Friday, May 11, 2007

070505 Miwok 100K - Enjoy the Run among Ankle Twists and Missing a Turn

At a "mobile" aid station. Courtesy of Mike Hoffman

Date: May 5, 2007
Race: Miwok 100K
Location: Marin Headlands
Distance: 100K
Profile: 9,500ft gain/loss, highest: 1,600 ft, lowest: sea level, start/finish: 20ft (image/data courtesy of Stan Jensen's Run 100s and Miwok 100K)

Result: 12hr 12min 25sec (run 11hr 53min 12sec, pause 19 min 13sec), 74/200 overall
Photo: 070505 Miwok 100K, 2007/05/05/ Miwok 100K (Yuki Negoro), Miwok photos 2007 (Tropical John), Miwok100K-2007 (Jean Pommier)


I have waited for this run for so long, well, since it was sold out within the first 5 days this year. It was a great run last year - epic-like course, wonderful venue, and my first 100K. I had to resist the desire to pin the bib number, which had been on my desk for the last ten days. I needed to be patient and complete Diablo 50M first 6 days before the race. Yes, I safely completed Diablo 50M without injuries, but have stayed with sore legs since then. It was mainly because I have not done any trail training so far this year. Running Diablo 50M became my trail training and very tough (See 070429 Diablo 50M - A Tough Footrace I'll Ever Love but Never Quit)

For the past six days, I kept massaging my legs whenever I could - stuck in the I-880 south bound traffic, thinking at my job (I write software), meetings, and daily walking. Just like my scratch wounds from the fall in running Diablo 50M healing so fast, my legs amazingly got better a lot every day. This must be the intensive ultrarunning that helped the body work at the higher level.

While massaging my legs, I also found out my time split last year and thought about the pacing strategy this year. Partly motivated by the honor of having been the 1st place in the age group of USATF Pacific Association Ultra so far this year (see Ultra Standing), I eyed at Greg Nacco, who was close behind at 2nd place. Based on his sub-10 hr time in Miwok 100K last year, I set my 10 hr goal time. I knew this is nearly impossible, but why not giving it a try and see how it goes and how close I can do.

Of course, my rare 1st place standing will soon disappear after today's run because there are so many super fast runners on the entrant list. I have saved a snapshot of the page for myself,

Master Men 40-49
Plc, Points Name Age
1, 99.20 Chihping Fu 41
2, 93.40 Greg Nacco 47
3, 83.00 Mark T Lantz 41
4, 71.00 Jean D Pommier 43
5, 58.60 Paul A Brunner 45
6, 49.60 Yuki Negoro 46
7, 40.60 Bob A Gilbert 44
8, 40.00 Roy A Rivers 49
8, 40.00 John R Mintz 40
10, 38.40 Kenneth E Gregorich 48
11, 35.40 James Barstad 42
12, 34.40 Eric R Ellisen 45
13, 32.00 Karl K Hoagland 42
14, 31.00 John R Blue 43
15, 30.20 Tim Ruffino 44
16, 25.60 Jeffrey S Barbier 42
17, 24.00 Tim Wallen 43
18, 20.40 Bob G Tabler 47
19, 17.60 Rob Byrne 49
20, 16.00 John K Nichols 42
20, 16.00 Donald B Lindsey 46
22, 14.00 Kevin Sawchuk 41
23, 12.80 Jim K Schollard 40
24, 12.00 Mark R Murray 44
25, 11.00 Mark E Grismer 48
26, 10.00 David Leipsic 42
27, 8.00 John P Feeney 47
28, 6.00 Wendell Doman 47
29, 3.00 Stephen M Itano 47
30, 2.00 Eric L Vaughan 47
31, 1.00 Eric J Bohn 40
32, 0.00 Christopher E Craig 41

As of now, 6 days after the race, I dropped to the 3rd place after Miwok 100K is considered in the standing.

