We have heard reports that it was over 90 degrees out there that day - which is unseasonably hot - and it was taking its toll on most of the other runners as well.
Anyway - I was also quite relieved to see Zac with a smile on his face again.
That is, until about mile 45 when he reported to me that he was having a hard time keeping anything down.
He was rotating what he was drinking, switching from gatorade to water to coke. And had a couple different kinds of powerbars, ate half a sandwich, along with his salt pills. Salt pills, by the way, are essential for replacing the electrolytes lost through sweat (if you looked closely at Zac in some of these pics, you might be able to see crusty white stuff on his face. That's salt. From his sweat. No kidding.)
So, at this point in the game, it was crucial that he keep fluids in, keep his calories up, and keep salt replaced. Not being able to keep anything down is a problem. Not to mention throwing up while running is just gross (but throw up he did - poor guy). So he was getting concerned about this, obviously.
[Doing some research afterwards, Zac learned that he should have been taking about twice as much salt as he had been. And becoming nauseous is common with dehydration (unfortunately - since it compounds the problem) - or could also be from drinking too much at once. Great.]
But he kept running!! Talk about endurance. This guy doesn't quit. Ever.
At the finish, the runners went out .6 miles past the finish and then turned around to loop back (I'm not sure why exactly it was set up this way, but it was). So when we parked at the finish, Abigail got out to run with Zac that last 1.2 miles and keep him going strong to the finish line (Isaac wouldn't have been able to keep up, so he stuck with me). Well, where ever the finish line was. There wasn't technically a finish "line" - or it wasn't clearly marked, which was sort of interesting. I guess after 50 miles, the exact spot of the finish isn't entirely important. You make it to the lady with the stopwatch and you have finished 50 miles. ;)
And here comes Zac, still running strong after 50 insane miles, and Abigail, pushing him to the very end!!! Wohoooo!!!
(in the video which I'll post next, Zac is saying "where's the finish??? where's the finish?!?" as they come running up. He just needed to cross that line and stop, not a second before and not a second after!)
He finished in 9 hrs and 49 min (5:49 PM), placing 5th overall and 3rd for men's. He was a little disappointed because, like I said before, he thinks he could have finished at least an hr sooner if not for the complication he ran into. But I just think he's incredible.
Only 13 or 14 runners finished the 50 miler. About 5 dropped out along the way.
These people are just amazing. Absolutely crazy. But amazing.
So, they actually had a guy grilling food for everyone at the end. So we hung out awhile while Zac recovered somewhat (and cleaned off some of the grit and grime and crusty salt) and then we headed out on the long drive home. It took us nearly 3 hrs to drive the 50 mile dirt road course (and another hr to arrive home). Phew!
And I must confess I made Zac drive the last hr. I was tired! haha. In my defense, I had gone to bed really late, woken up super early, missed my usual nap, and driven the car for over 12 hrs. As soon as the sun went down, I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. And I think he was still running on pure adrenalin. He didn't seem fazed a bit. So as soon as we were able to drive more than 30 mph, I decided that this great adventure wouldn't really matter if I fell asleep at the wheel and killed us all - and he drove the rest of the way.
He's already planning for next time (which I can't quite wrap my head around). And he's itching to complete a 100 miler sometime in his life, as well.
I've told him I'm not going to be his crew for that one.
I can't stay awake that long. ;)
PS - Here's a note Isaac wrote to him a couple nights ago when we gave him his dinner on the "You Are Special" plate to celebrate in his honor. :)
I'm pretty surprised you finished the 50 mile race. I doubt you would be able to finish a 100 miles run. I feel sorry that you got dehigerated (dehydrated). And I'm really sorry I wasn't able to come back and fetch you. And I'm glad that you wanted us to go with you so you wouldn't die. And I'm sorry I couldn't run with you at the end.
Keep running daddy.