Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy and Blessed - Bob Sites Report from the Umstead 100

I've taken the liberty of copying Bob's report from Facebook to this blog for all to see. Bob's an amazing guy and it's been my pleasure to know him.

Happy and Blessed

I joked about my pacers 'trying to kill me', but they did exactly what I asked them to do... to be strong when I was weak...So when my slow walk up hills was with a limp, they were telling me that when we got to the downhill what we needed to do was run again. And as I reminded myself that 'it was just pain', they would run with me while I wanted to do what I actually saw a lady do on North Turkey Creek, in the wee hours of the morning... lay down in the fetal position on the bridle trail. Blake's admonition that our training got us to the starting line, but it was our will that would get us to the finish line, proved to be true for me. 

With the amount of time and effort that I had put into preparing for this race, and time away from my wife and family... I went into the U100 intent on a high goal... to finish my 1st, and perhaps only, 100 mile endurance race with a time under 24 hours. I knew there would be pain and that I would have to make that decision to suffer, multiple times... or not. As my fellow runners can attest to, it is a very personal battle inside of us that can be affected by many other influences, not the least of which are those special people in our lives.

After my first 25 miles, where I could keep myself motivated and actually ahead of my very detailed race plan, it became evident that when I was alone with the road that I could hear clearly the logic of pain talking to me. But as I was engulfed in 'louder' conversation with fellow runners or pacers, then the pain was not the voice to be heard and the pace was not slower. But then came the arrival of my pacers (they ranged from one I had met only once 10 days earlier, to one that had been a running friend, in Umstead, for more than 25 years). With their firm, yet compassionate, prodding, I was able keep on track and finished under 23:37.

I cannot explain how anyone else pursued their individual dreams and accomplishments at U100, but I was happy to hear that so many were successful and gave such classy efforts. My short list of these people include: Charles, Jeff, Jade, Shannon, and Jennifer. There are so many who put so much into these accomplishments: family, friends, race directors, volunteers, pacers, crew, timers, as well as the runners. I have been blessed to be a part of all of these dedicated efforts.


  1. Bob, congrats on a fabulous finish! That is an excellent run especially for a first timer! I saw you many times on the course and you looked so strong. Thanks for sharing! Denise #100

    1. Thanks Denise. I went looking to see in the results Tuesday how you did. Hang in there and overcome this thing. You are not defined by the U100, anymore than I am. Enjoy what you accomplished, and decide if it is worth going after it again. Learn, set new goals and move on. But it is key to find and hold on to that which is positive in each experience. You are still YOU. And look how great that is! Bob

  2. Wow! That's a great story, meeting your goal on your first try. 100 miles in a day with 23 minutes to spare. Congrats!! Thanks for posting Scott.