1, 163.00 Mark T Lantz 41
2, 141.40 Greg Nacco 47
3, 111.20 Chihping Fu 41
4, 103.00 Jean D Pommier 43

Getting to the Race

Thanks Steve Ansell for offering a ride to the race. According to Tia Bordington (the RD), there seems to be some privilege to carpool. It's also nice to have a chance to chat with Steve. Steve picked me up at 4am. We eagerly went for the race and had great time along the way talking about our running experience.

Steve Ansell at the checkin area

Along the way, there are not many cars in such early morning. Right after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, we have to take the first exit. We are in a long stream of cars after going through the tunnel. Is it like runners at single track trail? These are the runners for today's race. Right in front of us is the car for PCTR Wendell and Sarah for I can recognize by their vanity license plate.

We spot the small checkin area about 200 yards away (near the restroom). On thinking about whether we should just pull over and get out of the car right away, a volunteer lets us move forward and park close to the start. Perhaps cars with the single driver will be asked to return to the parking area here at 200 yards away from the race start/finish. Yes, it seems we have some privilege by carpooling. This is great because we won't be able to walk that far back to the car after running 100K today.

Stan Jensen (in blue) and the other volunteer helping at the Checkin Area

The pre-race moment is always the social time. Ultrarunners from all over the country probably only meet right here in a race. We can see all the runners. Once the race starts, we'll be at different place in the course according to our pace. At the finish, those very fast runners may have left, while sometimes we can not stay for too long to see the rest of the runners. The situation at the pre-race conversation is that we can feel the nervousness, which is often disguised under laughters. However, the excitement of meeting friends does relieve our nervousness.

I chat with Jon Olsen and agree to take a good photo for him. Unfortunately, I still get a blurred one like last time (see 070217 Sequoia 50K - Barely Finish with a Screaming Ankle). I think I have a lot to learn and practice in sports photography. I also spot a glimpse of Scott Jurek. Hope he can stay longer until I finish. I promised my kids that I would like to chat with him and take a picture with him.

Mike/Karyn Hoffman are coming. It was Mike to run, Karyn crewed and paced him last week in Diablo 50M. Today, Karyn is going to run, while Mike will crew and pacer her. What an ultra couple! Yuki Negoro is there too. He is training for the Western States 100M this year and I'll pace him after I finish the safety patrol.

Race briefing at the start

As we move to the start half mile away on the beach, I am walking with Linda McFaden and wish her good luck. She'll be in the prestigious Badwater 135M again this year among her amazing ultra's. It is still dark and we'll start before sun rise. Walking on the soft sand, I can feel a lot of excitement in everyone more than anything else. We are nervously waiting for the start of the run. There are professional photographers shooting the race, while Tia is talking about race and trail etiquette. I thought they come for TV or documentary film. Or since they look like Japanese coming for the Japanese ultrarunning star in this race, 石川弘樹 Hiroki Ishikawa.

Rodeo Beach => Bunker Road: 6.2 miles , 56:58, 9:29 min/mile, last year: 58:32

Everyone is excited on the Rodeo Beach. It's dark and a little cold. We are eager to take off.

Off we go right at 5:40am. After 100 yards of running on the soft sand, we begin the first climb immediately. We have to follow each other in the stream up on the narrow single track climb. For most of us, we don't need to speed up in the beginning, so everyone is patiently walking up on the trail.

Patiently streaming up on a narrow single track climb

After half mile or so, we run on the paved road. Around me are Betsy Nye and Paul Sweeney. Both are Wasatch Front 100M veteran and, like me, ran Diablo 50M six days ago. Rena Schumann is a few yards in front of me, while Karyn Hoffman is 30 yards away. All of them soon move away.

Betsy Nye (won 4 of her 8 Wasatch. just finished Diablo 50M six days ago)

There is a biggest deer that I've ever seen hopping across the road right in front of me. It was too fast for me to take a picture. The deer seems awakened by us on one day in May of a year, so it goes out to show who is the master of the hills.

I chat with Julie Arter nearby. She is pleased with the weather right now. It's clear sky unlike the foggy day when she ran Miwok 100K a few years. She is from the same town as the queen of Badwater 135M Pam Reed - Tucson, AZ. She actually has run a lot of 100 milers, including Leadville 100M, Wasatch Front 100M, Wester States 100M. She will run Leadville 100M this year and next year. I plan to do Leadville 100M next year as well and love to celebrate her 10th finish.

