Sunday, March 15, 2009

6633 Ultra Update

I am home after pulling from the race.

At about 4 am on Friday and after only 70k I decided to pull from the race.

The main reason why I decided it was time to go home was that I didn't think I could continue the race safely. This are very serious races and they should be taken as such. I hurt my back when the wheels on my sled froze.

6633 Ultra is a truly a self supported race, continuing under such circumstances would have been irresponsible. the temperature had dipped to minus 50c with windshield and my sleeping bag had frozen, because I discovered that if I used heat packs on my baklava and mitts I was still warm I was safe but for how long? check points where usually 43K apart, that is a long ways is you are running with a sled and add slowing down because I was running injured it could take a long time to make it to each check point.

At around 20 hours into the race I was once more experiencing pain and getting worse, the first time, I took ibuprofen and sat on the car for about 45 minutes while they brought a new sled for me, and I felt great when I started to run again but about 8 hours later the pain returned and I once more failed to make it to check point and had to be helped.

this is what it crossed my mind, I was only one third of the race done, getting weaker and weaker since eating and drinking on the course was impossible at night, i already had frostbite on the tip of my nose from exposure, and I wasn't sure that spending three more evenings battling the elements unable to move fast was a smart decision. I got a ride to check point to and got my back checked, i left the sled to mark the course something that it's mandatory if you want to continue, you are allow to leave the course at anytime as long as you return to your same location to continue after.I didn't think that it was fair that i was forcing them to babysit me, the minimum expected for an athlete is to make it to check point and i had failed to make it twice, it was time to pull the plug.

Andrew and Douglas both finish the 120 mile race and there are still two other competitors on the course for the 350 mile race. Am I sad because I quit? not really, although I did learned a lot, I have to be very responsible and I had 5 other races to finish so I had that too to think about. While there is always a risk when competing in endurance events,I feel a responsibility to the charities that I represent but I have have an even bigger responsibility toward my kids.

I didn't feel disapointed when I finished the race, i was after all exhausted and I was somewhat relieve to be in a warm car resting. It was not until much later that regret hit.

Ray Zahab and I are looking into other North American races to choose an other to continue with the quest, I am exited once more with the anticipation on what other race I will be adding to my list, I do hope this time is going to be on a warmer location, after Antarctica and the Arctic I think I deserve it. So it wont be long and I will be back doing what I do best, running wild.


Anonymous said...

Glad to know you are alright. Your children need their mother so there is no doubt you made the right decision. You have shown that you are not only a strong woman, but a smart one too. (p.s. Most of us would never be able to do 10% of what you did there!) Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Norma, you did the right thing! It was still nothing short of a very courageous still ran 70km's in
-50c. Who does that? :-) You have tremendous will...keep it'll still be able to do the 777.

Anonymous said...

Norma, you made a smart decision there! All of us at CNIB are still in awe of what you are doing and we are behind you 100%. I think you deserve to run somewhere warmer too next time! Congratulations!!

Lisa Kauffmann said...

I cant even imagine the cold you must have felt. You made a smart decision to stop. You did more than most people could even imagine.Time for a warmer place to race..Lisa

Pam said...

Norma, beginning the race is a huge achievement - running 70kms in that extreme environment is totally amazing!! Kudos to you for such an outstanding accomplishment, we are all so proud! Hope your back is feeling better.

Anonymous said...

hola norma , soy andres , el español que tanto se reia en namibia , me recuerdas?que tal te va todo? estaba mirando para correr la 6633 el año que viene , que tal esta ? quiero ir a nepal en nov. te apuntas?
un beso muy fuerte