Stone wrote a recap of the amazing 12 hours of Sisu.
Wakefield 12 Hour Around-the-Lake
11 hours 13 minutes
That aside, this turned into a fantastic day of running. The goal was to run the first ‘marathon’ in about 4:15-4:30, stay on my feet through 33 miles before sitting down, and ultimately attempt to hit 50 miles. And while there were some newtome experiences and sensations along the way, I am happy to say I hit all of these goals. It was a huge confidence boost going into Leadville to hit all of these marks on a ‘training run’ with three weeks to go.
The race started at 9AM, with temperatures in the mid 70s under bright sunny skies. As I had been training myself to do, I was crushing my Tailwind from my handheld water bottle early and often. I was surprised to have almost emptied the entire bottle after only the first lap. It surprised my crew a bit too, considering I told them that I would want a refill every two laps. I immediately fell into the following pattern: Dahyam, who was working the water table, would top off my handheld every lap, and I would travel a couple hundred yards down to my folks, who would drop a scoop of Tailwind in and replace whatever calories I had consumed on the previous lap. There was another water table on the opposite side of the lake where I would take calories, either in the form of a chia bar or Hammer Gel, and chase it with half a cup of water (saving the other half for my head).
After another solo lap, I switched from my (wellworn!) Saucony Hattoris into my New Balance 1210s, and it was like strapping a cloud to my feet. They are supercushiony but without making me alter my stride at all. Jeff Bartlett jumped in for a few laps; I warned him that this was not the “Germain-Train” and that I hoped he liked 10 minute miles. As we took off, I was instantly reminded that every time I hang out with Bartlett, I end up thinking that I should hang out with Bartlett even more. He filled me in on how his training was going, how the marathon turned out for the Sisu Project members the night before...there is a lot of joy in running with him, and not just because I had someone to keep me company after 30 miles of solo running.
I was getting a little crazy venturing into new mileage territory (over 33 miles), and was getting really sunburnt...and chafed. A HUGE morale boost came when Dahyam decided to jump in for a lap. She is not a runner, but is actually a fast walker for someone who is only a shade over 5 feet tall. We set a walk/run pace, kind of making it into a game...walk two telephone poles, run three, walk two, run to the corner, etc. This made what was a physically demanding lap rather fun!
I was practically breathless, but incredibly happy and inspired as what would probably be the last lap came about. Matt, Caitlyn and my dad all headed out for what was supposed to be a slowpoke walk/run session. When I exited the crew area, my brother came bopping up behind me saying “I’m told we’re staying to the end, so I’ll come out for one!” I was so happy! I was actually running nicely, and people told me I was doing great. I had three of my favorite runner panned out in front of me, and my brother beside me, with a stunning sunset behind all of us. While I cannot remember what we were talking about, I was thrilled at the thought of having my brother beside me (wearing a bright orange jersey, reminding me of Maartje) and two Sisu jerseys in front of me (reminding me of Bartlett)...really making it like I had my whole crew with me. All the pain was gone. So I sped up. I thought of three or four runners who may have passed me on the previous lap, and Matt chirped in my ear: “I know what you’re doing right now” and motivated me to catch one of the runners in front of me...then the next. We caught all of the runners, and I continued to hammer out the best possible pact that I could. Unfortunately this means I dropped my brother, and almost my dad: “Don’t worry, you do what you have to do right now!” The Germains kept inspiring me, and I kept turning up the heat as much as possible around the last corner.
Christopher Stone- Second place male, third overall.
Congrats Chris! We are proud of you!