Thanks! Tons of epic stories out there from people we all know. It was a long, painful, and rewarding day to day the least, but getting stalked all day by @ChrisO and Laura Howard made it a little easier.
Don’t you mean “like a hutt”? (Jabba and/or Pizza)
Thanks Jesse! Sorry to not see you at this one. Crazy how much rain has fallen in that area. A messy day out there for sure. A real degobah morning with high humidity and some rain. All three of of us from Pulaski finished together which was so awesome (Dusty grew up in Pulaski). Shaun and Dusty went to 50+ for the first time at this race. We had a pacer dns with a late foot injury but one pacer did his first 25+ run and my son did his first long pacing stint. A lot of firsts.
I love seeing people getting outside their comfort zone and getting after it. Sometimes way way far from comfort.
Some other real highlights were meeting so many people, awesome aid stations (they were honestly better than wser this year IMHO) and that finish line food tent with some really good brown ale.
I also thought it was really cool how even though Ellie had a bummer of a day she was going around to the aid stations after dropping to cheer people on. I saw her multiple times. What a champ!
Today I’m looking forward to going to Virgil knowing I’m just there for the show.
Whew!!! What a weekend. I love that danged race, but it’s a good thing it’s only once a year!
It was really a pretty amazing weekend. @TommyTighe and the Pulaskians were out in full effect.
I know it’s pretty cliche to say “I’m still processing it all”… that’s not quite the case, it’s all been processed… I’m just pretty loopy and most certainly exhausted.
But wow. The tank is full of inspiration right now.
Let me leave you with this for now…
Thanks @Jesse! It was definitely a much more trying experience than I had in 2019. Thought I was running pretty solid up through the Patch - but got hit hard there by dehydration and overheating. Mort and Erica were amazing and getting my iced up and cooled down. Stomach was off cause I think I was overdoing it on Tailwind/GU. Was able to swap to more water and real foods - so was feeling much better - but couldn’t get enough calories in so had to keep the effort lower to keep moving and grind on forward. Was happy to get it done and make it to the finish line with the heat, humidity, and mud. Still had a great experience with seeing so many volunteers and friends out there, and even meeting some new running peeps out the trails! Despite it’s difficulty and my lack of sleep - this is truly an amazing event and an awesome time.
I’m still nursing my smashed up feet from ES. I faked walking regular when I saw Pete at the FL running co. So he wouldnt judge me. . Are your Achilles supposed to feel like squeaky cheese? Asking for a friend.
After ws i am reevaluating TW and other “fortified” water stuff. I am rediscovering the value of potatoes and small sips of coke while sticking to regular water and gels/gu on the trail. Had a much better experience at es with that approach. Stomach was rock solid the whole time (was super lucky with heat though, if it had been hotter I would have been challenged to finish)
@ChrisO is the hand stand because the feet hurt so bad?
So I saw her at Naples (AS2) and was like, “look at you coming into the aid station with all that energy! That’s the way to do it” and then she busted out a cartwheel.
Saw her next at Sneaker AS3 and there she did a double cartwheel.
She continued at almost every aid station! And then finally at the finish line. Big energy!!
So Jesse, hopefully your tendons are back silent mode and you can reflect on your ES experience with clear perspective. What’s your take on the race? Would you recommend it?
I’m wondering how ES should be ranked against others on the east coast?
I’m the all in type that wants to do them all but I don’t think I have that kind of durability. My body’s warranty period ran out a long time ago.
I ran the ES100 in 2017 and can attest to how difficult it is. Lots of small boulders and scree, and PA doesn’t care much for switchbacks. Great organization and volunteers, and a nice single-loop course.
At Massanutten two years ago a. Inch of strangers and I had a long conversation about the toughest east coast 100s. Consensus was ES is the hardest, then Massanutten. Grindstone was considered, with its 24k of gain and 6 p.m. start, but those who’d run it said it’s a lot of forest roads and non-technical trail. Virgil Crest is also pretty tough—gain is around 21-22k, but it’s only moderately technical.
@TommyTighe Unless you hate yourself and want to come to that realization I would not recommend ES.
The last 10 miles was spent imagining my self getting to the finish, getting my buckle then throwing that POS into the lake.
Initial plan for ES was to pretty much hike it with a friend with a goal of completing. He was 2 weeks out from a fast flat 21 hour 100 and I was kinda still beat up from Ws. He dropped at 40. Technicality of the downhills worked him over and he had some knee issues (he had not previously run anything close to this technical and I suspect it wore him out. I went ahead at the mile 40ish aid station to get our crew prepped to try to get him sorted out and fixed up but from what I understand he came in sat down and quit right there.
At that point in race because we had been pacing each other I was actually in really good shape. Like not setting records but I had lots in the tank. 40-62 was faster than I had planned, came into crew aid. Did two loops of parking lot yelling for cobby my crew. Did not find her. Sat down ate a peirogi and had half a cup of coke, refueled and set back out. Still in good shape.
The section between 62 and 81 was tough. Like real slow and tough. I’m comfortable with technical, there was just a lot of it. Ups/downs/flats. Off camber very primitive trail sections, rock fields, long washes and ravines with softball/soccer ball rocks.
I was pretty deep dark mentally but the time I saw my crew again. I turned down pacing and the final crew at 90 and told them I would meet them at finish. I am glad I did this becusee I would have dropped at 90 if I had seen them.
I have done some hiking in PA over the past couple years and I forgot how much I hate their trails.
I was very angry and tired and frustrated.
The aid stations are great, the finish line was good. The fact that it’s a 100 mile loop made it super crew friendly. In some cases a 30 minute drive between aid is 8 hours of running. My crew was at the missed aid station while I was there but we didn’t see each other. That really didn’t bother me too much besides not getting new headphones.
Many sections of this race reminded me of Catskills but without the pay off of spruce and balsam ridge running. Like all the technical climb and descent but none of the fun. There were some runnable sections interspersed through out but I had a plan to hike and finish so I rarely got below 15 min pace.
I finished and I am proud for not quitting but I will never do that race again and I would not recommend it if you like yourself as a person. It is a dnf factory as far as I can tell.
My friend who dropped is planning to go back as part of triple crown. I will probably crew and pace him. He doesn’t like himself either
Wow… solid review.
So many parts were my favorite, “imagining my self getting to the finish, getting my buckle then throwing that POS into the lake.”, “I have done some hiking in PA over the past couple years and I forgot how much I hate their trails. I was very angry and tired and frustrated.”, “I finished and I am proud for not quitting but I will never do that race again and I would not recommend it if you like yourself as a person.”
Congratulations Jesse. Sounds like this one was well-earned. That’s a helluva “back-to-back”
I agree, that is a solid review! My favorite part was the description that it’s like the Catskills without the payoffs. That’s awsome you were able to finish Jesse! Nice!
Sounds like a real mental game. Maybe a good one to run after The beast Burden so it feels like it’s other mountains relatively. Then again the footing may be more frustrating.
It’s too bad that race name didn’t fall to a more epic course.
I think I need to try this Massanutten race. Sounds pretty sweet. Others on the east coast calling to me are Hellbender, Vermont and Midstate. Just got to figure out how to fit them in. At this point JFK is probably most likely after HS fall sports and the marathon season is over.
Luckily my legs feel like they are recovering enough from the summer to make a late season effort possible.
I was in on hellbender in 2019 until I found out I got WSER. I would like to run that. NC mountains interest me.