100: Twenty-Fourteen is the Real Deal
By: Liz Chabot Allen
important to go into a race like the Hampshire 100 with some sort of
it is also important to be comfortable with letting go of that goal
when things donít go as planned.
year, Iíd done everything right leading up to the race. I
even trained a little bit and then took some time to recover.
Iíd figured I would be able to shave some time off from last yearís
9:48 and hopefully finish around 9 hours and 15 minutesÖ
then the race started and the course was different and the ground was
soft and it took me a really long time to complete the first 63
miles. Goals and expectations? Forget about them.
Just finish the damn race.
all started off with the usual hammering down the road, but instead
of the infamous railroad tracks section, we were sent around the
block, back past the park and onto singletrack much earlier than what
is customary for the H100. From there, everything is a gigantic blur
in my mind.
first lap was spent in the company of a variety of people Iíd
either never met before or perhaps only met once. We chatted about
other 100s, the terrain, the mud, and how hard the course was.
second lap was lonely. I didnít see a single person for miles and
miles and miles (except for the aid station volunteers who I believe
are some of the most spectacular people on the planet). When I didfinally start to encounter some other people, they were 100k
participants in the final miles of their own battle. I felt
spectacularly douchey hammering past them as fast as I could possibly
go (which probably wasnít actually all that fast).
all the 100s Iíve done, I felt myself begin to tear up with joy in
the last mile of the race. At that point, I still had no idea what
place Iíd gotten, and really only cared that I was done. This
version of the Hampshire 100 was officially harder than the Patapsco
100 (despite the fact that there was less climbing).
5 women preregistered for the 100M (there was also a 100k race
happening at the same time), it was a smaller field than the previous
year, and I was only able to see one of my fellow competitors on the
starting line Ė Anne Pike. In fact, we played some back and
forth during the first 30 minutes of the race, but I didnít see her
again until she crossed the finish line less than 4 minutes behind
me. As it turned out, sheíd had some mechanical trouble that
stalled her trailside for several minutes.
next, and only other female finisher for the 100 miles, Lenka
Branichova came through about an hour later. Unfortunately, the other
two women were unable to finish. It was a brutal day for everyone,
and I am pretty sure we were all just happy to have it over with.
Thereweresome interesting moments during the day. On one of the fast descents
during the first lap, I lost a contact lens, but it decided to land
on the inside of my glasses so I was able to carefully remove it,
replace it, and carry on with the race.
as I was slowly slogging up some singletrack towards one of the road
crossings on the final lap, I heard a familiar giggling. It was Alby
(the only 100 mile person I think I saw on the final lap).
Apparently, heíd done an extra twelve miles of climbing after
missing a turn. Too bad there are no bonus points for extra hills
(now that I think about it, I wonder what his GPS said for
elevationÖ). He blew past me, putting about 15 minutes on me before
cool part of the day was coming through the first lap to see my dad
cheering me on. Iíd left him directions to the venue and told
him it would be cool if he could make it. It gave me a nice boost to
know that heíd still be there when I crossed the finish line. He
certainly had to wait a long time to see me again, and Iím sure it
was pretty boring waiting around. But having him there was awesome.
Itís the first MTB race heís ever been to, and it was one of my
youíve read my recap of this yearís Patapsco 100, you know that I
had a really tough time eating during that race because my stomach
felt off the whole day. With that in mind, I was really concerned
about fueling for this race (I even dreamt about forgetting my
bottles and missing the start as I went in search of them Ė one of
several dreams I had about missing the start of the race in the week
leading up to it).
did some research based off of lots of things Iíd heard on podcasts
about endurance racing, and I ended up using a concoction that Ben
Greenfield (Ironman racer and fitness expert) uses during long events
Ė a combo of Superstarch, amino acids, MCT oil, Nuun and water. I
drank that along with water from my camelback all day long, and I
didnít eat a damn thing. I never got hungry, and I felt just
fine the whole day.
I never felt very powerful out there, but Iíd felt pretty flat all
week long anyhow. It felt good to go the day at a pretty steady level
of energy without the spikes and crashes that come along with sugar
and caffeine. However, there were moments when I thought maybe Iíd
like to have a ding dong and a coke (maybe that means my concoction
wasnít working as well as I like to think it was).
I know you arenít supposed to try anything new during a big race.
But the old routine just wasnít working for me anymore, and I
tested this concoction twice in the two days leading up to the race
of right now, I do not feel the need to go back and race the
Hampshire 100 again. This particular course may have done me in
(or maybe it was just my own lofty expectations and the sound of them
shattering like glass in the first 10 miles of the race that did it).
I really donít like races that take longer than 10 hours (except
Patapsco, which is loaded with fast flowy singletrack that doesnít
suck souls); I really prefer races lasting around 6 hoursÖ
that is why the next race I plan to attend is the MTB6 in VT. I
hear the course is fun, and Iím looking forward to it Ė just as
soon as I decide I like riding bikes again.
have to say, it was an honor to win the Hampshire 100 this year, and
I am finally a proud owner of the infamous winnerís wind chimes.
Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this challenging race an
event to remember.