Julie Arter from Tucson, AZ

Those fast runners speed away. I'm getting to run by myself and enjoy the view and joy coming out from myself inside. This is the precious moment that I can run all on my own without pressure - no body fatigue, no pacing strategy, no finishing goal, no pushing pace from behind. It's the steep climb on the road adjacent to the Bay, one of great highlights in Miwok 100K. The climbing is not difficult as my legs are still fresh and the view is awesome. As we get higher, we enjoy more on the Bay and the beautiful San Francisco that seems still in sleep a few miles away.

Yuki Negoro catches up with me. I'm very excited to see him in the run. We are wondering not finding Rajeev Patel and Anil Rao before the race like last year. Out of his wonderful positive personality, Rajeev has a very distinct voice usually with joy and excitement, which can be easily recognized within the crowd. Rajeev comes for his second time in Miwok 100K, while Anil is on his debut after successfully pacing Rajeev last year.

Yuki also carries a camera. We can't miss such a grand view at beautiful San Francisco and Golden Gate Bridge, so we are busy at taking pictures.

Yuki Negoro taking a picture of Golden Gate Bridge

Yuki mentions he has some leg issues and may drop later, so he carries a cell phone as well to call his wife for pickup. I encourage him not to quit but run safely to the finish and build up the training mileage for Western States 100M. I also wish him not to miss a turn like last year. Unfortunately, both in turns happen to me later in today's run.

We start to run on the dirt trail after the 2 miles sightseeing on the asphalt. Yuki bid me good luck as I speed up a little on the trail. Within 100 yards, I have a hard twist on my fragile left ankle immediately after a slight twist on my right ankle. The trail is not technical at all. It is probably that my legs are not fully recovered from Diablo 50M six days ago and has not enough control over my footing. This is a bad sign in the beginning because I have such hard twists on my left ankle over ten times in next 10 miles.

The dirt trail after the sightseeing paved road climb
Paul Sweeney at the back

Each ankle twist is so hard and painful that I am afraid to get injured seriously. I have to scream a little and slow down for minutes. Climbs become a welcome treat because the slow pace or walking on the climb relieve the pain and recover my ankle a bit. I start to be very careful about my footing and slow down my pace. I start to think this is not a good day for me. There is no way to run 10 hr or fast time. Maybe finish without getting injured badly is my only best wish since dropping from the race has stayed in my mind for a while.

Along the downhill, I can see front runners far away down in the valley. They have passed the first aid station. I can not imagine their fast pace, but they must have run all the way up on our first long climb at the asphalt, while the rest of us simply took a stroll and enjoyed the view. Maybe I can try to run the whole climb next year to test my strength. Why not?

When I get to the Bunker Road aid station, I still have faster time than last year even I have slowed down for sightseeing and ankle twists. I have made 3 minutes faster

Bunker Road => Tennessee Valley: 5.7/11.9 miles, 54:48/1:51:46, 9:52 min/mile, last year: 57:18

Bunker Road aid station (H2O only)

The first aid station is water only with volunteer standing along the trail. I decide to skip it and test my thirsty limit since I have hydrated myself before the race. It starts with wet and soft trail after the aid station. I'm happy that there are no muddy water spots to wet the feet at early mileage like last year.

On the wet trail right after the aid station

At about half mile, we start a one mile climb. I run or walk and finally get to the top . I can see Yuki not far behind. Hope he has a good day. Then I switch to the trail and crest high on the hills. The view is great as I can see the green valley wide down below and far away. Sometimes it becomes wooden paved trail to prevent erosion. There are lots of giant wild flower absorbing the rich moist at the coastal area.

At one left turn, I notice that this is place on the returning course. After long hours today, I'll visit it on coming back. Before the next aid station, there is a steep downhill for about half mile. I pass Julie and continue to go fast but carefully about my fragile ankle.

