5 hours

Saturday I had a plan. I spent the day working with my father in law on our bathroom remodel, working with the drain and building out the platform that the tub will sit on. I hadn’t planned on doing quite that much because I was getting ready to drive up to Oklahoma to pace Ben overnight at The Outlaw 100 and I needed to make sure I was rested. We got what we needed to do done and I took a nap to get set. That is when the call came.

Ben called from the trail to let me know how brutally technical the course was and that he had been fighting with a fever and chills for the previous hour or two. He’d projected 5 hour loops (20 miles per) but had opened that up to 6 hour loops. I had planned to run with him starting at mile 60 and don’t least 50K with him before heading back to get some sleep at home. This adjustment to the schedule meant that I’d join him around midnight rather than 8 or 9 o’clock.

I got my stuff together for the night, it was supposed to be cold and wet so I packed enough for ten hours of cold, challenging running. Given my Rocky experience, I was also ready for Ben to reach his limit sooner than he expected. I drove up 75 and into Oklahoma with the constant mist making the drive just taxing enough. When I got to Caddo, I stopped to get Ben the only thing he said he needed, an orange Gatorade. I’ve seen Ben take on big runs with only Gatorade between loops, I was hoping he was taking in more nutrition than that on his now 30-32 hour 100.

When I got back to the car, I checked my phone and there was the dreaded message, “I just threw up all my food on the side of my truck.” I called Ben to see what was up and it sounded like he was going to give things 15 minutes to settle down before he decided whether to head back out. I drove further up the road to Atoka and right next to the hotel we stayed in the last time we came up for the A-OK 50K a few years ago. My phone pinged and I pulled over to checmwhar was up. It was the end of Ben’s race and my first pacing gig. I turned around and made the drive back to Denton. 5 hours.

Sunday I’m headed to the Cowtown to run the half and then next week to the Tinajas 50K in Colorado Bend State Park. 4th or 5th time running Cowtown, second time running Tinajas.