By: Lisa Trapasso
Back in August 2013 – I set out in hopes to I would get the Buckle – the almighty Buckle – the Buckle that screamed “I just did 100 miles at the Beast of Burden” … rather my journey then did not take me to that destination … instead … a very different destination – one which was heartbreaking, humbling and exhilarating … as I still felt I was healing from my “mental wounds” from the Beast … I again hit the submit button and registered for the Winter 100 – where I was determined to re-test the path to Hell & Back.
January 14, 2014
100 miles again beckoned me and the Beast of Burden was here again. The race was about to begin and the “what if’s” were lurking in the back of my mind. It was again going to be a test of the mind, body, ego and pride. As the horn blared – and the feet started moving with 150 other racers (doing the 50 & 100) my first thought, “what am I doing?”, then I looked over at Gary, My Running Half – and knew why.
The weather appeared to be on our side with the temps bearable and the sun shining. I had a plan for each loop and for the first 12.5 miles heading out to Middleport there was no wind. So far, the legs felt good, food was going down and I was hydrating well. This is going to be okay…
Coming back from Middleport the game changed a bit. The wind picked up some but was bearable and I was still on pace for a 6:00 hour loop. I probably drove Gary crazy with my constant chirping of, “are we on pace?”, ” How am I doing on time?” questions.
- First loop in – right on time and only 3 more loops to go….
- Back on the path, counting bridges and checking off the miles. Just 12.5 to Middleport….
- Middleport – Woot Woot!! 37.5 miles in! 12.5 to 50 and only 62.5 to go to 100!
- When we headed back out on the path, Gary started to have his own battle keeping his thoughts to himself, unlike me, silently suffering his own demons…
Ahead of me will be some of the hardest 25 miles. It is now cold, dark, and my body & mind start to tire. This was the loop that defeated me in the summer. As I was starting to get ready to head out of the aid station, Gary stated he wanted to warm up a bit and would be back out shortly. I knew I had to leave as I was racing time – so I left with Rachel, who would pace me for the next 12.5 miles.
Heading out – I just kept telling Rachel, “tell me a story” to keep my mind from wandering and my feet moving. I was hoping to hold an 18 min pace although ended up slowing down quite a bit. As Rachel encouraged & pushed me along – I began to have some serious meltdowns – mostly in my head – although a few spewed out with the F-Bomb flying. The main thought I had was, “Where is Gary?”, which I must have asked Rachel 9000 + times! Rachel you are a Saint – Thank You!
- We made it to Gasport – 57 miles – still no Gary … keep on moving … Todd joined us in the run at Gasport … 2 pacers – more stories to keep me moving….
- Middleport – 62.5 miles – 12.5 to go – the longest and hardest miles … I am tired – so tired … I know my feet are moving but I am staggering and just trying to stay awake….
- 67.5 – Mental collapse – crying in my goggles, no Gary – hitting my wall – and wondering if I was going to make it. 32.5 long miles to go and my hands were so cold. This is where I again saw Eva, my Savior and realist (pictured below) – again, she told me to stop the nonsense and start going – this was my race – I better start doing it…..
My feet kept moving. Those 7 miles were l-o-n-g. The bridges never seem to come. Todd stayed with me (he ended up running 17 miles total) and got me to Wide Waters. I am forever grateful for his (and Rachel’s) pacing, support & encouragement
Only nine short hours to go before the 30 hour cut off. I left Wide Waters emotional thinking, “Just one more loop… just 25 miles”. At The first bridge – I saw Gary! (He had pulled a JFD at mile 50) Gary became my strength, my motivation and reason to keep going as he would meet me at every bridge along the way – making sure I kept moving, hydrated and eating.
Gasport – 5.5 to Middleport … Middleport – 12.5 to the Finish
The last 12.5 was the worst part with the wind picking up (50-60 mph) and it was directly in my face. I could barely stay upright. This wind was mind boggling slowly wearing down my mental state. I felt like I was going no-where. The meltdowns came at rapidfire pace! My hands and face were so cold … I swore I had frostbite … the F Bomb was consistent and thoughts of pulling out where brewing. 4 miles to go! Pulling out was not an option as Gary was out there right beside me – running me in.
As I crossed my last bridge with less than a mile to go, I felt amazing. I could literally feel the energy of the finish line. I could feel all the doubts disappear. I knew I was almost there……
I crossed that finish line in 28:35!! I got that Buckle – that almighty Buckle – that Buckle that screamed, “I just did 100 miles at the Beast of Burden”
The finishers in the 50/100 mile race and those that were JFD each continue to have an extraordinary story of glory, guts, determination and tears. We all have miles of stories to tell filled with victory and defeat. I am just one story.
Yes, I want the Double Buckle … and yes, I hit the submit button for the Summer 100 Beast of Burden.
August – we meet on that path again … to Hell and Back …
Come join me!