With a bit of perspective after UTMF, I thought it'd be good to finally write a brief post about my experience. First, I must again state how much I love Japan. The country is gorgeous and the food, people and general societal ethos are my favorite of any country I've visited. I simply feel at home in the energy of Japan and find the culture to have so much to offer those of us who've spent our whole lives in the West. I must thank everyone from The North Face Japan, the race organization, our hosts at Lake Villa Kawaguchiko, and everyone I encountered around the race for an amazing experience I won't soon forget. The journey of 100 miles is always a powerful and emotional undertaking, but this race really touched me. I'm so happy to have been a part of it.
I won't go into painful detail here about how the race played out. For those who care, I did a couple interviews with Mario Fraioli and Shawn Bearden where I tell the story about my preparation and the race itself, including its dramatic conclusion. As I mentioned in those interviews, I'd be remiss to not acknowledge the courageous race executed by Pau Capell and my appreciation for him pushing me to what is probably the best race of my career. I'm still shaking my head about how it all played out. Below is a video of the very late stages of the race where I was able to catch and pass Pau with only 5k to go. I can't believe they caught this on video.
It's hard to believe, but this was my tenth 100 mile finish and easily my best executed race at the distance. I said in my post-UTMB blog that the draw of a perfect 100 mile race is endlessly attractive but impossibly elusive. While there were a couple minor moments of agony, UTMF was about as perfect as I could have performed, which leaves me with immense joy and satisfaction. That said, I respect the distance enough to know that my next attempt will be with a totally new experience with fresh challenges and unique demands. I can't wait to do it again.
Many thanks to my sponsors, my coach Jason Koop, my wife Harmony, my crew Majell Backhausen, and the SFRC family for always being in my corner through good and bad. I love you guys.
- The North Face Flight Series Race Vest (Should be available online with the month)
- The North Face Cardiac II Trail Shoe
- The North Face Long Haul Shorts
- The North Face Seamless L/S
- The North Face Better Than Naked Sleeveless Shirt (just final 10 miles when it warmed up)
- Red Bull Buff/Visor
- 4x can of original Red Bull (OG)
- Compressport Full Length Trail Socks
- Epson ProSense 347 GPS Watch
- ~20 500ml bottles with carbohydrate drink mix
- 4 gels
- ~12 salt pills