Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The 5th Annual Hom 100 (2017)

This is the face of a man almost defeated...

First, about mile 50 I didn't feel good at all. Nausea and lack of food had been the story all day. More on this later...

Second, the entire blog I'd written weeks ago recapping the 5th Hom 100 was completely wiped out by a browser glitch.

In either case, the only option is to carry on. In the spirit of brevity however, please enjoy a hashtag version of what I'd originally written...

Early Miles (6 am - 8 am)

It was suggested to me that we start early and log some miles before setting up the aid station.

We knocked out a solid 13 miles before stopping to help set up.

Starting Off (9 am - 12 pm)

It's always great to see so many of Tony's friends, family and the ALS Association supporting the day. They donate supplies, set up the aid station and cheer on the runners all day.

Of course it's not really hot yet but I got behind on my nutrition early and never really caught up.

Friends continued to show up during the early hours helping me count off the miles and keep me company.

Afternoon Miles (12 pm - 6 pm)

I knew it was going to be a long day around 1 pm. I hadn't done any heat training so while 86F wasn't blistering, it was seriously taking its toll.

Despite friends coming and going, I was reduced to a snails pace due to the waves of nausea that kept gripping my belly.

It was difficult to stay cool. Once I hit the 50km mark though, I took an extended break in the shade, tried to eat and changed my shoes.

About 4 pm, I knew my normal eating tricks weren't working and I needed something new. A strawberry smoothie sounded awesome.

Photo credit: The Varton Family
Around 5 pm, the sun started to set and the shadows got longer. The cool temperatures did nothing for the gurgling in my belly. The strawberry smoothie would have its revenge.

One of the unwritten rules of ultra-running? Just puke it up and keep going. I honestly felt much better!

Finishing Up (6 pm - 10 pm)

I returned to the aid station practically starving. Inhibitions gone. Palate open to every option available. Chips. Soda. Gels. Granola bars.

With less than a half-marathon to go, I could feel my energy coming back. Cool temps. The light of the moon. Family and friends by my side. I knew everything was going to be OK.

Photo credit: The Varton Family
It's usually this time of the run I think back on Tony's struggles with ALS. I will never know the anxiety and pain he must have felt losing so much. Walking. Feeding himself. Hugging his children.

I didn't mind running alone for a while this night. The silence is a necessary reminder of how special Tony was to so many of us. I am proud to dedicate my time to remember him.

My son decided to join me for one of the final laps. We walked it all and chatted about how many loops he'd done, how much money we'd raised and how I was feeling.

As we finished or loop, I announced I'd be doing the last 4 miles by myself. Not being selfish, I just felt recharged and wanted to run.

Just like that, the HOM 100 (km) was finished around 9:30 pm. BTW, finishing in the dark isn't the greatest idea (the pictures suck). Something to change for next year I guess...

Closing Thoughts

First a big thank you to my wife, kids and the Freeman Farms 'village' who entertained the kids, helped at the aid stations and give their day in memory of Tony.

A special thanks to the Varton family - all the way from MI to support my crazy fundraising. You're the best!

We couldn't do much without our sponsors either!

In case you're wondering, this year's Hom 100 will raise almost $10,000 once all the corporate matching is comes in! Thank you! There's still time to donate - we'll be raising money all year.

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