Thursday, September 16, 2010


I suppose it's time to write about Haliburton 100. If you didn't hear by now I DNFd hard at 82 miles. There. Got that out of the way, now where do I start... it was a long weekend.

Ok, let's start at the start line. 6am, dark as night and coooold. I hadn't slept much the night before but it didn't take too long to wake up waiting for the 'start gun'. Started off nice and easy, and I should mention a great friend of mine, Scott Garrett had committed a while a go to running this thing with me... although we lost each other a bit at the start line, he kept me on track for most of the race. It's already 4 days later and the details are starting to fade.... especially the first 50-75 miles - the good part. Got to the halfway point in around 12:30 which blew my mind. I never could have done that if Scott wasn't with me. I would have walked way more. He really got me to push myself and it wasn't even that hard, I just get lazy when I run on my own I guess.

Like I said the details of the good parts aren't quite as sharp although I do recall Scott seeing a bear and not telling me about it and warning a friend of it's presence by saying there's a 'hot chick' on such and such trail. I also recall running with a lot of great people such as Maryka and JD, and others whom I can't recall their names. I can't quite get my head together enough to gather other parts into anything coherent. Oh, but I forgot to say that the trails were a fucking quagmire of shit and there was no way to avoid their relentless aqueous hell!

So moving on... going from AS#6 to AS#7 is where I started to tell that things were going wrong. In a last ditch effort to save my feet which had gone through a meat grinder, I changed my shoes and socks at AS5 in hopes of relief. Unfortunately it didn't help and the new shoes just added new pains to new parts of my feet. So that whole back stretch was pretty quiet and I started to turn inward. When we got to AS#7 I started to lose it emotionally. When I saw the food they had, chilli, I couldn't believe it. I had heartburn previously for 3 days non-stop, and it had gotten worse during the race. There was no way I could eat chili and it was heartbreaking to me. I was hoping for anything with sustenance other than the regular stuff. So I grabbed a piece of pb&j and went to complete the half a km and back in order to complete the 120km. I walked it with Scott just ahead of me. I had a bite of the pb&j and had to throw out the rest because it just burned going down my throat. I had a bit of coke, not sure what else, grabbed my pack and left. I was starting to realise I wasn't going to make it and that was hard. My feet were done, my quads were toast and time was running out to get to the finish line before the cut-off. It was a very somber 10k, barely a word was spoken and I was crying a lot. One thing I had been thinking about for a while was the conversation I would have to have with Scott to tell him to go on and get his buckle. I was having a hard time saying those words, let alone anything, without sobbing. But at some point he must have read my mind (or my feet that were barely moving) and somewhere during that 10k he went on ahead, and I'm glad of that. I'm not quite sure of the time that it took us (Tim, a friend of ours had come to run us in at the 120km mark) probably 2.5-3 hours to get back to AS#6. I was still crying when we stumbled in. I sat down and was trying to figure out how I was going to keep going when I had nothing left. I told Angela (my awesome crew girl) to get me my last pair of dry socks, I put them on, put my shoes back on and was hoping for something miraculous to happen. It didn't. As we went on, I stopped to go to the bathroom 3 or 4 times, my gels were increasing my nausea, and, well, I could barely move. I'm not sure how far we got down the trail, maybe 2k, and I realized I would not be able to make it through Black Creek trail, a very very wet section. I was scared something bad was going to happen and I could not imagine myself getting through that wet shit again. So I decided it would be safer to turn back.

I was so happy to see the glow lights that indicate the aid station is coming up. I can't even describe how disappointed I was in myself and how I felt I had disappointed others, even though I know it's not true. There was only 30k left and it just seems such a waste to have to stop when you're almost there. But I gave those trails everything I had. The wetness just ate up my feet and that was it. I have absolutely no regrets.

Gary Black, who was a volunteer at AS6 was to drive 2 other gentlemen who weren't able to make it back to the start so Tim and I hopped in with him to find Angela who would have been waiting for me at AS#5. When I got out of the car, I saw my coach Derrick Spafford, and the flood gates just opened up again (I think I may have gotten your jacket a bit wet there Derrick, sorry). I probably sniveled a bit and then we were off to find out where Scott was so that Tim could bring him to the finish as planned. So we dropped him at AS3.

