THE KETTLE MORAINE 100 WAS LAST WEEK and I’m still having trouble believing that a) it’s over, and b) I finished it. At least I think I did; I might still be out there hallucinating. (More on that next time.) I’m putting together a more detailed account, but right now I’d like to share some of the myriad sights and sounds of my 28-hour, 17-minute adventure.
The text in italics was spoken by other runners; where there’s no attribution, I just happened to overhear it.
Mile 2 or so, cruising along with a large group: “Hey! Walk the hills!”
“I was running with Nick and he picks up this big rock. He was going to carry it to the next aid station as a gag. He thought it was about a half mile away. It turned out to be over three miles. But he carried that rock the entire way.”
Mile 14 aid station, as I approached the drop bags: “Just take any one you like, they all got the same shit in ’em.”
Group of women to another group: “Happy Birthday, to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, dear — people! Happy Birthday to you!”
“We’re celebrating our third wedding anniversary at this race.”
(To me) “What’s the Scuppernong cutoff? My wife’s worried she won’t make it.” Me: “Nine hours. She’s got plenty of time.” Him: “I don’t know why she worries. She did just fine at her 100 two weeks ago.” Me: “She ran one of these two weeks ago?” Him: “Oh, yeah. She’d do these weekly if she could.”
Mile 45 aid station, sunset not far away: Guy 1: “You don’t have a headlamp?” Guy 2: “No, I didn’t think I was gonna need one.” Guy 1: “I have a spare headlamp in my bag. You will take it. Just turn it in at the finish and tell them my bib number.”
Woman ahead, turning to me: “What’s a name of a band that begins with V?” Me: “Um – Van Halen.” Her: “Thanks! Never would have thought of that one. Join our game, please. I’ve gotta do something to keep my mind off this.”
Mile 62, as I start the second leg of the race: “100-miler going back out!! Woohoo!!”
Aid station, middle of the night: “What do you need?” Me: “A pizza and a large latte, that’s what I need.” Her: “How about some chicken noodle soup?” Me: “Sounds good.”
Several people along the way: “God, my feet hurt.” Me: “Yep, mine too.”
Aid station captain at mile 96: “You’ve got 4.8 miles left. You can do anything for 4.8 miles. You could stand on your head for that long.”
Just about everyone who passed me during the race: “Good job.” “Good work, man.” “Keep it up.”