31 October 2022


Small gaps between the tree canopy revealed amazing vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges.

For a detailed and visual report, check out my race video on YouTube. After I ran UTMB three times, my wife decided it was finally time for her to run one of the UTMB events in France herself. In order to apply for the lottery, one has to earn "running stones" and there are only four events in North America that award stones. Puerto Vallarta Mexico by UTMB is one of the 4 events, so my wife decided on a weekend trip to Mexico to earn some stones:-)
Runners were blessed by a local Shaman at the start of the 100K in Mascota.
We booked a hotel less than half a mile from the finish line of all Puerto Vallarta UTMB events, from 10K to 100 mile distance. My wife as registered for the 50K while I signed up for the 100K. We picked up ur race packets on Friday morning around 10:30AM and it was quite chaotic as is to be expected for a large first time event like this.
Runners getting psyched for the race start.
A couple of hours later, we were back at our hotel getting our race kit ready for the next day. The 50K would start in Puerto Vallarta on Saturday at 6AM. The 100K was scheduled to start at 8AM further inland in Mascota after a 2.5 hour bus ride, which made for a very short night for me as the buses were scheduled to leave Puerto Vallarta at 3:30AM sharp.
The atmosphere at the start of the Hikuri 100K was electric.
My alarm went off at 2AM to give me enough time to tape my feet prior to heading to the shuttle ride. I never expect to get much sleep the night prior to a race, so it didn't mess with my mental game too much. I fully expected the bus departure to be delayed, but was glad I did not rely on that expectation. When I arrived at the pickup location at 3:27AM, the buses were already starting to take off. Phew, that was close1
Whenever a shuttle to the race start is required in the US, that usually means an uncomfortable ride on an old school bus. Not so here as runners were treated to nice coach buses that took us to Mascota. While I still didn't manage to get any more sleep on the 2+ our ride, it was a very comfortable trip.
The file of 100K runners consisted of 300 Mexican runners and 200 foreign runners for a total of 500 starters. When we arrived in Mascota around 6AM, it was still dark and we had another 2 hours until race start. Most of us meandered to the nearest building that was lit up and housed the aid station for 100 mile runners, who had started Friday evening in San Sebastián. A quick stop at the bathroom and I headed out to find the actual start location to hand in my drop bag for the Uma aid station at mile 35.
With still 90 minutes to kill before the race start, I struck up conversations with some of my fellow racers. As we approached the 8AM race start, we filed into the starting line chute. The volume of music intensified as runners lined up alongside us. The announcer got the crowd going and just as we were ready to take off, we received notification that the race start would be delayed by one hour due to technical difficulties. We never found out what these difficulties were, but at 9AM the race finally got underway, but not until all of us runners received a blessing my a local Shaman.
The way out of town was lined with cobblestone, quite challenging (and later painful) to run on. After a short couple of miles we entered single track trail and immediately started the 4 mile climb to the highest point on the entire course. The point to point 100k course boasts nearly 13,000' of vertical gain and 6 major climbs along its route.
I settled into the middle of the pack early on with the intention to keep a comfortable pace for the duration of the race. However, due to the heat and humidity (86 degrees and 88% humidity), this plan did not pan out as intended. Even my slower pace early on could not prevent me from suffering as a result of the conditions.
Arriving in one of the small villages along the course.
In addition to the weather, the actual race course was more challenging than expected. Lots of steep climbs and descents had my quads and calves during way early in the day. I also started to fall behind on my sodium and potassium intake, which for me, often leads to muscle cramps. Current science may not support a lack of sodium as the root cause for muscle cramps, but my now personal experience has been quite different. After doubling up on my sodium intake, I eventually started to feel better. However, the heat continued to cause issues for me, even while wearing a hooded long sleeve top specifically designed for desert and hot weather climates. 
Biggest river crossing along the course.
Luckily, some of the aid stations had some ice available that I was able to stuff into my homemade ice bandana to try to lower my core temp. That helped provide some temporary relief along with some of the creek crossings along the way. I actually sat down in a couple of creeks just to cool off before continuing. 
The course offered plenty of technical terrain.
While I realized very quickly that I would be out here longer than anticipated, I was highly motivated to finish regardless of how long it would take me, courtesy of to recent DNFd and the UTMB running stones that were on the line for finishing this thing. I continued to dial back my pace with hopes of picking up speed again once the sun went down. Sadly, that strategy did not materialize. I continued to move rather slow, but always with a positive mindset. I had no doubt that I would finish. 
Glimpse of mountain views through the treen canopy along the single track trail.
However, as I approached the final aid station, cut offs almost because a concern of mine. Ultimately, I ended up with a significant buffer and no real concerns of missing the cutoffs, but the worry did keep me moving. I finally crossed the finish line in Puerto Vallarta 18 hours and 32 minutes after taking off in Mascota. I was both elated to finish and excited to see my better half under the finish line arch at 3:30AM in the morning. If you know my wife, you know that late nights are not her thing, she values sleep too much:-) I had earned my 3 running stones and was ready to finally get some sleep. 
Both the actual race course as well as the host city of Puerto Vallarta provided an amazing playground for our latest adventure and since my better half has some unfinished business from her own race, we are already preregistered for next year. Come join us, you won't regret it. In the meantime, check out the pictures from both the race course and from Puerto Vallarta.

Big mountain range in the background, the course takes runners above 7,000 feet of elevation.

Small pedestrian plaza in Puerto Vallarta.

Finish line for all PUERTO VALLARTA MEXICO by UTMB events.

Massive 5 story art installation on the Malecon boardwalk for the upcoming "Dia de Muertos" celebration. 

Runners would pass by all of these displays on their final mile to the finish line.

Our favorite breakfast spot in Puerto Vallarta, The Pancake House.

Famous Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta.

Plaza de Armas in Puerto Vallarta.

One of the displays in the colors of my home country.

The Puerto Vallarta display on the Malecon boardwalk.

0 $type={blogger}:

Post a Comment


Create a map on Fla-shop.com


Create a map on Fla-shop.com


  • Cocodona 250M (Black Canyon City, AZ) - May 6-11, 2024
  • Mohican 100M (Loudonville, OH) - June 1, 2024
  • Bighorn 100M (Dayton, WY) - June 14, 2024
  • Tahoe Rim Trail 100M (Carson City, NV) - July 20, 2024
  • Crazy Mountain 100M (Lennep, MT) - July 26, 2024
  • Eastern States 100M (Waterville, PA) - August 10, 2024
  • SwissPeaks 360 (Valais, Switzerland) - September 1-8, 2024
  • IMTUF 100M (McCall, ID) - Sept 21, 2024
  • Indiana Trail 100M (Albion, IN) - October 12, 2024
  • Rim To River 100M (New River Gorge, WV) - November 2, 2024 (WAITLIST #99)
  • Loup Garou 100M (Ville Platte, LA) - December 7, 2024
  • Charleston 100M (Mount Pleasant, SC) - December 27, 2024
  • The Montane Winter Spine 268M (Edale, UK) - January 12-19, 2025





| Free Blogger Templates