|Bialetti Sexto, Saltillo ware, flatware in vintage Swiss Army tool-roll. Chilao Campground, July 4 2014|
The best way to preview the Angeles Crest 100 course is the Three-Day 100. It would break out as a notional 40/35/25. This is the best way to get a real sense of what the course is. Its formidable, unrelenting, and demands your complete attention. I’d done it back in ’96, and it gave me a realistic view of what was needed on Race Day.
Of course, Geoff fucking killed it. Now I'm busy writing my self-congratulatory memoirs with the aid of gin and bitters to take the bad taste out of my mouth. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
THE SET UP
We began putting together the Hyena Three Day 100 and invited a short list of friends. The short list is to maximize your effort, minimize drag, avoid chickenshit when other people's agendas start clogging up your day.
The base camp would be at the Chilao Campgrounds up in the San Gabriels to minimize driving chores.
“If anyone has specialized culinary prefs ie vegan, gluten-whatever, please handle it. Otherwise it's espresso, meat/poultry/veg/wheat/dairy-based madness.”
I handled infrastructure of canopy, stoves,lanterns etc. Everybody was responsible for their own tents, etc. This year I was sleeping in a rescue-tent that was intact, and in the bone-dry summer, a perfect bug-proof pavilion. It was free, and turned out to be perfect.
Christina and I arrived two days earlier to secure an optimal site. I would recon a short, troublesome section between Charlton Flats [55mi] and the top of Short Cut Cyn, where Poodle Dog Bush had been reported. These days were slow-motion drowsy, I figured I’d be getting my ass handed to me in due time, no need to be a hero.
DAY ONE: Start to Three Points [0-42.72]
Geoff and Jeanne were planning on doing the Full Ticket. I was opting for the Diet Slice 25. Christina had ideas of doing 25 with her 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks, but opted out at Vincent Gap [14mi], when told that there was no water for the next 10 hard miles—4 straight up, and the balance exposed rolling downhill to Little Jimmy Spring. Jake and Pippa were looking for the car with nary a look back at Vincent after the long, hot run anyhow. Screw that.
Rainer was heroic in providing rolling aid. Otherwise we’d all be dust puffs in the wind. Try running 25 miles on 3 bottles. The open trunk with cold ice, Cokes, Gatorade and all the goodies was perfect.
We mounted up Mt Baden-Powell. Cresting the summit, the clouds had moved in, and a shower turned into a hailstorm. Geoff was well ahead of Jeanne and myself. We were hail-pelted, which actually made me very happy, not having experienced that since 1995. Jeanne opened up her stride and vanished after Dawson’s Saddle, aka “Keira Henninger Scenic Bypass”, leaving me and my stubby stride out in the middle. I finished out in 8:40, somewhat better than 2 weeks earlier.
The late start  clipped Geoff and Jeanne’s day. Geoff improv’d a Plan B, which stopped the clock at Eagle’s Roost , and restarted it at Cloudburst  with a car shuttle to avoid the road-running section in the dark, when they finished at Three Points .
A hard day capped by Food Porn BBQ grilling eaten while it was still reasonably light.
DAY TWO: 3 Points to Chantry [42.72-74.55]
Geoff and Jeanne were doing the Full Ticket. I was poncing about on a 22 mile Richard Simmons Diet Lite plan. Rainer drove them up to Three Points, so they could experience the magic and majesty of the Fred Flintstone Scenic Wilderness. I ran from camp, flagged the alt-route around the Purple Poodle Dog Bush car-wash hell that is from Charlton to the overlook of Short Cut Cyn. Spoiler alert: Vetter Overlook Road.
There was some PPDB dropping down into the canyon, but it was mainly poison oak on the uphill approach for a short spell. Not in car-wash proportions, but present. You’d have to work at getting contaminated—like running naked or busting selfies.
At Short Cut Saddle met up with Rebecca who was crewing Marisol on their outing. I waited 30min for Geoff and Jeanne, Rainer hadn’t shown, so loaded up by the ladies, I took off.
Dropping down to West Fork, the temperatures climbed steadily higher. At creek bottom I took off my shirt, and gingerly dipped it into the shrinking pools. I didn’t have to fill my shoes with grit, but got the full body cool down I craved. A long walk with no speed up to Newcomb’s Saddle, then Newcomb’s Pass followed.
At the Pass, I had the yawns, and lay down on the picnic table and napped for 20min, being that wiped. It was completely quiet. On awakening I looked at my last 8 oz, looked at the greasy stain I’d left on the table, put the feet into forward, and grunted in to Chantry. Small children and mommies sped past me, and enjoyed their outing. I was headed to a shower, a cooler, and a ride as Christina was our ticket back to camp. Jeanne and Geoff were done 20min later.
More Food Porn Culinary Comedy ensued, with beefy sausages caressed by licking flames on an open fire.
|Impromptu Echo Mtn Aid Station. You noticed I'm sweating like a pig. Photo by Rainer Schulz.|
DAY THREE: Chantry to Finish [74.55-100.53]
We broke camp. Geoff, Jeanne and Christina were met by Rainer at the finish line, who would take them to Chantry. I’d meet up with Rainer to help him crew on Echo Mtn below Sam Merrill, at approximately 92 miles in. There is no shade on Echo Mtn. I had my best idea of the day and had packed in a 6x10’ section of shade cloth, which we rigged up at a wide spot in the trail. While we waited in the shade, Rainer and I had Quality Guy Time, watching Fat Boy Droppers shoot past us on their MTBs. We were really impressed that they’d gotten rides from their moms to the top of Mt Wilson.
Geoff, Jeanne and Christina arrived about an hour later, totally beaten down. We got them into the shade, and they fell on the water, Coke and watermelon we’d brought in.
Now its a manageable 7 miles to the finish. There is no ready water at Millard. They hit that section in good time, and I met them at the Finish Line after missing them at Millard, and having a weird car non-start jumper cable episode. More shit for the week ahead, but fortunately irrelevant to the execution of the Hyena Three Day 100.
Make a plan, and stick to it.
Do the the 3-day in sequence. Don’t get sidetracked by other people’s plans and expectations that you’re going to crew them just because you’re out there.
Eat well, and sleep well. You’ll be burning 5,000 calories a day.
Make sure your car is in working order. Fill your tank.
Never dump water until you get home when all is said and done. This goes for showers too. You’ll need it, trust me.