I ran the Mohican Trail 100 Mile Run on Saturday and finished in 29:26:27. I am very happy about it! This race was one for the ages. I have started Mohican 13 times and I have seen some bad conditions but I have never, ever seen it like this. Not even close. The heat, coupled with a new course configuration that seemed to hit runners with the toughest parts of the course at the toughest times of day yielded a finishing percentage of only 38%. Because of this I had many friends...fine, experienced runners in wonderful condition, who were taken out by the heat. It made the day a sad one in many ways.
I have also never seen such cooperation, teamwork, and comaraderie among the runners. No one seemed to finish on their own. I saw many runners slowing down to help ailing friends and strangers. I saw people with only a few swigs of water left in a bottle offer it freely to someone who needed it worse than they did. It seemed that no one actually had any property or crew of their own. Rather, any resource, renewable or not was freely offered. Many of the runners who succumbed to heat exhaustion remained on the course to assist those still in the race.
It was our community at its best.
As for me: Wonderful friends like Suzanne Pokorny and Joe Jurczyk kept me company during the early miles and Scott Wolf, Casey Clark, and Nick Longworth poked, prodded, encouraged, cajoled, and cared for me in the late night hours. Nick was supposed to run eight miles with me. He ended up running 21 miles with me...and do you know why?
He did it because I needed him to.
It was grace. I mean that literally. It was an unearned blessing, an act of korima. I accepted it because I simply could not have succeeded without it.
Thats the kind of day it was. I will write several thousand words about the race over the next week or two. I'll do it in several installments. As usual I will write it so that I will remember it when I'm 70 years old. But you are welcome to read it if you like. Peace. --Mark