Gary had told me that I should see the nurse about my feet. And so we drove to see her at AS#2 on our way back to base camp. Letting her touch my feet was probably worse than actually running on them. They were covered in blisters, fissures, my big toes were turning purple, and they were more swollen than when I was pregnant. After a bit of tears (or I don't think I ever stopped) be cleaned, medicated and bandaged me up. She was absolutely amazing. Did I say that she actually came to me? I could not get out of the car to walk to her tent so she actually came and treated me right out of the car. She was awesome. I heard later from Gary that she had said out of some 60 odd runners who came to her, my feet were the worse she had seen. He was probably just saying that to make me feel better ;)

Back at basecamp it was absolutely amazing to see Scott again, who had in the meantime, finished. I was very proud of him and so thankful to have him as a friend. He sacrificed a lot for me as he could have reached his goal to run a sub 24hr race. But he helped me achieve a lot of great things that weekend, even though I wasn't able to finish: I had a great 50 mile time, beating my Sulphur Springs time by over an hour and a half, I also ran 90k way faster than I had at Dirty Girls, and last but not least, I ran EIGHTY TWO FUCKING MILES!!! A distance far beyond anything I could have imagined this time last year. I'm still emotionally drained by the whole thing (crying for 10 hours or so will do that to ya!) and am having trouble thinking of everything that had happened but I wouldn't trade the experience for a million bucks. It was amazing.

That's about all I have energy for but perhaps as things pop into my head I will write about it.

Onwards and upwards. I still want to complete 100 miles and may have another stab at it November 27th in Creemore.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Once again Christy, an amazing run. You ran awesome and should be so proud of what you accomplished. As I've already said, your determination in willing your body through a tough course in such challenging conditions was incredibly inspiring. Congratulations on a great Haliburton!

  2. What a gutsy effort - I shed a little tear for you. I can't imagine the pain you must of been going through. The next one, and there will be a next one will be so sweet and you have learned so much from this and what your body can do. Amazingly tough performance - you are one of the heroes of the weekend for sure. Congrats on 82 - 32 more than I had the guts to try.

  3. Oh and one of these days we ALL need to get together and run a silly short race and then sit around all afternoon and night and have a few too many drinks. This just passing on the trails is getting stoopid ;)

  4. Christy, I'm very touched by your race and your guts to go as far as you did in those conditions and with such pain. Congratulations on your achievement. I do hope that besides the heartbreak side of it, you carry away much, much, much more a feeling of pride and satisfaction.

  5. 82 MILES is F-ING AMAZING!!
    Oh why oh why did it have to be so DAMN WETTTTTTTTTT????????!!!!!

  6. Christy, you ran an amazing race. I couldn't believe how strong you looked when you caught up to me as AS2 on the way back out. I'm sure if it wasn't for the state of your feet you would have been fine. You had a great race.

  7. Congrats on a tough race, Christy! This experience I'm sure made you even more determined to finish your next 100. You've trained hard and it showed on race day. You've gone through some really rough patches and kept going when many would have stopped. The trail conditions this year were the roughest anyone can remember. Hitting 82 miles there is an accomplishment in itself. I admire your endurance and your determination.
    Let your feet and soul heal and feed from the energy of this experience to hammer out a great 100 at Creemore. We'll be there to help you...

  8. I can't add much to what's already been said. It was great running with you and Scott for so long. You ran a super-strong 82 miler which would have equalled 100+ on a dry day. So let those puppies heal and get back on the trails girl!

  9. What you did is so very impressive.

  10. Hey Christy! I was waiting for my runner at AS2 when the truck drove you there (i was half asleep by the fire). I didn't see you, but can confirm that the nice nurse said your feet were the very worse she'd seen all day (and night). There. Now walk with your head high and beat this muddy old bloody course next year!

    Marc Pelosse

  11. Christy, you're my hero!! 82 miles of that crap is easily worth 100 on a better day. You will definitely get your 100 next time. In the mean time, you continue to be an inspiration.

  12. Thanks everyone. Your support really made the disappointment less sharp. You guys are the best!