Fleet Feet friends and Bendites Darla Brader and Chris Askew ran their first 100 miler yesterday in Wisconsin, the Kettle Moraine 100. After an incredible spring of hard, smart training, I knew they were fit, fast, and ready to rip it up. But, it is 100 miles, and anything can happen.
They played it smart all day long, not running too hard too soon. As the day wore on and eventually turned to night, our heroes just kept passing people and moving up in the field. We, their anxious fans, were getting updates from the webcast and their crew.
Darla did have a dark moment around the 100 km mark and contemplated dropping. But she decided to go on 7 miles to the next aid station and see if things would turn around. By 69 miles, she was pepping up again.
I went to bed last night and could hardly sleep...I was so excited to hear how they were doing. Then, finally, at about 2:20 a.m., the phone rang. By the time I woke up and realized it was ringing, it had stopped. Crap! Was it Tate calling to give me an update...was it Darla and Chris calling to say they had finished...was it their crew calling to give other news??? I didn't know, but wanted to, and could hardly get back to sleep.
Finally when I woke up I checked the webcast. This is what it showed:
Joel Eckberg 31 M 18:10:07 10:54
Mark Tanaka 41 M 20:39:37 12:24
Rick Gaston 36 M 20:40:38 12:24
Darla Brader 35 F 22:04:50 13:15
Chris Askew 37 M 22:04:50 13:15
Yes, they kicked ass! Tied for 4th and Darla was first girl!! I was so excited when I saw it, I had to call them immediately. A quick run-down said what I thought: Darla pulled out of her funk and the two of them just kicked it in to the finish. Then, as is common at 100 mile finishes, within 2 minutes of finishing, they both completely seized up.
Chris and Darla...we are so PROUD! Congratulations! We can hardly wait to hear the blow-by-blow story.