Tennessee Valley => Muir Beach:
4.1/16.0 miles, 45:25/2:37:11, 10:49 min/mile, last year: 44:02

Tennessee Valley aid station

At Tennessee Valley aid station, Thanks Stan Jensen (in blue jacket) for filling up my bottle. Karyn Hoffman is also there with his husband crew Mike Hoffman.

Me at Tennessee Valley aid station. Stan Jensen (in blue). Courtesy Mike Hoffman.

I quickly take off to continue on the paved road for half mile. Paul Sweeney passes me (forever). Wally Hesseltine runs towards me. He seems working as a mobile volunteer on the trail. I met him last year when I was struggling around Pan toll going out. He is an ultrarunner that I have admired since beginning.

Karyn Hoffman (in green) and runners far away

There are other visitors on the trail and even on the climb that comes at the end of the paved road. Karyn passes me on the climb. We will climb until we are higher than the nearby hills and see the ocean. A few others pass me, but I feel great to stay at the back to selfishly enjoy everything at my own pace. I take a lot of pictures about Karyn along the way as she is ahead of me at such a wonderful place of ocean view. This is yet another great moment in
Miwok 100K.

WOW! Only after hard work on the climb.

We run along the coast at a few hundred feet high above the ocean until we run on a downhill to the next aid station.

Muir Beach => Pan Toll:
5.7/21.7 miles, 1:08:25/3:45:36, 12:54 min/mile, last year: 1:03:13

Muir Beach aid station

Leaving the aid station, there is a quarter mile section along the paved road in a small neighborhood. Karyn Hoffman is about hundred yards in front of me. As the course turns to a narrow trail at the left side of the road, I can no longer see Karyn. It is now single track trail in the meadow and trees. There are some wooden bridges. One of them is very bouncing, feeling like a hanging bridge. I'm not sure if they can hold well after hundreds of us stamping on them every year like this.

Running on this trail for a mile, we need to cross a small paved road and start the climb. It's more exposed and we can feel the heat on the climb. Near the top of the climb, the course stays close with Quad Dipsea run. It becomes wide open. It is still uphll and we can see ocean after a mile. Then we turn to redwood forest.

Fast Andy Black catches up and I am able to see his bleeding wounds after a hard fall.

Fast Andy smiling after a hard fall

At one point, we have a giant fallen redwood across on the trail. I just climb over, while Andy and some other runners walk around it from the right side.

Need to tackle this fallen giant redwood tree

We also see Tropical John on the trail taking pictures (See his photo at Miwok photos 2007).

I know this section is not easy as we need to complete nearly 1,800 ft climb and get to the ridge. I start to feel nauseous but not serious. I think I am a little dehydrated as it gets warmer and I have only one water bottle. Apparently, I should have drunk more. I finally get to the next aid station.

Pan Toll => Bolina Ridge:
6.7/28.4 miles, 1:14:23/4:59:58, 11:43 min/mile, last year: 1:10:58

Pan Toll aid station

I look for Addy but did not see her. I guess she will be there on my way back. There are a lot of people around and it seems to be the main spot for crewing and pacer. Actually, the pacer is allowed from here on coming back. I quickly leave the aid station and go into a shady narrow trail under redwood trees. After a mile, the course goes to the beautiful narrow single track trail along the coast. We can see Stinson Beach far away and unbelievable 1,500 ft below. This is another great view in
Miwok 100K.

Ocean is 1,500 ft below and far away is Stinson Beach

I run along with Fast Andy. As usual, we pass the junk car. Andy says it used to stay away from the trail. My faint memory from last year seems to agree with this. Perhaps some geological factor has been working through the time. Fast Andy speeds up and moves away from me.

Fast Andy looking above to see how the car fell to the trail

Later during a quarter mile section of dense forest, Jeff Barbier catches up after getting lost somewhere. We met in a few other races. One is
Diablo 50M/Marathon. He ran Marathon, while I did the 50 miler.

I run ahead and turn around to take a picture for him. I then trip and fall to the ground right away after taking the picture. I can not get up even with Jeff's help until a second try. I have a bleeding 2 inch cut on my left inner elbow and two longer 3 in bleeding cut next to my heart right at the center of my chest. Perhaps the heartbeat belt protect me from more cuts. I am scared a little and hope these not are serious. Luckily, I seem to be able to keep running.

