First-Ever 100-Mile Run in the First State won by Dave Bursler!!!
The 100-Mile run continues to be my personal "Big Kahuna." I know there are longer runs; both in time and distance, but I feel there's something inherently magical, and decisively dangerous about the 100. Most long distance runners would agree the marathon quickly becomes routine, as with the 50K. The 50 mile run provides less margin for technical training error, however, if you crash at 38-41 miles; you just walk in. No harm, no foul. But the 100 is a completely different beast. It is unforgiving, and demands your complete emotional and physical attention. Any less and you are doomed to failure; and it won't be pretty! So given my respect for the distance, certainly one could understand how ecstatic i was to learn that the 100-mile run was coming to my backyard in the First State.
The Race Director, Carl "The Sleep Monster" Camp assured me it was just a wild, spur of the moment idea. And, Mr. Carl shivering uncontrollable and soaked to the skin, sitting under a clear 26 degree sky looking at the beautiful orange moon at 3 A.M.; assured me it was a "lousy idea." I could only smile. I've been there; and know how he feels. His eyes told the story, he'd been beaten down by the beast, and now every ounce of courage he had was being challenged in this very fight for survival. It's a moment ultrarunners often experience, and find difficult to explain or share. Despite Carl's struggle i knew how important this moment was. Carl had, despite his current condition, and for better or worse, accomplished a great feat already, regardless of the outcome of his personal race. No other runner, group, or club can ever stage the first 100 mile run in the First State again.
And, seven runners from five states, understood and appreciated exactly that. They each showed the courage to toe the start line, face the great beast, and wander through the frigid night in an attempt to finish. The first to succumb to the mud-rutted and frozen cornfields of northern Delaware was Ed Schultz from Maryland. At 37 miles he decided there were things he'd rather be doing. And, there are two ways of looking at it, and Carl respected that. Carl, being a wise and veteran RD named Ed the "50K Champ." There really are no losers in this sport. Next to go was Bob Combs from Ohio, who was nursing a tender ankle sprained two weeks ago at the Snowflake 50K. He managed to complete 50 miles; a solid accomplishment. His compadre, lifetime friend, and next to drop was Bill Losey. Bill finished 60 miles in just over 16 hours before checking into the warm and comfortable, "Hotel Chevrolet," for the evening. Next out was the Sleep Monster himself, Mr. Carl Camp, an accomplished and veteran 100-mile runner. At the aid station at 50 miles, he was nearly frozen to death and only able to move very gingerly. Still, he refused to go easy to the beast, and wobbily returned to the frozen course before tipping over at 67 miles.
Sneaking into 3rd place, and with the most awesome facial hair i've ever seen was Rick P. After seeming to can-it at 100K; he came back from the "dead = warm bed" and cruised all the way into 78. Awesome job! The runner-up was David Snipes out of Virginia. The Sniper was drinking some sort of secret iced tea mixture and chasing it with gumbo. It worked---the man just refused to quit; quietly and determinedly grinding out a 100 mile finish. And finally the winner; Mr. David Bursler, it was only fitting a Delawarean win in this Inaugural Event. I've been privileged to attend / pace / crew at numerous 100-mile events, and honestly i can't remember a more focused, calm and deliberate runner during the final hours than Mr. Bursler. And, there is no doubt in my mind that despite his apparent physical composure; deep inside his soul burns an intense, determined athlete. Just look in his eyes after 100 miles. All the great ultrarunners have that very same look, and early this morning the stare was there.
Finally, Team Slug, wishes to thank each runner, and the RD. In my mind, every single one of you are winners, and the Sleepy-Eyed Monster is a Rock Star----and honorary Slug!
Happy Trails & Keep Runnin'
Final Results-----Newark, DE-----Dec 17-18, 2005
1. Dave Bursler, DE 22:42
2. Dave Snipes, VA 30:13
3. Rick Palmer, PA 78 miles
4. Carl Camp, DE 67 miles
5. Bill Losey, OH 59.5 miles
6. Bob Combs, OH 50 miles
7. Ed Schultz, MD 37.5 miles
7 starters, 2 finishers