Runners hit century mark in 100-mile runPublished 8:17pm Monday, March 31, 2014
From Saturday and into Sunday morning, runners from all across the region and nation were slogging through the muddy trails at Russell Crossroads. Some were tackling the 27-mile “fun run” as organizers called it, and some set out on a journey run 50 miles.
Others, however, came for the main event – 100 miles of backcountry running.
The Lake Martin 100, as it was called, drew more than 175 runners, according to David Tosch with Southeastern Trail Runs, who helped sponsor the race.
The fastest time posted for the 100 mile run was 23 hours and 13 minutes. Most were just happy to see the finish line, like David Roberts who made the trip from Canton, GA. to try his first attempt at a 100-mile race.
As Roberts crossed the finish line, he stayed on his feet only long enough to snap some victory pictures. Then he took his shoes off and surveyed the damage.
“You don’t run 100 miles without giving something up,” Roberts said, pointing to his big toenail which was barely hanging on. “I have never lost a big toenail before.”
Roberts finished his first 100-mile race ever in 28 hours and 48 minutes.
“It was incredible, but a little overwhelming,” Roberts said.
Roberts said he was motivated to get into the sport of ultra running, which is technically defined as any distance over a standard marathon race, after meeting a famous ultra runner on a trail in Colorado.
Back to back weekends, Roberts found himself watching as Aton Krupicka made easy work of a trail that had taken him hours to traverse.
that had taken him hours to traverse.
“When I saw him, it changed my perception of what I thought was humanly possible,” Roberts said.
At the finish line, Roberts was joined at the finish line by fellow runner David Carter, who at 51 has completed five 100-mile races. Carter’s feet also showed signs of the abuse, spotted with blisters and wrapped in duck tape.
As far as toenails falling off, Carter joked, “it’s pretty typical.”
“Most of us are doing well if we have three good toenails left,” Carter said.
The race drew people from as far as Washington, D.C. as Kelaine Conochan made the trip to attempt her first 100-mile race.
Conochan finished with the honor of second best female time.
“There were some dark times,” Conochan said. “It’s a lot of running then walking. Conditions were pretty muddy so you had to be careful with your footing.”
For a race this long, participants have to re-fuel at one of the two aid stations, which featured “egg sandwiches, chili, really everything you could imagine,” Conochan said.
As for her post-race plans?
“Shower, eat and sleep,” Conochan said.