Monday, June 29, 2009

The Dance ended early….

If you were running or watching Western States you probably know I dropped. Not quite the result I was looking for.

Why did this happen? I don’t know and to be honest I’m not dwelling on it, it happened. I tried to get around it to the best of my ability and came up short.

To start with I felt great leading up to race day. I had what I would call nervous bowels for a few days before, but I was nervous. Was I sick? I don’t think so I was eating and felt good.

Race day my HR was good and my effort level was mellow. I was following my plan to keep my effort down and follow my HR monitor. I started eating and drinking on the Escarpment climb according to my plan without issue.

I just passed Cougar Rock (12ish miles) and felt the need to burp. Well, barf is what I got. Soon after I had to go #2 and it was diarrhea. Of course this coincided with nausea and no desire to eat.

Knowing I now had no fuel or water in me I went to work on fixing that. I slowed down my running and started to walk more and take in ginger.

At Red Star Ridge I slowly took in a Boost, which came up soon after. This was the turning point; I was far from the next aid station and starting to lose energy.

By Duncan I was a mess. I sat down and tried to collect myself and fuel up. BIG THANKS to Jesse Baragan for all his help and encouragement at Duncan. I left Duncan not much better fueled but the chair was scaring me and I had not desire to eat.

By this time the story is familiar to anyone who runs. Low calories with effort= BONK. By the time I started the climb to Robinson Flat I was a mess.

I tired in vain to refuel at Robinson Flat, no luck. Prior to the cut-off I asked to drop.

A unique day, my 6yr old daughter had never seen me cry. I’m not embarrassed to say I did a lot of it that day at Robinson Flat.

The positive side, yes there is one, this was an incredible experience, I would do it all again. Want to experience something incredible. Stand at the Escarpment at dawn as this race goes by. Incredible energy and incredible views.

To everyone who helped me along as they came across my shuddering mass, THANK YOU! Every look and kind gesture was up lifting and welcome.

A District Attorney I work with sent me this quote in an e-mail this morning after he heard I dropped, I thought I would share. It really hit the experience home for me:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

The Big Dance ended early for me, but there will be another Dance.



  1. Right on, Anthony. There will be another dance. So sorry this one didn't go how you'd hoped. Here's to a quick recovery and triumphs of high achievement for you.

  2. Anthony,
    I felt so bad for you at Robinson. My husband said he wanted to start an IV on you.
    I wish you the best of luck at your next endeavor.

  3. Thank you Leslie, you looked awesome when I saw you. Tell you husband thank you for the offer. I would have tried but I pass out with needles so I didn't want to add that to my list of problems.

    Sorry to hear you ended up in the same boat as me. We'll be there again soon.


  4. Bro,

    No shame in anything. The best in the sport had the same result you faced. I've ran with you a few times and what I saw when you got to Duncan was not the same person. You were in trouble. I learned a lot from the sideline that day and hopefully I will be able to put it in use some day at States.

    Rest, recoup and plan your next move. Hopefully I will be back running soon, if so, lets get together.

    Oh and hey, I'm starting a blog also.

  5. Jesse-

    Thanks again for your help at the AS, I needed it. I don't know what happened to my body, but it was bad.

    I look forward to your blog and running with you again.


  6. I'm sorry that your race ended the way it did. As you know, anything can happen out there. You'll be back, and even more ready. Don't dwell on it, Anthony. You were one of many great runners who didn't make it this year. Keep training and I will see you out there.

  7. Hey Anthony. I was bummed to see you in the state you were in before Robinson. Sorry your day didn't go as planned. It was a strange day out there. We'll take what we learned from this one, and make us better for the next ones.

  8. Kelly - Thank you, I will be back, BTW I tried some Drymax socks after seeing them on your blog, they ROCK! I have 3 pairs now.

    Burton - Your right, I learned a lot that day, my 30 miles was as big an adventure as any I've had. It's what I like about ultras your always learning because things are always changing.


  9. Wow Anthony,

    That is an incredibly tough day. I think I passed you in Duncan Canyon - I was hoping you were OK since you are such a strong runner I normally should not be anywhere near you. It was quite an eye-opener to see how many people were having stomach issues out there. I can imagine that losing all your liquid and calories before Robinson would leave you an absolute wreck.

    Do you have any theories as to why things started to go wrong? Altitude? taking in too may calories too early?

    All the best - and wishing you some nice easy running for a while.

    Cheers, Paul

  10. Paul,

    Thanks for post, how is your recovery going? I read your report, WOW your one tough guy.

    As for me I don't know what it was, but I just got something in the mail that added something to the mix. Costco sent me a letter stating the tri-tip I bought (and ate Monday before the race) was found to have E.coli.

    From what I've read E.coli exposure is WAY worse than the issues I had, but who knows.

    Get well soon


  11. Wow . . . I stumbled over here from RWOL MRT and am glad I did. So sorry about your truncated WS100 2009, but your resolve & resilience will get you back to where you want to be, and where you belong. That was a MASSIVE undertaking, and when you push yourslef like that, everything has to be damn-near perfect in order to pull it off. It wasn't your day. there'll be plenty of others.

    Cheers, ESG (aka Ron)