Jeff Barbier catches up after getting lost

This is a long 6.7 mile section. Some part are exposed with magnificent views, but it does not help my feeling of dizziness. I maybe need to drink even more at the next aid station.

Bolina Ridge => Randall Trail:
7.2/35.6 miles, 1:08:54/6:08:52, 10:30 min/mile, last year: 1:17:27

Bolina Ridge aid station

The aid station is crowded with runners. I quickly drink a lot and leave. We'll run 7.2 miles on this trail to the next aid station, which is the turn around. Unlike last year, there are a few wide water spot. All except one can be run around without getting wet feet. I have to run through the water at only one water spot. The fun is more than the anxiety. My feet get cooler with the water, but the Vasque Lightspeed shoes dry my feet very quickly that I don't feel any wetness within minutes.

I know it's time to watch the front runners coming. It is a nice thing to have this out-and-back section. I have my camera ready at my hand. Unexpectedly, the leader Lon Freeman is coming at such an early time. This is my mile 28 and his mile 42. Wow! He has been running 50% faster than I! He must be on the record setting pace because I spotted the front runner far later in this section last year. He finishes it at 8 hr 9 min, breaking 8 year old record 8 hr 22 min set by the ultrarunning legend Carl Andersen.

The lead runner Lon Freeman at his mile 42 (my mile 28).
He sets the course record 8 hr 9 min 52 sec.

Following behind is Greg Growler. He just won 50K and 100K USA championship a few months ago this year. Today he seems to be some distance behind Lon Freeman. It's great to see those elite ultrarunners in running along the way -
Scott Jure, Kami Semick, Nikki Kimbal, Jon Olsen, Mark Lantz, Bev Anderson-Abbs, Alan Abbs, etc. Also 石川弘樹 Hiroki Ishikawa, strong and smiling. I call his name and he looks a little surprised that someone recognizes him on the trail.

When can you run up close with Kenyan or Ethiopian runners in Marathon road race?

Bev Anderson-Abbs flyies by.
She finishes 9 hr 47 min 7sec, 14th overall, 3rd women.

I recognize Wendell Domain by his PCTR T-shirt and he looks fine. He mentions Sarah also runs today. Another wonder ultra couple! I pass him but think I'll see him later coming up as he also shows his better endurance in past races.

After the long rolling, we need to make a left turn to the 1.5 mile steep down hill all the way to the aid station. Here I see Brian Wyatt coming back. He is now 3 miles ahead of me. He has been running so fast within the past year. No wonder he is at sub-10 hr pace.

I try to be careful on this downhill for fear of getting ankle twisted. I can see all those runners ahead of me, including Rob Bryne (the Ohlone Wilderness 50K RD) and young Michael Hayden at the age of 17.

This is really a long downhill. I enjoy the speeding , but am thinking that I need to pay the downhill later on coming up.

Randall Trail => Bolina Ridge:
7.2/42.8 miles, 1:27:39/7:36:31, 13:34 min/mile, last year: 1:24:17

Randall Trail AS (the turnaround)

It's great to get to the turnaround, although there is still over 25 mile to go. Wendell Domain comes in as well. I quickly drink a lot and leave. Somehow I am able to run part of the 1.5 mile climb. After about 10 min, I see Yuki Negoro. We talk about how we will meet
石川弘樹 Hiroki Ishikawa in future.

With patience, I finally finish the climb. Right there Penny Beeston just comes in enjoying the downhill. I'm glad to see her as we met in other races a few times.

Perhaps thanks to slow pace in the beginning, I seem to be able to run most of the hills right now. After a while, I see Marrisa Walker running with smile. Soon being a personal trainer like the fast Brian Wyatt, she has kept running more and more ultra's with him. This is her first 100K after she finishes her debut American River 50M three weeks ago. I greatly admire her spirit and effort.

