Sunday, July 18, 2010

2010 Badwater Ultramarathon recap.

From Australia, #21 Susannah Harvey-Jamieson

First of all I want to thank Susannah so much for inviting me to crew for her this year. This marks my second year for crewing at Badwater and just as last year, it was Work, sleepless nights, bugs, and Hot but all worth it and I wouldn't have it any other way nor would I trade it for anything else.

My new down-under friends, Susannah, Nic, and Mallani all arrived in LA last Thursday and enjoyed the West Coast scene before arriving in Sin City on Friday afternoon. It was on Saturday morning that Susannah took a little jog from the MGM to my house which is about 20 miles! (yes this is two days before Badwater) After meeting up with her, Nic and Mallani for the 1st time we all went to pick up the MotherShip. As I was giving Nic directions he somehow forgot he was in the US and as we turned left he turned to the oncoming traffic!!! HOLY Fuckn'Shit!!! I yelled..Dude your going the Wrong way!!! He was quick to jerk the car around and make the correct turn on the road but after cleaning out my pants I really couldnt remember where we were going! hahaha.

The MotherShip was picked up and all set. After getting the supplies and all stocked up it was time to sleep for the trip Sunday. Sunday morning came and we all met up. Geraldine was now with the Crew and we were all making our way towards Furnace Creek. We had the MotherShip and the crew support car and being as we were behind scheduled Nic the NASCAR man went ahead with Susannah to get checked in at registration. Once we got there we met up with them at the athlete meeting. It was great to be back in Furnace Creek with all the cars and designation of runners posted on the sides. It was like it was just a couple of weeks ago that I was here with Molly's crew and facing the heat and the new experience. This time it the heat was still here but the crew had terminology that was very fun to get to understand.

At the athletes meeting we had a great seat due to getting there early and being about 5 in line. We save a whole row for our crew and another Aussie named Kelvin "Kelvinator" Marshall from Austrlia and his crew. The meeting was all the rules in and outs and of course some medical stuff. Then they called up the whole group who would be running.

After the meeting it was back to the hotel to get settled in and get ready for bed and some dinner. As the alarm was set for 5:15am it was hard to get sleep b/c I was ready to get the show on the road. Soon enough it was wake up time.

Race Day - July 12th

As the alarm went off I was up and ready and quickly grabbed breakfast with Nic and Millani. We then got the Mothership packed up and ready to go. We all piled into the van at about 6:45am to head to the start. (Last year, Brendan and I stayed behind at mile 17 Furnace Creek with the support car and so missed out on the start) So I was very excited to see what Badwater start was all about. This year my role in support would be mostly driving, some actual crewing, doctoring, and pacing. As we got close to the start we came across the starters of the 6am group and it was just amazing to see them already on the road making it happen!

As we got to the start, I parked the van, jumped out and started taking pictures:

This next picture tells it all. The long shot is the distance below sea level and the sign placed up on the mountain side is the actual level of Sea Level - Zero Feet.

The 8am Start:

The start was so exciting with acapella of the National Anthem. It was then a quick count down and BANG!! Sussannah was off and running. As we made our way back to the van and took our time to get ready to leave as all the vans were leaving to make sure to get there runner ASAP, it is Badwater ya know! We finally caught up with Sussannah about 1.5-2 miles down and she was ready for water. After a 1st crew session all was good and move to the next stop which would be mostly a mile down the road.

The day and the morning seemed to go by really fast and after reaching mile 17 check point at Furnace Creek in 3 hours and 17 mins (11:28 pace) I was concerned that Sussannah was going too fast for a 40 hour finish. I had the crew ask how she was feeling and she was feeling great with a much confident reply from her Heart Rate and how she has been in her zone the whole time. There would be a few other times during the race that we would check on her because of her pace but all times she was close to or within her zones and simply, it doesn't matter how fast or slow you run if you go by heart rate. After stocking up and picking up the support car we were making out way towards Stovepipe Wells at mile 41. Just before we reached Stovepipe the 10am starters were starting to catch us!!! Can you believe that shit!! Jorge Pacheco and last years winner Marico Farinazzo ran the 17 miles in 2 hours 15 mins (7:56 pace) By the time we got to Stovepipe Jorge clocked in at 5 hours 29 mins (8:01pace) and Marco at 5 hours 43 mins (8:22pace) with the 1st place Female Jamie Donaldson at 6hrs 47 mins (9:55pace). It was hot and I enjoyed Devils Cornfield, the Sand Dunes, and all the other great scenery. By this time we had the support car on the course taking up the action while Geraldine and I went ahead to gas up and stock up on ice as well as jump in the swimming pool and cool off. We had about 45 mins before Sussannah got here and when she did she clocked in at 8hrs 29 mins (12:25pace) and was feeling and looking great.

Check out these pictures:

After going through Stovepipe its a long ass climb up to Towns Pass and Sussannah settled into some strong power walking and short running bouts. As the sun started to go down I was beginning to show weakness and get tired. It was late evening and by 10pm I was needing a break so I jumped to the support crew and headed down Towns Pass for some rest. Once the crew got closer they radioed to me and around 11pm I headed for Panament Springs where there was a designated cottage that all could use to shower and get some rest in the beds they had available. When I got there I was being attacked by millions of freakn annoying Beatles and I'm not talking about John, Paul, George and Ringo!! According to locals it was last season for beetles mating season and they were everywhere!! After grabbing a shower I settled in the car with the AC running and slept for about an hour. At 12:43 am (Tuesday) Susannah rolled through check point mile 72 in 16 hours 43 mins (10:44pace) HFS!!! She had totally killed it coming down Town's Pass and made up some serious time heading into Panament. By this time I jumped back in the Mothership while Nic went for a shower, Mallani geared up for some pacing up to Father Crowleys point.

Panament is at 1,920 ft. at mile 72 and Fr. Crowley's Point is at 4000 ft. at mile 80.2!! Serious climbing and winding roads. The night time was nice for crewing mostly because Susannah didn't need much resupply of things, some food and soup mostly. After a couple of hours we caught up with Pam Reed, who was currently in 3rd place (10am starter) and a champion of this race in the past.

I will continue the report due to its length and details....



S. Baboo said...

Oh man, she is killing it! Great report, I'm on the edge of my seat!

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