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Top 100 Mile Times in 2009: Peter Vrolijk at Rocky Raccoon 100

TALON endurance athlete, Peter Vrolijk, completed the Rocky Raccoon 100 with the 75th fastest male 100 mile time in 2009. Vrolijk finished this 100 mile adventure in 18:39:46!

Peter was kind enough to share some thoughts from this day on the trails that was special beyond the finish time.

Enjoy.

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Rocky Raccoon 2009 ended up being a warm day, and I think that affected many people to different degrees.  I started off probably a bit faster than I should have because on my best days I turn in fairly even splits.  For me it’s about patience at the start so that there is something there for later in the day when my genetic coding takes over and lets me continue to crank out mile after mile.

I remember feeling warm in the middle of the day, but not hot like I feel so much of the rest of the year.  I was surprised after the race to see pictures with salt rings on my shirt.  Salt turned out to be my challenge that day.  It turns out that I am pretty resilient to many of the body stresses that seem to affect so many other people.  I took some salt tablets that day, but they sometimes give me a short period of stomach unease so I try to pace my intake according to my perception of what I am losing.

Rocky-Raccoon-Peter-V

Peter (front) and his pacer, Brandon (back)

Around mid-afternoon and mile 55, I started to feel like I was bonking.  I ate some food, and then later took a gel packet, but I still felt like I wanted to lie down by the side of the trail and go to sleep.  My long-time running partner, Chris, was helping out at the Park Road aid station, and I ran in asking for some help on what to do.  He went down the list and came to salt.  I denied that I needed salt because I had been taking some, but I also recognized that denial is usually the key to what ails me.  I took a couple of electrolyte tablets, and it was an instant transition from night to day.  For me that experience was a good lesson in several causes producing the same symptoms (that is fuel and electrolytes giving me the same feeling of fatigue) and a good reminder that when things are going south, the best thing is to ask others for help if I can’t figure it out on my own.

For me one of the most endearing aspects of Rocky Raccoon is that it is the only race in which I use pacers.  Every year I get a couple of friends to come up from Houston and run the last two laps with me.  It is a tremendous thing for me to look forward to through the afternoon, and my pacers almost always experience something new.  In 2009 I had Jeff run with me through the later afternoon into the evening.  Brandon came out with me for the late afternoon evening lap.  This was the second time Brandon had been out with me, and running with me served as his inspiration to run 50 miles at Rocky in 2010.  My last lap was with Chris, who had earlier saved me from my salt crisis.  This is the one race I share with my friends in this way, and it always leaves me happy to have them be a part of my experience.

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A huge thanks to Peter for sharing his special day with us.

Peter’s report once again reminds us that when we have no more answers to our various race challenges, asking for help can often save the day. I will say that again, asking for help can often save the day. A simple action can produce significant results. A nice tip for us all.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David – EnduranceBuzz.com

(Photo: Courtesy of Peter Vrolijk)

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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