Heartland 100 DNF

The good news is that I got to enjoy a 48 mile run in rural Kansas last weekend. The bad news is that I didn’t make it the full 100 miles.

Abbreviated races deserve abbreviated race reports, so here’s the short version of events:


Allison and I made the 10 hour drive from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Cassoday, Kansas after work last Friday. We arrived around 3:00 am, but managed to get a decent night’s sleep by taking turns driving.

I woke up at 5:00 am to get my race number, choke down some coffee and donuts, and do some stretching after the long drive.

Slapping on the IT band strap

Slapping on the IT band strap



Lining up to start

Lining up to start

The race started at 6:00 am, so the first hour or so required a headlamp. Since I was planning for a 100 mile race, I set a very easy pace – alternating between jogging and fast walking to average about 4.5 mph.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the scenery. Kansas is notoriously “flat and boring”…but the terrain was actually pretty cool in places. And there was even some “wildlife” (cows wondering across the course).


Mile 10

Mile 10

Allison’s dad had also driven out from southern Indiana, so I saw the two of them for the first time at the Lapland aid station at mile 16.8. At this point I was 18 minutes under my 25-hour goal pace, and still feeling really good.

Unfortunately, this is where I made a tactical mistake. I changed out of my reliable Montrail shoes into a pair of Hoka’s. I’d had previous knee problems running in the Hoka’s, but wanted to try them out for their extra cushioning, nonetheless. I ended up wearing them from mile 16.8 through mile 36.5…by which time I had developed some nasty tendinitis in the anterior right knee.


Mile 32

Mile 32

Aside from the tendinitis, I was feeling fine. I listened to music for awhile, then switched to an audiobook for a few hours. I was still ahead of schedule when I met Allison at mile 36.5. Over the next 6 miles my knee really started swelling up, and the pace suffered as a result. I stopped a few times to stretch, and had fallen slightly off pace by the time I reached the Matfield Green aid station at mile 42.5.


A little less than 3 miles outside of Matfield Green, I stopped to take a “bathroom break” and noticed coca-cola colored urine.

Between the tendinitis, the likely rhabdomyolysis, and my inability to hold the pace I wanted, I decided to pull the plug. Live to try again another day. So I doubled back to Matfield Green and took the second DNF of my running career.

It was a little disappointing having driven all the way to Kansas and not finished…but it was still a great time. And six days later, my knee is already healing up nicely.


Published in: on October 17, 2014 at 4:32 pm  Comments (4)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://mattandallison.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/heartland-100-dnf/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. No doubt you were a little disappointed but wise decision son. Two things…please do me a favor and never mention Coca Cola and urine in the same sentence to a lover of diet coke. (That could induce some Bear Grylls type nightmares!) Secondly, upon closer inspection of the starting photo I do believe three runners crossed the line prior to the start of the race. Regardless of whether they finished the 100 miles or not they will not be happy to learn they have been disqualified. Ha ha.

  2. Glad you got to see that Kansas really is not ‘Flat and boring’. Sorry you could not finish the race, but glad you let your better judgment prevail.

  3. Given your medical expertise, I’d be interested in learning about the IT band straps and if they work well for you? I’ve developed what I’m told is classic IT band pain on the outside of both knees that manifests when running or hiking on steep grades-downhill only. Manifested in August for the first time in 50 plus years. The pain is debilitating and slows me to a crawl. Appreciate any insight!

    • They work wonders for me. I went through a 3-year stretch during college where I couldn’t run more than a couple miles without being forced to a stop by IT band pain. I tried pretty much everything…foam rollers, stretches, physical therapy, etc.

      Finally I ordered one of those stupid $15 straps on Amazon, and within a few weeks I was comfortably running 20 miles.

      I know other people who’ve had similar results, but I also have a friend who says they didn’t help him at all. For the price, though, it might be worth experimenting with. I use this one:


      Best wishes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: