This year I did a lot of longer sustained exercise for my training. I would try to exercise for an hour or two every night of the week and I would do one long training run on the weekend. I would go for a trail run or hike and stop every five minutes to do some exercise to simulate an obstacle. My longest training run before the race was a 45 mile hike in 16 hours running 5 minutes out of every hour and obstacle simulation every 5 minutes.
I walked the first five laps at a pretty good pace with very limited rest between laps. I would stop to eat a peanut butter sandwich or muffin, drink a gatorade, and eat a can of fruit. As you can imagine I was very full but it paid off later because I had a lot of energy through the night and into the morning. I was just wearing running shorts and a running shirt for the first four laps. I changed into a half wetsuit before my fifth lap as it was getting cold, and it wasn't enough. I changed into my full wetsuit after my fifth lap and put on my neoprene socks, gloves, and hood. Laps six and seven were pretty comfortable as far as my core temperature but then it started to get very windy and very cold. I got back to my tent after lap seven and it was completely collapsed. I didn't even try to set it back up. My food was close to the door so I reached in, got some gatorade and a dehydrated backpacking meal. It was nice to get something warm into my body and definitely gave me some morale to get out there and get a few more laps in. After lap eight I had another muffin and can of peaches. After lap nine I had a cup of noodles. After lap ten I was hitting the wall. I went back to my tent, set it back up, took off my wetsuit, dried off, and got in my sleeping bag. I had a bunch of hand warmers with me in my sleeping bag and after half an hour I had stopped shivering and was starting to warm up. By this time the sky was starting to get light so I dug deep, put my other dry half wetsuit, and headed out for maybe another lap or two. On that 11th lap I was starting to feel a second wind. I started running the flat and the downhill and I finished in an hour and seventeen minutes. After that lap I was doing the math and realized if I kept up that pace I could start my 14th lap just before the cutoff and hit that 70 mile mark. I grabbed a gatorade out of my tent and chugged it on my way across the starting line. I finished my 13th lap at 9:56 am and just kept running and started that last lap at 9:59. Now all I needed to do was finish that lap before noon. I was still feeling strong on that lap and finished at 11:32 am. I didn't think that I needed a pit crew, but after seeing all the help the other athletes were getting I realized how nice it would be and how much time it would save between laps. Also cleaning up my pit area after and taking two trips to and from the parking area half a mile away seemed harder than completing another lap.
A big thanks to TMHQ for putting this all together. Thanks to all of the volunteers who were out there at the obstacles and aid stations all through the day and night. And a special thanks to all the competitors out there who lent a hand on an obstacle or were kind enough to have a conversation along the course in the middle of the night to help keep me sane. I couldn't have done it without you.