Rio Del Lago 100 Race Report
This one is a long time coming and I almost just threw some photos up along with a short description. However, when I look at site statistics I can see that people search out race reports so I will add a little more context that originally planned. (All images from one of my pacers, Steven Mortinson)
This was my second time running Rio Del Lago 100. Both times it was a bit of an addition to the race schedule later in the year vs a planned race from the beginning. The first time we had just moved to Oregon after a hectic year of selling our home and everything that comes from getting settled into a new place. Rio was late in the year and about an 8 hour drive away so I threw in last minute. It was a less than stellar race but I kept my 100 mile race a year streak going.
This time was similar. After a DNF at Big Horn 100 I wanted to get in 100 to land my 10th completed 100 and keep the streak rolling. After analyzing what 100 mile races were left in the season, which qualified for a WS ticket, and was feasible with work and life I chose to go back to Rio. Luckily, my buddies Jordan and Steven said they'd crew and pace for me again so we hopped in the truck and headed south for Folsom, CA.
The course was different in this 2017 iteration. These first 20 miles were a loop that came back to the start/finish. This section was all paved save for a few short stints of single track and mostly flat. I undoubtedly went out too hard for a 100. "This pace feels easy" was the wrong thing to tell myself regardless of terrain. I jumped into that sugar burning zone too soon and would come to regret it later.
The next 20 or so miles hopped on some jeep type roads, single track, and a few hilly paved sections. There were various places along the course with inconsistent marking that were a problem for me throughout the day. Apparently there was some course vandalism as well. Multiple times I would see a bunch of markers then nothing for a long stretch. I'd turn around to see where I may have messed up only to find another runner asking the same question. We'd figure it out and get to the next place. Overall this inconsistent flagging didn't have that big of an impact on my time, it was just frustrating to keep encountering almost the entire race.
A not frustrating part of the course was how easy crew access was. There were huge parking lots right off the road with close access to a town. This made for straightforward crewing and access which is nice because it rained all day. Crewing in less than ideal weather is not fun so making the logistics a easier and simple makes the day a little easier for those waiting around. On top of that the aid stations were great. Very helpful, fun, and loaded with food options.
The course shares a few spots with the Western States 100 but stays out of the big stuff. There is only about 10k feet of gain for this whole thing. It comes at you weird though. The front 20 are pretty flat. The next 25 or so rolls with a pop here and there. The middle 30 have most of the meat. The last 25 roll as well. That faster running early along with a lack of taking care of myself properly hit me pretty hard around the 100k mark and I never really got it back. There was a whole lot of walking on the back half that probably could have been avoided with a little more care up front.
The last 25 were a mix of low energy and some puking here and there. Looking back, I really let my electrolytes get low and just couldn't really get it back together. Regardless, I finished 100 miler number 10 in 21:33. I checked a lot of the "standard issues 100 miler". I ran too fast, I got turned around a few times, it rained all day, vomiting, I walked way more than I wanted, I recieved great help from friends getting me through it. Looking forward to #11.