I ran Kodiak 100 which is in the San Bernardino Mountains at Big Bear Lake, California.  This was the third year for the race that by name makes you think it is run in Alaska.  I don’t know why this race is called Kodiak, perhaps because grizzly bear cousins of the Kodiak bear were once found in these mountains.   With all the 100-milers I have run, this would be my very first time running a 100-miler in California.

Two weeks earlier, I had a poor race at Wasatch 100 and dropped out at about mile 75.  The unusual heat affected me poorly and I was sick for the next few days from heat induced difficulties.  I realized that pulling the plug on that race was the right thing for me, but I was anxious to make amends and get my next finish soon, so I signed up for Kodiak 100 just a few days before the race.

I would classify this 100-mile course as one of the easier mountain 100-milers.  It has about 16,000 feet of climbing along the way and is run most of the way above 7,000 feet.  It has two steep climbs of about 3,000 feet and one of 2,000 feet.  What keeps its difficulty down are the miles of dirt roads and quite a few miles of pavement thrown in.  The finishing rate was only about 62%, pretty low, but fairly typical for newer races that attract newer ultrarunners.  Tahoe Rim Trail 100 to the north has a similar difficulty level to this 100. continue reading…