was soooo far behind you! You are amazing and now if you do come back next year you will have the confidence of a 2014 finish and the extremely difficult struggle you fought through to get you to a 2015 podium finish! Don’t take this the wrong way but it’s nice to know you super athletes struggle too and suffer the same way us mid-packers do 😉

  20. I was there when Anton arrived in Cham. He was the real star of the event. All the people were clapping to encourage him. What a great moment and happy to read that he wants to be back next year. I do not want to miss that
    We had the opportunity to meet and have a quick chat in Cham in the next days. I do like his style and his spirit.

  21. Respect! Impressively honest account of a tough race. This may be more inspirational than many reports of victory. Bravo 😉

  22. Anton, interesting that you finished in the Fresh Foam 980. i’m curious about why you chose that shoe, it being so much more beefy then what you typically wear. Also, what shoe did you start the race in? I don’t recognize it in the photos.

    • Fred – I finished in the Fresh Foams because I knew I would be moving slowly and just wanted as much pure comfort as possible. It took me 5hr-flat to run it in from Trient…most the time I was going slowly enough that it didn’t matter what I was running in. As a side, note, though, the FF still has only a 4mm drop, which still allows for achilles activation/mobility in the footstrike. I started in a custom pair of 110s.

  23. Thanks for sharing your story, Anton, and for demonstrating mental fortitude to get to that incredible UTMB finish line. As far as the nutrition issues go, I recommend working with a credentialed sport dietitian and one who specializes in transforming endurance athletes who have had GI issues (okay, shameless plug for myself!). I’m in the Boulder area and would gladly help you.

  24. Great read Anton and although I wish you didn’t suffer the serious issues with your GI system, I am so glad to hear that you were able to push through it and cross that finish line! Instead of the GU gels try some UCAN super starch, it is basically modified corn starch that breaks down slowly into glucose and doesn’t give you those crashes that only relying on GU gels tend to produce! Generation Ucan, look it up and try it out!

    Joe Delano

  25. Pingback: Farewell to Summer 2014 | Kristina's Blog About Running

  26. Excellent read – thank you for sharing. I ran the Mont Blanc Marathon 80km in June and suffered similar stomach issues for the last 1/3 of the race. It’s impossible to imagine how bad it feels unless you’ve tried it so I totally feel for you. I only had another 25km to suffer through and doubt I could have done it for as long as you did – well done! It was my first ‘long’ distance and I popped the gels like nobody’s business so I’m certain it was the cause. Ran the CCC in Chamonix in August and didn’t touch a single gel and had absolutely no problems. Best of luck next year – I’ll follow you.

  27. Hey Tony, I enjoyed reading the race report. You have a lot to be proud of, and you can still kill it next year.

  28. Hi Tony,

    Props for toughing it out, fingers crossed for HR 2015.

    I noticed in the Buff video you filled your water bottle directly from the tap in your cabin, could this have contributed to the stomach issues? whilst not a dirty water source foreign supplies can often have way different levels of minerals and bacteria that if different to home can throw digestion way off?

  29. Tony,
    A truly amazing write up. As others have said in the past…you remember everything that transpired! I can’t even fathom the pain you went through, but that is kicked to the side by your sheer will to finish.
    Hope you can figure out what went wrong with the diet during the race…I can’t do gels, they tear me up after a few. The one company I can handle though better is First Endurance EFS Liquid Shots. For what ever reason that seems to do me better.

    http://firstendurance.com/nutrition/efs-liquid-shot.html

    Cheers!

  30. You implored a Churchillian stubbornness to, “never give in”. Bravo Tony! Winston may have won WWII, but that old fart never ran a hundred. Keep on truckin’!

  31. Great article! Thank you and thanks to Tony. An amazing effort! Tony has a couple of blue “derm” patches one his inner though and another on his shin. I have read about his struggles with the shin problems. Can you tell me what kind of patches they are? I am assuming they are for pain relief or inflammation. I am suffering from both and need some help.

    Thank you.

  32. Hi Tony,

    that is a really great story and you are so cool! Next year you will come back stronger than this year – i´m sure! :)

    Greetz from Austria! Sabrina

  33. I don’t understand why there wasn’t better nutrition for you (the runners) during the race. What kind of a trail race gives out bad food at the aid stations? The trail races around here in CA all have a large assortment of foods and drinks. How can you as a professional runner expect yourself to run 100 miles on bad nutrition? Why didn’t you have better food for yourself at the aid stations? I thought nutrition was a major factor during 100 mile races (it was during mine in 29 hours…)

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