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2014-02-01 7:39 PM

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Subject: Arrowhead 135
It has been awhile, but I'm able post something worthy...

On Wednesday I finished the AH-135 in 58h-30m. This was my third attempt. We had epically cold conditions with -23 at the race start and lows on the trail during the 1st night of -36 and -40 on the 2nd night. Coupled with the winds, we had chill factors below -50. Lots of racers on bike, foot, & ski DNF'd due to frostbite and other factors. People had to be rescued or put into their emergency sleeping bags and shelters.

Aside from covering the distance unsupported, keeping your water from freezing and staying fed was a constant challenge. I had learned critical lessons from my first two attempts and my 2014 plan was near perfect. Not bragging on me, but having a guy from the south finish (a first from TX) really impressed some folks (the constant question: "How do you prepare for -40?").

Back home on Friday and recovering now; at least I'm not making Dr appointments for frostbite treatments.

More details later...


2014-02-02 10:06 AM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135

Awesome! I remember reading about your prior attempts. The distance is hard enough, but those conditions are brutal. Way to go!

2014-02-02 12:45 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135

I had to look at the Arrowhead 135 website to find out what the event was   Looks like a daunting race in those brutal conditions.  Congratulations on finishing!

2014-02-02 3:53 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135

 wow.  that seems ridiculously brutal.  

2014-02-02 5:59 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135

just WOW.

Congratulations on an epic accomplishment.

2014-02-03 6:55 AM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135

Good job.  I hate the cold.  That is really something to be proud of.



2014-02-03 3:32 PM
in reply to: Bevie

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135

I've been poking in and out of your logs and you hadn't logged.

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID IT! Well, I can, but, I assumed you weren't trying again this year since you hadn't put anything about it in your logs!

CONGRATS!!!! I told some friends about you not too long ago. "This guy I know from Texas, has attempted it twice. To me, even deciding to do it is incredible."


Will you write some sort of race report?

It sounds like these conditions were worse than the previous? And what you learned before gave you a better chance for these insane temps?

Oh my gosh, I'm just so happy for you!

2014-02-03 5:37 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
Absolutely AWESOME! That is an insane accomplishment. Rest up, warm up, and let us know what is next on your list.
2014-02-03 8:51 PM
in reply to: Comet

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
Originally posted by Comet

I've been poking in and out of your logs and you hadn't logged.

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DID IT! Well, I can, but, I assumed you weren't trying again this year since you hadn't put anything about it in your logs!

CONGRATS!!!! I told some friends about you not too long ago. "This guy I know from Texas, has attempted it twice. To me, even deciding to do it is incredible."


Will you write some sort of race report?

It sounds like these conditions were worse than the previous? And what you learned before gave you a better chance for these insane temps?

Oh my gosh, I'm just so happy for you!




Yes, when the registration opened for returning veterans, I made the decision to try "just more time". I kept the prep on the down-low and didn't want to stir up a bunch of attention (plus the website got so dang hard to use). In the meantime I prepared very hard, lightened my gear and sled to the minimum and went in with a super-simple plan based on lessons learned from the earlier attempts.

The plan paid off when temps dropped out the bottom and people were DNFing early and often due to the conditions. Yes, it was an epic year; one that I think may cause some rule changes for entrance next year (the already strict requirements will be scrutinized further and additional survival gear).

BTW, today where I work, they threw a big "surprise party" honoring me and my finish; a little embarrassing, but touching nonetheless. Turns out, the whole company had been following me, my progress, and my every check-in. Between my extended family, work folks, Marines & sailors aboard ships on the other side of the world (my son is deployed) there were a bunch of folks pulling for me. I know the BT ultra folks would've too, had I publicized it.

Yes, I plan to write a report of some sort. (I spent half of today answering questions and telling stories about what happened. Plus showing pics of frostbitten feet (not mine) and other nastiness. Everywhere I went, it was an endless parade of people & more questions.)
2014-02-03 9:16 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135

BASK in the Glow! well deserved...

2014-02-04 4:25 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
That's really something, congrats! I followed the race closely this year, it's on my list of potentials in the future, probably 2016 at best.

Question: Besides your prior attempts, did you have any experience at shorter distances in equally cold/miserable conditions? One thing I've considered is that I'd like to find a 50 miler or 100k in similar conditions first before just jumping in at that distance. Otherwise, I live not far from there, I could always just find some awful days next winter and head to where I usually run trails and do my own little training experiment.


2014-02-05 7:07 AM
in reply to: Climbinggonzo

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
Originally posted by Climbinggonzo

That's really something, congrats! I followed the race closely this year, it's on my list of potentials in the future, probably 2016 at best.

Question: Besides your prior attempts, did you have any experience at shorter distances in equally cold/miserable conditions? One thing I've considered is that I'd like to find a 50 miler or 100k in similar conditions first before just jumping in at that distance. Otherwise, I live not far from there, I could always just find some awful days next winter and head to where I usually run trails and do my own little training experiment.


No experience at shorter distances under similar conditions; that's the downside to being from TX. The minimum requirement for being accepted into AH135 is a verifiable finish at a 100-miler (any organized race). In addition to that, any endurance races in cold temps/bad conditions will enhance your chances of acceptance.

You don't register for AH135 like your local 5K or marathon; you submit a written application and resume' of your experience(s). The RD will then evaluate your entry and make a decision. If the answer is no, your check is returned. He will pick a person with cold weather mountaineering experience over someone who has been to Boston 3 times or finished an Ironman.

The new RD has finished the AH135 a number of times in all three methods and is hard-core. With this year's conditions and the issues experienced by even veteran racers, I expect him to scrutinize future applications even harder. Returning veterans get first crack at registration and then any remaining slots are given to rookies. I don't know the exact numbers, but there's been 50-60 slots (don't quote me) open to rookies the last couple of years.

They take safety seriously without comprimising the spirit of STRENGTH-ENDURANCE-SOLITUDE-SURVIVAL (the race motto) because as they mention; the first time someone dies during a race, it will jeopardize the future of the event.

Good luck...
2014-02-05 12:07 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
HARDCORE!!!
2014-03-09 10:00 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
Finally finished the RR. Fair warning, it's a long read, but I mainly wanted to capture my recollections for when I get old and want to relive the good times.

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp...
2014-03-10 2:19 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
Epic. Enjoyed every bit of your report.
2014-03-13 7:25 AM
in reply to: Batcheldor

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
Originally posted by Batcheldor

Epic. Enjoyed every bit of your report.


Thanks.

(as long as it was, I still left a lot out; like the part where I almost did freeze my hands on the second night ) ;-)


2014-03-13 7:43 AM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
A pic from Arrowhead.

This is what it was like as nighttime closes in.



(Arrowhead at night.jpg)



Attachments
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Arrowhead at night.jpg (27KB - 1 downloads)
2014-03-13 4:08 PM
in reply to: jkron

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Subject: RE: Arrowhead 135
awesome pic - love it!
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