I told him not to do it.
That was my feedback to GZ as we were walking to the Foo Fighters show last week. Just felt like speaking my mind and letting him do what he wanted to. Maybe the negative viewpoint inspired him to go for it. Maybe I was the detractor. But the next morning on his blog, he indicated that this was going to happen. And then the magic happened. Our community of runners poured out all the advice and comments one could wish for on his blog. Its what makes this special. I didn't have much more to say. I was ready to show my support for his decision by doing a late shift in this madness. I knew it would be good for me as well. I wanted to see the other side of the battle. What I put my crew and pacer through for the last two years. A glimpse into how I can improve as a runner after seeing it through their eyes.
I arrived around 10 PM to find a bunch of folks milling about waiting for GZ to return from yet another lap. This course is mind-numbing. A 7.1 mile out and back along a trail/road that winds around the Boulder Reservoir. This was part of my reason for why not to do this race. If you are going to run a 100 miles, there are so many memorable places to do it in. Here...is not on my list. Anyway, as GZ came into the area, I ran over to him to try and surprise him. In my drill sergeant voice, I loudly and boldly explained to him that he will finish this race. And he will not shit his pants on my watch like I shit my pants when he last paced me. I think the crowd enjoyed the performance and it woke George up.
Others were taking their turns with the pacing so I sat in a chair and drank a beer and chatted with everyone there. Good catching up with everyone once again. Seemed like we were all just together at my party a few weeks ago so its nice to regularly be together. GZ was taking about 2 hours per lap so the time ticked away. We sat and listened to Classic Rewind and were grooving to a variety of hits from the 70s and 80s. Nothing better to be doing except for sleeping but that is just lame.
I got my turn to pace as GZ was heading out for his second to last lap. I was all amped up to run but that wasn't happening. GZ was into a brisk hobble by this point. He did do some light running in there to his credit but I just varied my walk pace a bit to stay next to him. Sort of pathetic but it was fun to be on this side of the coin. You just can't move. Been there, done that. He kept apologizing for the speed but I just continually laughed it off. I tried to push him a bit but he was under his goal time and he had found a comfortable pace. He was at that place where you know you can make it to the end if you keep doing what you are doing. Any more might sacrifice the goal so why do that?
I tried my best to entertain him via conversation followed by a music break where I blasted various songs on my iPhone's speaker. We rocked to some Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, and other random artists on shuffle play. I just wanted to keep it fresh and spirited because I knew keeping the mind busy now was the name of the game. Couldn't really have had a better night for October. Some light wind but the moon was out and we didn't even use headlamps for most of the lap.
As the end of our lap approached, I shot a little more video then continued with GZ until he checked in. I really wasn't sure what was in store at that point. I knew that GZ would finish this with only 1 lap to go. However, we arrived to find Bob Sweeney still holding down the fort but now behind the aid station table making soup for incoming runners. He was amped up and set out with GZ on that final lap. I would have went but I was also glad to have my turn completed. It was 5 AM and I had been there since 10 PM and I was growing tired quickly. So with that, I handed GZ one of my 5 Hour Energy drinks and told him to hit that and he will crank that last lap out and be home in no time. With that, I headed home.
Later that day, he finished in 21:59 and then threw a kegger at his house to celebrate the victory. Smart tactic. Schedule the party right after so you have to finish! Anyway, some of the same faces from yesterday and some new ones came to congratulate him on the finish. JP was there and I discussed how I got a taste of my own medicine with the walk pacing. That guy did this for me 2 years in a row for about a lot of miles worth.
Welcome to the 100 Club, GZ. Cheers!
I went 7.01 miles with an elevation gain of 138 feet in 02:21:28, which is an average pace of 20:11. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.