Beautiful day for the 24th running of the Arkansas Traveler 100 in the Ouachita National Forest.
6:00 am start at 48 degrees; peaking around 71 degrees in the afternoon; comfortable, early fall breeze all day long.
Miles 1 - 60 at 9:00/mile; Miles 61 - 100 at 10:00/mile.
17 GU Roctane Gels; 6 bags of GU Chomps; 13 20 oz. Gatorades; 3 peanut butter-and-honey sandwiches.
Ran alone from start to Mile 83.9 (Lake Winona) where I picked up my brother, Luke, as a pacer for the only stretch of night running. Running as much of the race as possible in daylight was part of my race strategy, and, in fact, I didn't even carry a flashlight/headlamp as an incentive to push hard for the 16-mile stretch between crew locations from Mile 68 (Powerline inbound) to Mile 83.9 (Lake Winona).
Third fastest time in race history, 22 minutes off course record.
Stayed clean (no falls) and kept my wits.
Stayed present, focused, and did my best, just as I had committed to do when talking to my son, Max, the night before the race. He believed in me. My wife, Diana, believed in and supported me throughout the process.
The efficiency and effectiveness of my two-man crew (my father, Mark, and Luke) was the envy of other runners. We crushed it, and there's no way sub-16 would have even been in the discussion without a near professional operation (approximately 7 minutes in 5 crew locations/aid stations).
My Granddad, who passed away Friday morning, was watching over me.