HellGate...the pinnacle and culmination of my 2010 Beast campaign.
What can I say, what a day of running. I can honestly say that after an '09 where I did not buckle at GrindStone and dropped here, there was no way that this race was going to keep me from my goal. Ankle surgery the Monday after Promised Land put some doubts in my mind for a good couple of months and knowing that I probably would not be 100% for the duration of the year worried me a bit.
However...planning, determination and REVENGE weighed more heavily on my heart than anything else. In addition to the words of one David Horton ringing in my ears..."These races get harder, ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH??!!??"
I knew after dropping at AS 6 last year that the this was going to be tough, but I also knew that the peace and quiet of the night would be a great time to reflect on the torture the daylight hours were set to bring and ways to combat these upcoming feats. I began to let the Horton miles get to me a little after leaving AS 6 (mainly b/c it was mostly up), but still managed to meet my goal of staying in front of the cut offs by at least 30 minutes. Not leaving too much room for error, but in hopes that I would continue to manage a smart run and be able to hold on through the forever section and kill the last climb and descent. The strategy worked, with the help of crew chief & wife Pam meeting me at 2 additional aid stations, she kept me positive through the last 15 miles.
Getting to AS 9, seeing her and former HellGate/Beast alum Jaime giving my words of wisdom on the last section was the best thing that could have happened to me during the race. I knew what was left to tackle and I knew I had more than enough in the tank to finish as hard as I could and did just that.
Words can't even really begin to explain the range of emotions that this race brought forth, but thanks to everyone that made this special event a wonderful experience along with the other 5 events as well. You all out did yourselves in every aspect!
Thanks for another opportunity to learn and be a part of this "Special" event and family!
Dr. Horton, much luck with the surgery!
Happy Holidays and we'll see you in the New Year!
The pain is worth the reward,
Kimani (Kam) Long