The Sawtooth 100 is a 100-mile run on the Superior Hiking Trail in Gooseberry Falls State Park, MN. This was a point to point race and 100% trail run. It runs parallel to Lake Superior. This race is considered by many one of the most beautiful and MOST challenging 100-milers in the country.
By far the hardest run I have ever done. The race had everything but below freezing temps and rain. Countless ups and downs. Countless creek/meadow crossings. There was aid every 6-10 miles. In the beginning of the race it was perfect weather for me, about 45, and I was hoping it would stay that way. Unfortunately it did not. Temps got up to 85 with no cloud cover. I was going through 2 liters of water between aid stations, and needed more.
That was the first thing that zapped me. Then, around mile 25-ish, I fell pretty hard but got back up and kept going. As an ultrarunner, your threshold for pain is pretty high… but would the fall have a toll on my body for the next 70 miles?
By mile 50, I was in the dark, and definitely slowing down. My achilles was screaming at me. I was hoping my body would just go numb. I was doing ok with my nutrition but felt a little fried mentally. Always excited to see my crew Floren and Julie; they definitely gave my a little spark of energy!!
This was a really amazing place to run. So challenging. Steep climbs, steep descents, technical, and it was hard to keep focus on the ground because it was so beautiful. Floren was joining me at mile 70 and she would take me to the end. Glad to have her with me. My mind was playing tricks on me at night.
With the sun rising, I was happy to know I was going to finished soon. My body was done!!
At mile 95 came the last aid station. As if the whole race wasn’t a killer, there was a hill that — when hiking — I felt like was about to fall back on my ass. REALLY did it have to come at mile 95? 100 miles came and went… I started to hear the finish and the emotional/mental roller coaster I had been on was almost over. I started crying, so proud of myself that I’d finished.
I finished 2nd in the women’s open division, 21st overall, with a time of 32:18:45!