Hellgate 2012

Déjà vu all over again.  For a long time I’ve felt that Hellgate 100K run would better be called the Hellgate 100K fight for survival.  I just wish my fight for survival would quit starting before the first aid station.  You’d think I would have learned to respect the slipperiness of the rocks at the stream crossing just before the first aid station, and I thought I had.   My first experience at Hellgate was in 2006 when I slipped and fell into the stream (water up to my chest) during a brutally cold night.  This year the stream was low and the rocks looked safe to hop across.  Not so, as I slipped on one and smashed my right rib cage unto a big, round river boulder.  Painful.  Now I was in pain just trying to breathe, and the Jolts of running added to the pain.  Then for good measure I had to fall a couple more times – once in the rocky section after aid station 2, then finding a big hole in which to trip and fall along the grassy knoll.  The morning sun and the situational awareness it brings were a welcome relief.  So now it was just a matter of toughing up through the pain.   I thought about the words of my dear, departed mother:  “QUIT BABYING YOURSELF AND USE IT, AND IT WILL QUIT HURTING!”   Not so much this time, Mom.  Xrays showed that I have a cracked rib, although it feels as if every rib on my right side is cracked.  So now I look forward to soon being able to resume things I enjoy doing without the pain, like running -- and breathing.  A word to the wise (apparently I’m not included in this group) – respect the rocks in the stream.

Bob Anderson