Sunday, May 16, 2010

MMT 100 Pacing

This year my brother Brian was taking another crack at the MMT 100 mile race after timing out last year. He faced epic conditions in 2009 and seemed extremely focused this year. Leading up to the race, he was 48th on the wait list, but moved his way up to a spot in this year's race as others dropped out.

I wanted to help pace him for a portion of the race this year and get a view of the course, so we decided Moose (Joe Novicky) would pace from Camp Roosevelt (63.1) to the Picnic Area (86.9) and I would pick up the last 15 miles to the finish.

I drove down Saturday morning at 8 o'clock and arrived at around 2. I was happy to spot Moose pretty quickly since I really had no clue where their tent was located. We talked for a bit and then decided to head out and fill my car up with gas and familiarize myself with the course some.
Moose showed me where the Picnic Area and Visitor Center aid stations were and possible places to park. It was good we did this because everything would look different once it got dark out.

We then drove back to camp and I napped for a few hours. I took a hike down to this lake near our tent that Moose told me about. It was beautiful and very serene.

When I got back to the tent, Moose was getting his stuff together to pace and we headed to Camp Roosevelt around 8. We gave ourselves plenty of time before Brian would arrive there. As we were waiting, we talked to Tanya Cady and saw many local runners come through including Bob Combs, Bill Losey, and Dave Peterman (with his pacer Lloyd Thomas).

Brian came in soon after Bill around 11:00. He was looking pretty fresh and in good spirits! It was good to see him come in 4 hours ahead of the cutoff time. He quickly got some fuel and was on his way with Moose.

After they left, I went back to camp to try and catch a few ZZZ's. I figured I wouldn't have to arrive at the Visitor Center until 4 o'clock. I ended up not getting very much sleep, but it was good to relax.

Before long, it was time to head out. On my drive down, it started raining a bit. Luckily there was no lightening and the rain didn't last long or become too heavy. I parked at Sonny's Restaurant across from the Picnic Area and hiked to the Visitor Center. I laid down for awhile and took a little nap thinking Brian hadn't come through yet. I began to wonder when it started getting light out, though, and asked an aid station worker. He said Brian had already been through just before 4 AM, just minutes before I got there!

So I headed back to the Picnic Area and waited there for him. I took up camp right by the trail because I really didn't want to miss him here! At 8 AM, Moose and Brian came down the trail. They both had a rough night on Kern's Mountain, so Moose was glad I was there to pace.

The last 15 miles included many boulder fields and a couple climbs. This was my first encounter with VA rocks and man, they are aren't joking about these rocks! I had my cell phone with me to give updates to people. My parents and sister both called, so I put them on speaker and they cheered on Brian as he gingerly danced around the many rocks going downhill.

We eventually got to the last trail section leading to the finish. I sprinted ahead of Brian to get a finish line photo. He came in at 32:53:13 and finished the toughest 100 east of the Mississippi! I'm proud of him for coming back this year and conquering some unfinished business. Click here to view the pictures I took from the weekend.

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