Bolina Ridge trail on my way back

I also see
Rajeev Patel and Anil Rao running together. They look so great right now and ready to make a blast today. Rajeev finishes nearly an hour faster than last year. Anil completes his first Miwok 100K only a few minutes behind Rajeev. Both have a great job and a wonderful day!

Bolina Ridge => Pan Toll:
6.7/49.5 miles, 1:23:34/9:00:05, 12:54 min/mile, last year: 1:22:51

Great view but has to work hard with tired body to come back

Leaving Bolina Ridge aid station, the course gets to exposed but with great view rolling single track trail. I'm slow and have trouble with the narrow trail because the trail is tilted to one side. It seems I can easily get my ankle twisted. I have to run carefully. I am a little tired and a few runners pass me. However, as time goes by, I feel better with my legs. When entering the woods a mile before the next aid station, I feel like fully recovered.

Pan Toll => Highway 1 Crossing:
5.2/54.7 miles, 1:01:40/10:01:45, 11:14 min/mile, last year: 1:07:51

I see Addy at the aid station. I quickly swallowed a slice of watermelon. I leave after my water bottle is filled. I don't see Kermit either because He has left for pacing Michael Hayden, who is ahead of me.

Wendell Domain comes in. This reminds me that he gets stronger at later miles and starts to pass me. I have all I need at the aid station and take off. Betsy Nye is a few feet ahead of me and waiting for her pacer. I feel reluctant but to pass her because I know she is faster. I feel great at this moment. It begins with the trail in giant redwood forest. I get to the fallen tree again. I don't climb over this time but walk around it. Soon I leave the nice forest and get to the open area that is shared by Quad Dipsea race.

Running close to the Quad Dipsea course

After a while, it's a long steep downhill, where I passed Scott Leonard and Ken Ward from Oregon. They have run with each other all the time to the finish. As I cross a road, the trail becomes winding in forest with wooden bridges. I paid more attention here because the instruction mentions this is some runners easily missing the turn. Basically we have following the same course on coming back, but there is a left turn going to another trail which gets to the Highway 1 Crossing aid station. I pass a gal there, who is listening to music and scared by my voice. I want to tell her to notice the turn nearby.

Within seconds, I spot the left turn where there are lots of ribbon. The trail becomes switch back up along overgrown plants. Amazingly I am somehow able to run all the way up with feeling sore on my legs. At the top, the trail leaves the trees and becomes exposed. It goes up but not that steep as the switchback. It winds around hills. The area is wide open. I can see Betsy and her pacer about 200 yards behind and a runner 100 yard ahead.

At the REAL top, there is a volunteer telling me the aid station is within 100 yards. This motivates me a bit, but I later find out it's more than that. Before I get to the aid station, I just pass the runner ahead of me.

Highway 1 Crossing => Tennessee Valley:
3.7/58.4 miles, 40:46/10:42:31, 10:47 min/mile, last year: 47:05

I quickly leave the aid station after refueling at the aid station. It begins with a long slow climb, winding along the mountain up. On the left side, Sausalito lays down below. I think this is the first time I see a city after I saw it in the early morning.

Long slow climb right after the Highway 1 crossing aid station

Along the climb, there are a few runners walking slowly, while I do not stop running. I am glad about it because I was walking last year and got passed by a couple times. I pass them (Sy Vu, etc) one by one. After I pass them, they are motivated and start to run. I talk to Martin Fagan who is recovering from stomach issue. I encourage him to speed up once he feels OK. Within a minute or two, I am glad he starts to run.

Martin Fagan is recovering from a stomach issue

Looking back far away, I can see Betsy Nye and her pacer working hard on the climb at about 150 yards behind. At the top, we are running on the rolling ridge. Then it goes steep down hill. It becomes very rocky with lots of hard soil at the end.

As I can see the Tennessee Valley AS less than a mile away, I am speeding on the rocky steep trail. Thanks to the protection from my real trail shoes, the footing is hard but I feel fine. Betsy Nye is also catching up. I have passed a couple of runners, but Betsy Nye always gets closer and closer from behind. I am happy that the duel is finally over when she passes me. With so many tough 100 milers under her belt, Betsy Nye demonstrates her strength at the later miles. I express best luck to her. Her pacer and crew also comes by, although I though she is a runner, too. We soon get to the aid station after a quarter mile on the asphalt.

