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Running the Rann

India's new 100 miler offers extreme challenge and great reward

By Damian Stoy

Run the Rann, a new 100 miler in Dholavira, India, proved to be the most painful yet rewarding ultra I've ever run. With GPS orienteering, desert heat, steep cliffs, salt flats, and thorny vegetation, this race is uniquely challenging.

Fueling for a 2nd place finish

I love 100 milers because so many unexpected things can and do happen. Being successful requires solid training, nutrition, and, sometimes, even creativity. This race was no different. Around mile 30 I had run more than three hours without water because of a missing aid station. As temperatures approached 100 degrees F, I became very dehydrated. Finally I reached an aid station where I felt sure I would quit. Luckily, I was able to rehydrate with HEED and get back on my feet.

Often I have some digestive issues during a 100-mile race, but this time I had absolutely none. Early on I consumed about 2 Hammer Gels an hour. Later I switched to Perpetuem and Hammer Bars, which worked perfectly for me. I also diligently consumed 2 Endurolytes an hour.

I was fortunate to run with ultra veteran Linda Doke throughout the night. My favorite part was running across the extensive white salt flats illuminated by a nearly full moon. Linda and I finished in 2nd place in over 32 hours. Considering the race's difficulty, I was extremely happy with my performance.

I attribute my successful performance to my years of experience racing ultras. Even under adversity, I stayed positive and made the right decisions, especially about nutrition, which is so critical for 100 milers.

Week after: hiking the Himalayas

After the race, I headed to the Himalayas where I hiked and camped for a week at above 12,000 feet elevation. I was amazed that I was able to hike 20-mile days with a heavy backpack so soon after the 100-miler. Luckily I had a bunch of Hammer Bars to fuel me during this part of my adventure, as well as Tissue Rejuvenator to help me recover quickly.

If you get a chance to go to India, I recommend checking out Run the Rann. It's a race you will never forget. HN