This AC100 RaceBook photo crystallizes a lot of thinking I've been doing about hundreds over the last several years.
This image is of considerable drama and suffering. I've seen art like this at the Louvre or Met—and the subject typically has arrows sticking out of them. Howie described it as:
"My proudest moment...Too bad you can't hear the hyperventilating or my talking to myself trying to calm my body down."I used this image in the AC100 RaceBook to remind people that Angeles Crest is a tough race of the Old School. No blow-up run thru finish chutes, merchandising opps, timing chips and all the marathon blow-in cheese that have percolated into the 100-mile race scene. Its not Halloween on the course. There's fun, but ultimately its all business.
Contrast that with "hundo", a cheap shorthand reference to the hundred. Its an easy, slick, drawly, pseudo-knowledgable familiarization of a distance that really demands your full attention. "Hundo" has the same gravity as helium escaping from a flatulating balloon.
"Hundo" probably came from the web somewhere. I recently saw it on a road-bike club-ride poster. They can do it, because their hundo equals 25 miles of your day as a mountain runner. And they get to sit during the downhill stretches.
But we're here at one hundred miles, on foot. Go ahead, kid yourself at your own peril, because sooner or later every 100-mile runner will come to a moment like this. Whether you like it or not.