Tennessee Valley => Rodeo Beach:
5.8/64.2 miles, 1:10:42/11:53:12, 12:47 min/mile, last year: 54:04

At the aid station, there is Kevin, with whom I shared the same shuttle bus at the
American River 50M. Betsy Nye does not stop but keeps walking to pass the aid station. Her pacer does everything for her at the aid station and catches up. Now I know what a good pacer should do for the top runner. This will be helpful when I pace Yuki in Wester States 100M this year.

There is another runner there earlier than I. He takes off but walks slowly. After quickly drinking enough fluid and filling up my bottle, I leave the aid station with full prepare on the final stretch.

Long ridge trail leads to the finish at the beach

I run and pass the runner at the stable right before the switch back climb. This is where I ran down fast in the morning.

I can see Betsy Nye about 100 yard away. There is no way for me to catch up. Looking back, I also move farther away from the runner behind. I'm alone running so I focus on my pacing. My running at the coming back course has been excellent and far beyond my expectation so far. The only exception of being passed by Betsy Nye is also acceptable.

I carefully follow the course, but still can see Betsy in blue running ahead. I am running at a wide trail over the rolling ridge. After I get to the top, I enjoy the speedy steep downhill. Then I miss a right turn to the Wolf Ridge trail but stay at the Miwok trail all the way down. I am simply enjoy running 8 min pace until I feel suspicious that I seem to run alone. And, most importantly, I have not seen ribbon markers for a while. There are no one around, nor can I see Betsy in blue ahead.

I keep running downhill, but slow down because of this concern. After a mile or so, there is a group of visitors ahead. When they do not see a female runner in blue or any other runners, I know I have missed a turn. I have go to back to where I made the mistake. The thought of keeping going down and get to the finish easily soon disappear. This will make me disqualified!

All I have to do is work on this one mile climb back and continue the race. I am a little disappointment, but I let it replaced with the runner's high that kept me all the way back. After I patiently run or walk for over 20 minutes, I spot the turn. There are some people sitting there. I wish they could have yelled to me earlier.

Now I need to overcome the dreadful climb ahead of me. It's the hill that looks so scary at the end of such a long run, but I know I'll get to the top after a few minutes. I have the final view in mind. At the top, I'll see beach, ocean, and finish tent. Therefore, the climb is almost effortless or I simply ignore the pain.

When I get to the asphalt at the top, I feel great to finish the long run with such a beautiful view. I look for the finish tent.

The finish area down below near the beach

There is still 1.5 miles to go, but I feel relaxed with no one behind to push the pace. I ran casually and carefully without hurting my injured ankle. There is small uphill taking me 20 second walk. Otherwise, I cruise down the winding paved road. Sy Vu, whom I passed earlier, seems to be in pains and walks very slowly on the stairs, shortcut for the winding paved road. I pass him again here. I think he also has the finish in mind and is willing to tolerate anything for a few minutes.

The cheering noise gets louder, I finally cross the finish line without any effort. I have spent
12hr 12min 25sec. This is the longest and my first time over 12 hr in any sub-100 mile run! I learned a lot from the run and look forward to next year as I can do it better.

At the finish, I saw a lot of friends, who arrived earlier than I. I answer a bit about how I missed a turn when they have a question why they did not feel passing me.

Scott Jurek is there, too. I patiently wait until he finishes his conversation with others. I introduce myself and have a chat with him. I feel like staying so close with a celebrity for the first time in my life. I'm excited. I have a picture with him and have my race T-shirt signed.

Me and Scott Jurek at the finish

Another great ultra couple, Mark Lantz and Rena Schumann, also come over and we have a nice chat. I'll see them in Quicksilver a week later.

While I am taking a cold shower,
Steve Ansell also finishes. He has a great run today and runs strong at later miles while others are struggling.

