Hardcore Hundred Miles

Making sure everything is ready. Photo by Marvin de guia

Making sure everything is ready. Photo by Marvin de guia

In four months of training I ran 1,500km, attained over 60,000m of vertical gain, and added 18kg to my deadlift.  I slept an average of 10.4 hours a night.  I ate a fruitarian diet and even abstained from overt fats for the final two months.  Everything was dialled for Hardcore Hundred Miles, yet I only made it 14 fucking kilometres.   Here’s what happened…

It was dark, and I was running through a forest.  The single track trail was slightly downhill.  A few metres ahead, I saw a branch.  Not breaking stride, I ducked, then SMACK!  It felt like someone had swung a baseball bat at my forehead.  Next thing I know I am lying on my back, dazed and confused.  Both my head and neck are searing with pain.  Blood is gushing out of my forehead, covering my face, shirt, and legs.    Somehow I managed to get to my feet and to cover my forehead with gauze.  Then I started to walk.  I tried to run, but my neck hurt with each footfall.  I knew pretty damn quick that my race was over.  

I got to the aid station and was told I needed stitches.  Dejected, I then told the race director to put me down as DNF (did not finish), my first ever.  I was driven to the hospital where five stitches were put into my forehead.  It was now 3 a.m..  I went back to my guest house, had a watermelon, took a painkiller, and passed out.  That was my Hardcore Hundred Miles race.  


Two weeks later, I am home in Chiang Mai, and for many reasons, I am pissed.  Hardcore Hundred Miles was supposed to be my qualifier for both Hardrock 100 and Western States, and it was six points towards UTMB.  I now have none of that.  In addition, this race was supposed to be a springboard for another race later this year.  I received no training benefit from the race.  At the least if I had made 100km or so into the race, it would not have been a complete loss, but nooooo, I smacked my head at 10k!   Turns out there was a second branch directly behind the first.  I blame no one but myself for the incident.

I know I did the right thing by pulling out.  I have always known that I would never risk long term injury in order to finish a race.  Regardless, I cannot deny my feelings.   I have a race in two months and have no desire to run.  It has been a tough pill to swallow: training hard for four months and getting jack shit from the race except stitches and whiplash.  I don’t want to come across as a complainer, but I need to be honest with how I feel.  If the complaining is bothersome then allow me to send  you the first draft of this post—the boring, clinical post without any emotion in it.  

I will end this on a positive note, as even when I am pissed I can’t help but see the silver lining.  Everything besides the injury and its correlations was first-class.  The race organizer and race volunteers were extremely friendly and helpful.  Kayapa and its people were amazing.   All the runners who passed me while I made my way to the aid station were deeply concerned and caring.  Marvin, who I had only met earlier that day, kept me company at the hospital.  The hospital staff were welcoming and professional; they stitched up this runner, even though it was the middle of the night.   Finally, I made a ton of friends and now have a family of Filipino runners. 

So although the result of the race was no where near what I wanted it to be, there was still a lot of good things to come out of the experience.  If anything I know now to DUCK and WALK  under all branches, vines, or anything obscuring the trail.  

Shit happens. Right?

Shit happens. Right?

Check out the video of the race!


For more topics relating to Hardcore Hundred Miiles checkout Lessons learned from Training for Hardcore Hundred MIles and Mining your training Journal.

Jason ManningComment