My first ultra DNF

I don’t deserve this beer tonight. But hey, 35km up and down a mountain in the middle of the night still counts, right? Sa Pa felt different in the night, and I am glad I got to experience that.

After a good rest, I had some time to ponder over the 65km that remained unrun today.

A couple of things stuck out like sore thumbs:

  • to race in this condition, I need to run up steep hills most of the time, or learn to zoom down slippery rocky hills. At least one skill, ideally both.
  • running at midnight, against the body clock pattern, is a bit too funky for me at this stage.
  • the knees clearly don’t appreciate those downhills.
  • trekking poles are a must to give myself at least a fighting chance of scaling up those steep slippery slopes.

My mind was more tired than my body, when the whistler pulled me up and handed out a DQ. I guess it was due to the extra focus required to navigate the tricky terrain in the dark. The cutoff time for the 35km was 7 hours. I had missed it by about 10 minutes.

The course was no doubt brutal, considering the number of DNF’s, but a worthy challenge nevertheless.

One of the good news stories is that my room mate, young Ying from Singapore, managed to fly home for 5th in under 16 hours.

Bottom line: it’s been fun to give this 100k a crack, but I need a lot more training.