|Willis Creek in Grand Staircase Escalante NM|
|Willis Creek--easily accessible non-technical slot outside Cannonville, UT|
|View on the BLM road to Willis Creek|
|Devil's Garden on Hole-in-the-Rock Rd near Escalante, UT|
|Cedar Breaks National Monument outside Cedar City, UT|
|Squeezing out of Fire Canyon|
|Fire Canyon,Valley of Fire State Park|
|Near Mouse's Tank, Valley of Fire State Park|
Here's the GPS, though it's actually only the data for miles 39 to the finish. I didn't start wearing it until then because the battery only lasts ~20 hours.
I highly recommend the Bryce 100. The first 35 miles or so are spectacular singletrack with some of the prettiest running I have ever done (unfortunately I wasn't carrying my camera). The course was mostly an out and back, and most of miles 35-65 or so were on dirt roads, as well as most of 80-100, but there were still great views for much of that. It was both very hot (80 during the day?) and very cold (30 at night?). I felt great through mile 35, but the climb to 45 took it out of me. I did the first 50 in 11 hours, then promptly vomited and got no food to stay down the rest of the race. A man can only run so fast on ginger ale and soup broth.
I saw crew for the first time and picked up my pacer at mile 61. (The race director said 4WD might be necessary to get to earlier aid stations, but it turned out it would have been doable in the 2WD rental.) Nielsen ran (walked, mostly) with me to mile 89, then gf ran the long-feeling 11 miles to the finish. I of course was hoping to break 24 hours, but I finished in 25:56. That's a new PR by 36 minutes, so I'm happy about that. My stomach problems were definitely less bad than at Wasatch, but I'd really like to be able to eliminate them completely. Eliminate gels completely and try real food, since that seemed to work OK for my first handful of 100's? That's the plan. I'll probably carry dates and hope for lots of broth at Western States.
After the race I recovered just fine. Sort of ridiculously well, perhaps. Meaning I probably had gas left in the tank and could have broken 24 hours. But at the time I really felt like I was spent--I couldn't eat anything, and on hills the the cold air and cold water and cold body prevented me from taking anything but the shallowest of breaths--I had to stop and pant, and running made me burp and get hiccups that wouldn't go away until I took warm broth at the next aid station. Nielsen entertained me with stories, but I couldn't do much talking of my own. Yet, as always, the sun came up, I finished the race, and I soon felt fine enough to go drive all over Utah and hike a slot canyon. Now all I feel is a little bit of "thickness" in my calves, but I otherwise feel recovered, if sleepy from taking a redeye.
I knew I'd be fine when the race ended, so I used stickk.com to try and overcome this. I used a conservative acquaintance from grad school to put $25 on the line to the "anti-charity" known as the National Rifle Association. Perhaps if I'd put $500 on the line, I would have cared more about the children at midnight despite the vomiting and the weakness, but $25 wasn't enough. Basically, I'm mentally weak and now I need to give $50 to the Brady Campaign to make up for it. And run sub-24 at Western States.