Other Reports

Rajeev Patel - Miwok 100K, Miwok 100K in 2006. Both have a poem each.
Steve Ansell - Recipe for Success
Jean Pommier - Miwok 100K 2007: farther, with breathtaking views
Kelly Ridgeway - Running friends at Miwok, Satisfied at Miwok 100k
MarinIJ -
Freeman sets Miwok 100K record
Jakob Herrmann - MiWok 100 Race Report - Jakob (need Ultrarunning List subscription)
Greg Crowther - A Day of Surprises


Peter Lubbers said...

Hi Chihping,
Great job, so quickly after the last 50 miler.
Miwok looks like a beautiful course.
Thanks for the nice report and the great pictures.
Take care of those ankles!

Eudemus said...

Great race report, Chihping. I really enjoyed all the pictures as I tend to just "zone out" so much and barely remember the first few hours of the race. You brought it all back for me! You did a great job with the ankles and right after Diablo! You are on one heck of a pace this year. Good luck at Quicksilver this weekend.

anil said...

Great job at Miwok Chihping. Congrats on 2nd consecutive Ultra effort. 2 more to go this month and I am sure you will do great job there as well.

Awesome pictures. I am already waiting for miwok 2008!!

Take care of those ankles!

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Thanks Pete! When will you come to Bay Area for running instead of working? :-)

I don't like the pain in my knee and ankle. I miss the soreness after Diablo.


Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Hi Steve,

I was good at the first few hours when my body was fresh. At later miles, I had to focus more to keep my body moving.

However, you only started your engine powered later. This is your Recipe for Success!


Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Thanks Anil! Congrats to your first Miwok 100K finish!

After 10 days, I'll be "free". I really look forward to it! Then I don't need to surpress my excitement of being in WS100


Rajeev said...


You do realize that you would have finished in under 12 hours had you not gotten lost after Tennessee Valley? Given your injuries, you ran a superb race. The photos are wonderful as is the race report.

Congratulations on yet another stellar performance. Good luck with Quicksilver tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Great job Chihping, but take care of that ankle. I will be happy to see you at Quicksilver tomorrow morning. Your Miwok race report is just what I needed to get inspired.

It looks like we are the only 50 milers signed up from Fremont, so let me know if you would like to carpool down. I may take the whole 12 hours, so you might want to leave earlier!

Douglas Stillman
(510) 681-1176

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Thanks Rajeev. Running extra miles is fine and only makes my run worth. I would like to have fun even with something unexpected and I did. I'm really satisfied.

Love to see our gang tomorrow!


Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Thanks Doug.

I love carpooling, but I can not stay too long after finish for a family matter.

See you tomorrow!


Harry said...

Just dropping in to say thanks for the report and congratulations. Great race only 1 week after the Diablo!

I'm going to make sure my signup for next year's race is ready and in the mail 1/1/08.


Anonymous said...



Addy said...

Hey! Congrats on running such a great race. Your report was really enjoyable, and one that I've been looking forward to reading. Even with getting lost, the fall, and your ankles, you still seem like you had lots of fun out there :)

Reading all these race reports really makes me want to join in the fun next year ;)

Thanks again for sharing this with us (oh, and the pictures are great!) and good luck at Quicksilver!

You seem to be a running machine ;)

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...


很幸運住在舊金山灣區, 一年到頭有許多精采超馬可以跑, 不去可惜, 只有忍住肌肉酸痛, 一一赴會.

今年回台灣 (6/29 - 7/17), 也會到處看看, 十八尖山與新竹內地山區, 仍舊十分嚮往!


Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Hi Addy, Thanks for reading my lengthy report.

You've completed the extremely tough Diablo Marathon, so you're very qualified for any ordinary 50 milers or even 100K. Looking forward to your first 50 miler or 100K!


olga said...

Wow, that's a great and detailed report with so many photos! Good run! I've heard lots about you from Rick Gaston:)

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...


Thanks for stopping by and your comments. I've also heard a lot about you everywhere :-)

Maybe I'll visit your area in Aug - Waldo or Cascade.


Anonymous said...

Hi Chihping,'

Just found your web site. Some great stories in there.