|Your race reality should be so clear.|
All the putatively anointed pre-race favorites saw their races end prematurely. Jorge Pacheco and Keira Henniger were done by Chantry. I suspect Jorge's exit was accelerated by prancing around at Badwater 2 weeks earlier, when he should've been tapering. Don't know what happened to Keira, can't comment or speculate, which cripples another life on TV. Mine, not hers.
From the top of Baden-Powell, I had less than 20min to myself before Jorge Pacheco hove into view. More on that in a bit. I'd spent a restless night camped out at the base, complete with phantom memories of pre-race nerves. Quarter moon, stars, utterly delicious. It wasn't even my race, but 20 years of direct connection to the AC100 beast has left a deep imprint.
Jorge was first over the top around 0800. I had just settled in 15min prior, after a sleepless night down in the Vincent Gap lot, with eventual winner Dominic Grossman was 2nd over 30min later; feeling a bit wobbly after a projectile-vomit fest at Vincent. There were gaps in the parade, with the main pulse passing by 0900, finished by 1000. Maggie Beach was leading by seconds at that point, later passed by Keira, and the eventual winner Paulette Zillmer. No, I don't have her time and splits. You'll adjust.
Tom Neilsen was steady in 5th place, working his way up the ladder as the race wore on, finishing in the top 5 or so. Later he observed that he saw idiots racing up Baden-Powell "burning 30min of energy get a 6min advantage". They paid for it all later.
Dom G took it in 20:20, which is good given the conditions. Yes, he trained like a mo-fo, and no, somehow he didn't blow his taper at Hard Rock, pacing. I wouldn't recommend it, but what the hell.
The Elder Wheezers reading this will get a tear welling up from one eye remembering that July used to be a peak training month, getting your heat-mojo in order, so it would get tickled but not beaten in on Race Day. Oh, epic memories!
All images here: the finish line, all matters of forensic evidence.
Yours in the sanctity of holy ultrarunning, in the greatest ultras of them all®™, etc
Mr Trail Safety