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AMK’s Kyle Peter Completes Western States 100

Congratulations to AMK East Coast Sales Manager Kyle Peter, who recently competed in his first 100 mile race — the Western States 100. Known for its grueling terrain, the Western States 100 takes place in late June, in California, starting at the base of the Squaw Valley ski resort and finishing up at the Placer High School track in Auburn.

Kyle recuperating post race
Kyle recuperating post race

Over the course of the race runners climb 18,000 feet and descend a total of 23,000 feet on mountain trails before they cross the finish line. Runners finishing before the 30 hour time limit for the race receive a bronze belt buckle; those who finish in under 24 hours receive a silver belt buckle. Kyle, an accomplished adventure racer and member of Team Tecnu, snagged a bronze buckle, finishing in 169th place at a time of 26:35. Read below his account of the challenges he experienced during his first stab at an ultra marathon:

This was by far the highest quality event I have ever competed in, and that includes Ironman and Primal Quest. After the race, I definitely developed a new outlook on the pace of adventure racers – Adventure Racers, we are slow!

As for the toll running 100 miles took on me physically, overall my feet held up pretty well, especially considering I used only one pair of socks and shoes the whole race. By the time I reached the finish line, though, my quads and Achilles were both shot and my left knee was aching.

The biggest challenge by far was running the course’s long steep descents. They really tore me apart and forced me to walk down hills in the latter half of the race. At mile 45 I had to walk a steep descent at a snail’s pace after I had been descending for over four hours. I sat down a couple times (for 10-15 minutes each), once on a rock at mile 45 when I was crawling and actually started hobbling back to the last aid station to quit, and again at mile 85.

Mentally and physically, the lowest of lows for me in the race came between miles 82-85. That’s when I needed to regroup, and get my calves and ankles massaged at the aid station.

WesternStatesEnduranceRunLogo

WHAT I’LL DO DIFFERENTLY FOR THE 2011 WESTERN STATES 100
Running 800 – 1,000 foot descents multiple times in a long run just doesn’t cut it for downhill run training for the Western States 100. I will need to get into the high mountains and do 5,000 foot descents on tired quads.

The experience of running 100 miles went a long way, in terms of showing me how I need to better calibrate my pacing, food in-take and mental approach. I think that making adjustments in all of these areas could shave 2.5 hours off my time.

In terms of pacing, when I felt good I ran how I should in a 100 miler, but that’s the exact moment when I should have even gone slower. When you feel good and comfortable, dial it down a couple of notches until mile 60 and then open it up. While I did try to do this my energy level began to wane by mile 82. I was only 20 minutes off the 24 hour pace at that point — when the wheels came off — which added two more hours to my time.

INJURIES & AILMENTS
I really need to heal my Achilles Tendonitis, even if it means taking a good portion of 2011 off. Oh and next time, I have to make sure I don’t start the race with a cold. That didn’t help my energy level at all.

By far this was the toughest race I have ever participated in, but I loved almost every minute of it. Traveling in the back country, with snow on the ground, from Lake Tahoe to Auburn was unreal, even though I felt like I was running in circles out there. Also, having to take the ferry across a river because high water made it impossible to cross on our own, was definitely a first for me during a race.

I will definitely be back to claim that Silver buckle in 2011!

–Kyle Peter



One Response to “AMK’s Kyle Peter Completes Western States 100”

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