Race Report: 2014 Antelope Island Buffalo Run 100

About the only thing I would dislike more than writing a report about how I dropped from a race would be writing a report describing how I didn’t even start the race because I was fearful that I might not finish.

I knew going into this one that there was a better than even chance of me not finishing. The only thing I hate worse than a DNF (Did Not Finish) is a DNS (Did Not Start), so rather than take a pass on the race I showed up to give it a shot. I was determined to enjoy myself and use this as a stepping-stone for the rest of the year.

Training was going well when I signed up for this race a few months ago, but since then it had been far less than I would have liked. Competing priorities filled my free time and running got bumped a few rungs down the ladder. I maintained good consistency, but just never got to a good level of weekly volume and long runs.

I had already paid for the race, arranged for time off, and had done some training – even the idea of chalking up a DNF was not enough to keep me away from spending the day running around the island.

Part of the fun for me is the drive. It’s nice to get a little taste of a road trip without driving so far that it becomes a chore. I listened to audiobooks and made several stops to take photos along the way.  The high plains of Wyoming can be boring to many, but there is plenty to see if you look around.

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After I picked up my race packet and checked into the hotel, I headed out to the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake and spent an hour hiking along a path and taking a few more photos.

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On race morning (the race starts @ noon), I roamed the island for a little while and tried to relax. I shot this panorama from a viewpoint overlooking the race start/finish area. The flat area to the left would be packed with cars by this time tomorrow.

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Once I made my way to race headquarters on the island, I knew I had made the right call in showing up. It was great to see so many friends and I decided no matter what happened race-wise, I was not going to spend my time all self-absorbed and feeling sorry. Been there, done that…

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I hung around after the start to make sure I was the absolute last one over the line. I wanted to take my time and give myself a big wakeup call that I was not in race mode. I have a hard time adhering to my plans of holding back even when I am in lousy shape, so I was hoping this move would hammer home the point into my thick skull.

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The first 20 miles were a lot of fun. I jogged along, hiked a bit, took plenty of photos, and generally had a good time enjoying the awesome good fortune of being able to run around all day long on a Friday afternoon. A time when I would normally be sitting in a cubicle.

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Miles 20 to 50 were not as much fun. I got caught up in trying to run a little faster than I should have been, and inevitably started to unravel. Navigating around a large herd of bison was a fun distraction, though.

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Photo by Lori Burlison

I contemplated dropping out at mile 50 when you come back through the start/finish area, and that had been one of my possible plans going into the race (just run the first 50 and drop). I decided I still had a little life left in me, and took my time reloading my pack for the next 20 miles.

I wish I could report that I made some miraculous recovery, or that I gutted it out to the bitter end. Nope. I shuffled along for several miles and could tell that I was done. I’d save that fight for another time.  69.5 was enough for now.

After a few hours sleep in the front seat of the car with the heater on full blast, I made my way around the course to pick up my drop bags and spectated a little bit of the 50 mile race that had started earlier in the morning. Scott J. crushed that event – again.

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Huge thanks to Jim for putting on such a great event every year, and for the many volunteers that took such good care of us runners. Staying up all night in the cold temps to keep track of us and tend to our needs. See you next year!

Posted on April 6, 2014, in race, run. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. You’ve done well and am proud of you. I couldn’t agree more about much to see across Wyoming. I made over 2500 trips across Wyoming and always seen things that were of interest. The Poem I wrote “I See America” describes some things I seen while traveling across the Windy State. One of the sights that I always enjoyed was stopping in the middle of a clear night and studying the skies. They were always so vivid, Wyoming is mostly 7000 ft and the skies don’t have the junk in like it does other places. the cities are so far apart that you don’t get the glow of city lights either. I’m glad you take time to take the pictures you do.

  2. Great pictures as usual Chris. When you know you are going to finish a 100 its time to find a new challenge. They are always an adventure into the unknown. Its better to try and fail than never have tried.

    matt

  3. Great pics! Congrats on deciding to not DNS, just deciding to willingly endure that adventure and pain is a huge accomplishment indeed.

  4. bryancsimmons

    Congrats on deciding to not DNS, just getting to the starting line for that distance is a huge accomplishment indeed.

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