Tuesday, March 8, 2011


That makes a great blog title!

The inaugural Georgia Reactor Run (GRR) 100 mile trail race on Saturday had the makings of "one of those days"...Forecast calls for rain!

This particular network of trails is really runnable during dry conditions, however it stays muddy up to 5 days after a good rain. (Must have something to do with the previous owner's nuclear power facility...)

...and it rained! AND RAINED. AND RAINED!

28 of the 30 hours the course was open, you guessed it - it rained.

Between the 3 races, there were a total of 211 registered runners.

72 - 100 mile runners
72 - 50 mile runners
67 - 50k runners

6:30am came early and everyone started with high hopes!

The course was sort of a 20 mile, figure 8 loop, with the start/finish in the middle of it. The left loop was a 13 miler & the right was a 7 miler. If doing the 100, you were to complete those loops 5 times. There were three aid stations, one on each loop and one at the start/finish(pictured below)

(blogger & badass ultra runner Psyche in the white sweatshirt)

The AS's on course were awesome, great signs & great volunteers!

(To think they actually ran out of bread at one point)

As the day progressed, the war of attrition waged on! Countless runners were dropping down to the lower distances; 50 mile runners were hitting the 50k distance and dropping and 100 mile runners were hitting the 50 mile mark and dropping. The common statement I heard from the runners was, "I've had enough! The course was great and the volunteers were awesome - but this rain & mud is too much!"

I arrived at the timing table for my 4:30pm-2:30am shift and settled in for a fun night!
(that is me with the grey ball cap on)

As you can see a "DNF banner of shame" had begun to form. Other's called it the "Wall of Smart Decisions"

The GUTS crew maintained the attitude of HTFU and everyone was having a great time helping the runners as best we could. In true GUTS fashion, a pool was started to see how many of the 72 100 mile starters would finish the race hundo.

Betsy hit it on the nose with 17.

Yes, you read that correctly. 17 out of 72 earned their buckle, completing the full 100 miles. A 23% finishers rate. That is just a small description of how brutal the conditions were.


Below is a picture of the 100 miler winner, Garth Petterson, with an amazing time of 20:10...a fast time for any 100, considering the conditions - it was even more amazing. Here is a link to all of the results from all three races

(1st female finisher)

I don't have any photos from the trail, I spent my 10 hour shift at the timing table - but I understand it to have been quite a day "out there". Click on this link to Cindy Ralston's Photos from on course.

My hat is off to every runner and pacer that logged one mile on the course, truly the definition of HTFU!

To the members GUTS, what can I say? I am so lucky to be a member of such an awesome running club that puts on top notch events time after time! People will talk about this race for years and next year, everyone is going to want in on this race...it may be for redemption...or it may be just for chance to test their limits. I plan to be there!

(Denise Martin - amazingly worked all 30 hours helping massage runners)

**Photos courtesy of P. Wimberly & K. Pike


The Sean said...


Good on you for volunteering:) The link will take you to pictures of the trail- I can't imagine running in all the peanut butter

Kate Geisen said...

Wow, that looks brutal. I can't imagine what those runners' feet looked like after even 50 miles in that slop.

Jen Feeny said...

Holy smokes that looks brutal!!! Congrats to all that braved the elements and conditions!!!

ajh said...

THis must have been incredible to be a part of. Good for you for all the time you spent. Amazing for those who finished!

EricG said...

Hey GS, My buddy Jason was one of the 17. Took 2nd in his very first 100. He was at Bartram as well, came out to pace me. Local guy in your area. Here is his blog link, no race post yet but soon I am sure. http://jasonoverbaugh.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-new-blog.html
Peace EricG

MCM Mama said...

I can't even imagine running that long in conditions like that!

Sounds like an interesting day, even for the volunteers.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Wow, brutal race! Great job on helping out ... guys like you make all the difference in races! Thanks!

Pam @ herbieontherun.com said...

Daaaaamn. That's unbelieveable.

Anonymous said...

That is brutal! The distance is long enough to be a challenge, but mud and rain too- brave folks who ran (even part of it) and amazing volunteers as well!

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!!!! In some ways I'm getting drawn to an ultra, I'm getting fried training for marathons.. even this current one.

Al's CL Reviews said...

My friend Jen finished the 50K (what she signed up for). Her hubs, John did 50 miles. He realized he wouldn't meet the time limit. Both are Iron(Wo)Men. Said this was the hardest course they were ever on. Great job volunteering. D and I talked about you volunteering when we were soaked walking the dog a whole 1 mile.

JojaJogger said...

Brutal conditions, but I was amazed at all the smiles out there. Thanks for the great report and pictures.

Jason said...

It's such a great story. It was an honor and pleasure to volunteer the 16 hours for this race on Saturday and to get a small taste of the trail terrain (by hanging glow sticks) at dusk while the rain was pouring down. My hats off to anyone who braved the ultramarathons on this tough and demanding day. Thanks for volunteering, Thomas!

Lindsay said...

this is crazy. i think i would much rather be on the volunteer side of this one! brutal. congrats to all the finishers! loved the signs - very creative and funny.

Jason said...

tough day out there for sure. Thanks for sharing the photos and experience.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

FIX THOSE FIRST TWO LINKS, PEACHY!1! (Psyche and GUTS)! Any and all freaks who are involved in running 100 effin' miles deserve WORKING LINKS.

That said, these people are FREAKS!1! Way to represent 'em!

Wes said...

LOL... 140.6 I understand. 100 on foot? uh uh :-)

About Muriel said...

looks brutal. it would definitely give me the ability to appreciate the conditions/running.

very nice of you to volunteer!

Nitmos said...

Why does all of that pain, misery, and rain make us all want to participate?!?

Teamarcia said...

Blech mud and rain! What an adventure though! Good for you for volunteering.

Turbo Photographs said...

There are days I miss trails and there are times I don't. Days like this separate the die hards from the wusses (like me). And totally awesome of you to volunteer. That's good karma for you!!

BTW, I subscribed to your blog months ago and for some reason it just magically appeared in google reader this weekend.