IMTUF 100 Mile Ultra Race Report: Brandi Bolli
Brandi Bolli has been a runner for Oiselle since 2010. Her speciality is adventure! She lives to scale mountains, run trails, and run LONG. Her favorite workout is a combo: Long trail run + rock climbing + skiing + yoga. You may recoginize her from Runner's World Rave Run in Roseberry, Idaho. She just attempted her first 100 mile race and we wanted to hear all about it.
The race went well, it was super challenging with many ups and downs both mentally and physically, and a huge learning experience for me!!!
From the start until mile 20 it was 8 degrees. Runner's had frozen hand bottles, frozen tubes from their hydration packs, and fingers would not work to open a bar or GU. Getting a slice of pizza down at the mile 13 aid station made a huge difference. I was leading the women's field until mile 45, feeling great, climbing the mountains with easy speed, with my legs wanting to tear down the mountain's single track!
At the mile 58 aid station the hurt started to set in. I could start feeling my hip flexors beginning to lock up, and had some plantar fasciitis pain kicking in, and I was COLD. My husband, Jeremy (also a co-race director), rubbed out my hips, put warmer clothes on me, gave me two Aleves, I picked up my 2nd pacer, and off we went to the next hard, long, climb of the course.
I made it to mile 75 and made the decision with my pacer to drop out. I had a bit of hyponatremia (too much water and not enough food) got dizzy, and sat down. I tried to get more food in, but it was too late at that point and I could not stop shivering-while wearing 3 puffy jackets, a long sleeve, t-shirt, gloves, beanie, 2 hoods, and fleece tights. I think I burned way too much energy in the first half because:
- It was 8 degrees until mile 20ish
- I went out way too fast too early
- I did not eat enough early on when the temperatures where in the single digits, so I had nothing left in reserve.
I have no regrets, and learned a ton about running 100 miles (the IMTUF course was 102 miles), forcing food for proper fueling, and start slow-then catch the other runners at the end. Out of 33 runners who started the race, 14 finished. This thing was no gimme, everyone who ran 100 mile races all over the country said this was the hardest one they have ever done. I'll chalk it up as a great learning experience, put my ego in check, and this was my first DNF (did not finish) out of all my races, I got to feel the mental and physical experience with that.
So, you ask if I'll do it again?.....ABSOLUTELY, no hesitation, the fire is burning inside to train my butt off and win this thing next year. The trails are not going anywhere, and they continue to call my name. Once the snow hits, I'll be Nordic skiing, secretly training for the IMTUF 100 in 2013!!!! Or who knows, maybe another crazy 100 miler?