Dr Horton,

First let me thank you again for hosting a great event!

I am still not sure whether it thrills or disappoints you more that  
another rookie at Hellgate did not finish this years race.  I dropped  
at AS4 after battling a bad stomach since AS1.  I knew you were busy  
with all the people still in the race and was embarrassed to admit  
that I had quit, so I quietly gathered my stuff and left Camp Bethel  
ASAP.  On the drive back home to NC I rationalized that I was  
finished with Ultra running, that the races I have already registered  
for will go unrun, etc.

But by mid afternoon today,  just 1 day later, I'm out there doing a  
quick 4 miler on the local trails.

So here's how it went:  I had planned to try and hang with Doug  
Blackford thru the night, but in the first mile or so I fell in with  
Rick Gray.  The Weather was PERFECT, I was dressed just right, the  
pace was just right, LIFE was GOOD!  We caught up with Sniper just  
after AS 1 and started up the road.  That is when my stomach started  
turning bad.  I think the pre race drink I usually do 1 day before a  
race messed me up since I started it 2 days before Hellgate.  It was  
also the same stuff in my camelback.  At AS2 we caught up with  
Rebecca and Dan and the 5 of us stayed together thru the single  
track.  Pace was perfect, stomach was getting BAD.  When we came out  
on the road I quickly fell off the group, as I felt what seemed like  
a bowling ball bouncing up and down in my gut with each step.  My  
fanny pack was way too tight, but it was safety pinned to keep it in  
adjustment, I took my gloves off once and lengthened the strap, but  
still not enough.  Soon I was carrying the fanny pack around my neck,  
as I hoped releasing the constriction would allow the stomach to get  
back to normal.  I had taken a Pepcid just before dinner, a Tums at  
the start, and another Tums on the way to AS3.  I had 2 peanut butter  
crackers from my pack at each AS.  I had 2 or 3 cups of ginger ale at  
AS3.  Doug Blackford caught up while I was at AS3.  I was now  
refusing to drink from my camelback, because it had more of the drink  
in it.  At AS3 I dumped my camelback and refilled with water.  Had a  
little soup and left AS3 with Doug.  Was not able to keep pace with  
him long at all.  I made it well up the Promise Land course when Jay  
Finkle caught me.  I told him what was wrong, he offered several bits  
of good advice and eventually pulled ahead.  By now I was stopping to  
try to take a dump, again and again, but really all I accomplished  
was to remove the vasaline from my bottom.  I guess I was passed by  
40 to 50 people in this section.  By now I am hoping I will be timed  
out by the time I reach AS4.  I am not able to run even the downhill  
singletrack down the back of Onion Mtn.  I walked , slowly, but as  
fast as my miserable self can go up the road, really no longer able  
to run at all.  I think I arrived at AS4 with 15 minutes before the  
cut-off, drank a BOOST, took another Tums.  As I took my jacket off  
to get something from my camelback which I was wearing inside my  
jacket, the man with the clipboard asked me if I could control the  
shivering if I really tried.  This really caught me off guard as I  
had not even noticed that I was shivering.  I answered that I could  
and told him that I had just begun the shivering while fumbling with  
my gear bag.  I waited by the heater as my stomach improved  
dramatically.  I Watched several others pass thru the AS just ahead  
of the cut off, and I crossed the parkway into the dark with a group  
of people I knew none of.  I could not stop shivering.  My drop bag  
with dry clothes was here.  AS 5 was 5.5 miles further, but if I had  
to drop there I wouldn't see my gear bag till mid afternoon.  I  
walked back to the AS4 and told the man with the clipboard that I was  
done.

I was miserable physically, but not injured.  So today I have been  
miserable about quitting, especially now that I have seen the finish  
times of the people that just made that AS4 cut off.  So I have a  
year to get mind and body right for next year.  But next year it will  
be even more important, as I am committed to finishing the Beast  
series 2011.

Thank you and your extensive volunteer staff once again for putting  
together these events.

See you at Holiday Lake,


Eric Fogleman