Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cajun Coyote 100

Cajun Coyote was on 1 December and while I was doing this run Liz was in Florida doing the Ancient Oaks 100.  I flew out on Thursday and drove up towards Chicot State Park getting a room just outside Lafayette which was about an hour away.  I got situated in my room and gave co-RD Chris Scott and found out that they were just sitting down to dinner about 20 minutes away.  I hopped over and enjoyed a nice dinner with Chris, Sue, Mark and a bunch of other fun folks.  I had originally planned on camping during this trip but ended up leaving the camping gear at home and hiring a room for Thursday and Friday night.

I got to the park well before checkin was to happen but all the folks from dinner were hanging out at the pavilion planning on how best to organize course marking.  They sorted that out and soon I was alone at the Pavilion so I just sat against a tree in the sun and relaxed for an hour or two.  Eventually people started drifting back and things started to pick up.  For the pre race dinner they had arranged to have this gentleman cook an authentic Louisiana sausage and chicken gumbo:

He cooked the gumbo in this huge cast iron pot and stirred it with this paddle.  
 Once again the sun set way too early and most of the runners had arrived and I got to see old friends and make new ones and after a short race briefing by the Cajun Dip himself we finally got to eat!

Cajun Dip giving us instructions for tomorrow's run.

This cat was found near some of the cabins in the park and was the friendliest stray cat you could imagine.  He did get adopted before the weekend was out.  Yay!
While I was able to find a nice cheap room near Lafayette online, I wasn't able to find anything less than $79 online near the race start.  So when I first got to Ville Platte I poked around looking for a mom and pop type hotel tucked in a corner somewhere and what I found was a jewel in the rough.  Well, actually the Best Inn was more rough than jewel but it was cheap!  Also notice the new paint job on the exterior:

Whoever they consulted on interior design was very creative.

Nouveau cinderblock and linoleum theme here.

Very little mold in the shower.
The next two photos show an innovative lamp cord camouflage technique.

Cardboard hanger tubing and packing tape - who would have thunk it?

I don't want to publish the address or phone # as I worked out a commission arrangement with the proprietor.  Email me for details.

There wasn't really a "front desk" but the handy metal plate slid back so I could give my credit card.
The Best Inn might have been a bit rough around the edges but I did not see a single bug and the mattress was quite comfortable which was good enough for me.  I slept well.  In fact, I was so beat I laid down and fell asleep before showering or organizing my things for the morning's race.  When I woke up I still didn't feel up to doing my chores so eventually I just set the alarm for around 4am and did everything in the morning.  It was probably about 8pm when I first dozed off.

Here are some pictures of the course.  Chicot State Park is beautiful and the 20 mile loops worked out really nice.  Most of the trails were quite runnable though there were certainly plenty of tree roots in places.  There were also some fairly steep though short ups and downs.  I think we 100 milers did 2 clockwise, then 1 counter clockwise, and then two more clockwise loops.  There was also a 20 mile run and a 100k run so there were plenty of folks on the trails during the day.

My run went pretty well through the day and I figured that I had a good shot at a sub 24 hour run but once I got a few hours into the night I had my worst ever tangle with the sleep monster.  This night I completely lost the battle.  I figure that I spent approximately an hour and a half sleeping in 10-15 minute increments through the night.  I would lie down and pass out for 15 minutes or more and then get up and a mile down the trail I would fall asleep on my feet and wake up when I wandered off the trail into the bushes.  I think what had happened was that I was exhausted from having been in England touring around the country like mad, ran a tough race there the prior weekend and then I flew home on Tuesday only to turnaround and drive back to the airport for my Thursday flight to LA.

I had just not had time to catch up on sleep.  Thankfully this was to be the last back to back week of the year.  After this race there was a weekend off and then the Bartram 100 and then another weekend off and then the final race of the year at the Houston 100.  During this run I ate a lot of meat.  I ate some of the leftover gumbo from the previous night's dinner, I ate a BUNCH of brisket, and some tasty burritos at one of the aid stations.  I'm finding more and more that I run best on meat.  I don't know if I'll be able to do this as much when and if I ever get to where I can run fast again but it's sure working for now.

Here's a pic of me with RDs Chris and Mark:

Thanks to these two guys.  And thanks to all the volunteers who once again did a magnificent job.  This was a very nice run in a very pretty park.  We had good weather and if I hadn't struggled so with sleep would have done better.  Definitely no complaints on this one!

Race count: Liz (34)  Scott (25)

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