DC - Ultimate Day Hike
One Day Hike, Take 2
By Craig Tyndall
It's 5/6/02, about 36 hours after my second 100k
hike along the Potomac River, as I sit (the preferred body
orientation at the moment) waiting for Roger, another second year
participant, to pick me up for a ride to the airport for the return
trip to San Diego. Yes I did this again: flew
across the country to walk 62 miles in one day. I
made the mistake last year of telling friends about my intentions. They
didn't understand, responding with comments like, "you're nuts,
what's wrong with you, don't you get bored," etc. So this year I just disappeared for a few days and didn't
tell them. My feet
are still swollen, all muscles from the waist down are in rebellion,
a large blister on the ball of my right foot is asking when is
it going to be drained, and I'm favorably contemplating next year's
A hiking buddy once told me "pain and fatigue are just an excuse for failure." Damn,
I wish he hadn't told me that. And then there's Klaus, a new friend made
during this latest death march. He related how last year he developed
huge painful blisters half way through, so he picked up the pace to get through
faster, exploding the blisters in situ, and oozing his masochistic way to a
fast finish. He did the same thing again this year. There are no
excuses. And there was another
Klaus who does this thing every year, also in fast times. think I'll change
my name to Klaus.
My hobby is extreme day hiking and this 100k (62.5miles) is a classic
- right up there with Mt Whitney in a day. It's all level ground, starting from the nations capital and
ending up where West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia touch. This
is not a race, but it is a race, with one person to beat: you. Not
all did the 100k
(3am start) since there were 50k (10:30am start) and 80k (6am start)
(36/47) of the 100Kers, 70% (14/20) of the 80kers and 94% of the
50kers finished. There were no major injuries or dehydration, unlike some years. But everyone did his/her personal best. There were people who had done it before and many who were
doing it for the first time.
The weather was the best possible 50-60 degrees, and actually at bit chilly,
high 40's in the pre-dawn hours (for the 100k folks). It did rain for an hour or so around 5pm, but not a real obstacle
except for those who assumed the "10% chance of rain" was a good gamble and
only wore a tee shirt.
It was another well-organized Sierra club event. The check-in/food
stops were incredible and makes the walk civilized. Twice I
stumbled to a rest stop chair, pulled off shoes to do some podiatry
repair, and two great ladies made me sandwiches while I fiddled with
mole skin I put my order in: "plain bagel and plain cheese",
on wheat, tomato, light on the mayo" ... felt like Burger King. Thanks
ladies ... wish I could remember your names ... wish I could remember
more of the hikers names ... wish I could have remembered my name.
Deborah the Physics teacher, and Holly the Physical Therapist. Wow, these
ladies can walk. I had to keep running to catch up with them and I'm a foot
taller than each. It was like a Dachshund and a Great Dane walking side
by side, and the Dachshund is speeding ahead. There are no excuses.
Ken and Bill, speed walkers all the way. I'll try to keep up with you next year (they cruised in about
45 minutes ahead of me, and I ran part of the way).
What made this a race a social function was meeting people as they passed you,
or you passed them. People of
all ages, sizes, and occupation have a story to tell and you have plenty of
time to listen. Another benefit: with
so many people, you have a benchmark to compare your progress, as you switch
between being the rabbit or the greyhound. There
were folks from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, even a couple others from the
west coast besides me. Some showed
up because they read about it on this web site. Neat.
Check out their web
site for the next 100k walk and
put it on your calendar. Start
walking now and forever.
Update 6/5/02 I
don't call myself a runner, don't run much, and always assumed people
who ran marathons were a bit nuts (wow, that's the pot calling the
kettle black). Well
another of my life's biases put asunder - three days ago I did the
San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon, my first. Yes,
it turns out the 100k walk was perfect conditioning for this "short" distance. Too
funny. No excuses here either.
Update 6/5/03 Didn't do the 100k walk this year ...
but just did my second marathon (San Diego Rock and Roll) along with
extreme day hikes. Interesting conclusion: Walking
quickly up lots of hills and you can get into reasonable shape
for a marathon with minimal long distance running.
2/6/05 Contemplating the 100k walk this year ...would
be great training for my fourth marathon. Life is short ...
there are still no excuses.
10/5/05 Didn't do the 100k walk this year either. Did
my 4th marathon and 2 half marathons ... I don't like running. I
think its time to go back and do the 100k. Life is short
... the 100k is long.
9/29/07 Can't seem to get back to Washington DC. Did
the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon - 6 years straight. Hmmm
... getting lazy.
1/4/13 Will this be the year I do this 100k again?
to 2001 100K
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