2011 Grindstone 100, Part 1 (Brief Race Report)

Wow, 101.85 miles of trail running with 23,200 feet of elevation gain and 23,200 feet of elevation loss. It hurts just typing that. Debbie had a fantastic run tonight, this afternoon, this morning, and last night at the 4th Grindstone 100 in Swoope, Virginia! She was the 1st woman and 12th overall finisher in 24:58:59.

She missed her goal, the course, record, but that is the last thing I will say about that. Even though she was a few hours behind schedule, she had a spectacular run in the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia.

It was a crazy adventure for our whole family. I was ably supported in my crewing duties by our friend and fellow ultrarunner, Paul Davis, and a lot of great volunteers. The race started at 6:00 P.M. last night and it’s still going. The adventure isn’t over yet. The finish line is just outside the dining hall at the Boy Scouts of America Camp Shenandoah.

Grindstone is touted as the toughest 100-miler in the eastern half of the United States. The race organization was fantastic. There were about 140 entrants, though only about 125 started last night. The cutoff is 38 hours. There were at least 30 drops by 6:00 P.M. tonight, and there are bound to be more as the night gets longer.

Debbie was just incredible. Quadricep pain was her biggest physical challenge, but many of the runners complained of the same issue. She was mentally strong the entire time and absolutely smoked the final 6 miles from the last aid station, in under 60 minutes. It was an awe-inspiring performance and I am so glad to have participated in her success. It makes up for her DNF in her first mountain 100, the 2007 Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc. This was much harder than her previous 100 finish, the 2008 Javelina Jundred, and raises the bar a notch for her. I’m so proud of her.

I will have a lengthy update later, but it was an ultramarathon day/night for me too. We saw her at the start, then again around 10:00 A.M. and we followed her all day long helping out at four aid stations and then at the finish.

Neal Gorman was 1st overall in 19:41:22. He was followed by David Ruttum in 20:28:02. Frank Gonzalez was third in 20:37:42. All of the other women were still on course when I made this post.

Debbie overcame a 25 minute deficit to Katherine Dowson at the 51 mile mark (turnaround), by coming on strong in the second half. Unfortunately Dowson succumbed to the course and dropped at the Dowells Draft Aid Station at mile 66.

Our kids were wonderful today. They spent the whole day in the wild, watching their Mom and other inspiring runners test themselves in an amazing race. It’s smiles all around.

Live Race Results

Final Race Results (will be posted later)

Race Photos

2 Responses to “2011 Grindstone 100, Part 1 (Brief Race Report)”


  1. 1 Michele Hammond 9 October 2011 at 6:45 am

    Wow! Deb is such an inspiration! Congrats to her on such an amazing race.


  1. 1 2011 Grindstone 100, Part 2 (Full Report) « Life Adventures Trackback on 10 October 2011 at 11:15 pm

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