Just over a week ago James Stout completed his over 30-hour adventure through the woods, mountains and rain of Virginia to complete his second 100-mile ultramarathon. I was able to share in all the different emotions James went through the night before, at the start, along the race and at the finish and it was a pretty inspirational experience for me, I can tell you that much.
We trudged off to the start a little after 4am Saturday morning and watched as the 175 or so runners took off into the morning darkness. I proceeded to sleep for most of the day after that, resting up for the 20ish miles I would be pacing through the night. James of course was moving this entire time and along the way we would contact us to let us know how things were going. He moved slowly but at a pretty consistent pace and when we met up with him just before 9pm he looked to be in great shape. Impressive for someone who had just completed around 60 miles of trail running. It was pouring rain and James' trainer had paced him for the last 9 or so miles and they had moved quickly through a relatively flat portion of the race. Now it was my turn and according to other runner, a tricky part still lay ahead. I put on my headlamp, grabbed my flashlight and camelback and hit the trail with James. It rained hard for another few hours as we navigated up and around the wooded mountain. We trudged through swift moving streams, up riberbeds, muddy paths and (to my enjoyment, and his more I would think) some gravel roads. The hardest part was a couple mile trek up "Short Mountain" which was sheer rock, slippery with the rain of the day. I tripped and stubbled along, busting up my feet pretty good; and every time I cursed the rocks for makeing my travels difficult, I imagined how this must feel when you've already travled 70 miles. These guys are pretty damn tough.
I left James at around mile 80, at 5am Sunday morning. I went back home, showered and slept for a few hours, James kept right on moving. At around 3pm he burst from the woods into the 200 yards of field leading to the finish line. In a sprint he crossed and he was done. 100 miles of every type of terain you can imagine. 30+ hours of moving, of being on your feet and never stopping. Fighting hunger, sleep deprivation, pain, wounds, weather, all of which defeated almost pone third of the other runners (around 80 runners dropped out during the hard rains late Saturday). But James fought through it all and finished.
And besides the belt buckle at the end, the stories he has to tell, the satisfaction of knowing he could come out just fine after pushing himself so hard, he has raised $1,445 for the Organization for Autism Research!
Awsome job James! Congrats on an inspiring journey!!
Here is a video I threw together of the run (I couldn't get very much footage because of the rain)
Never Stop, GET FIT.