Zion 100M: Bryce Johnson
This week we are treated to hearing from two friends, Mark Ruhsam and Bryce Johnson who both completed the Zion 100 Miler. Yesterday we read about Mark’s experience and today Bryce shares about his hours out on the course.
What was your last race? Iron Horse 100k in Florahome, FL
How far was it? Was it a new distance? 100M. Yes, this was my first 100M race. Previously, I had run several shorter ultramarathons, 50Ks and 50 milers.
How long have you been running consistently? I’ve been running consistently for the past 10 years. My first ultra-marathon was 2 years ago.
What made you sign up for this race? Terrain, location, recommendation? Since running a 50 miler in 2018 I had the desire to run a 100mile race. Initially, I was interested in running the Bryce Canyon Ultra as I’ve always wanted to visit the area and thought running the race would be a great way to experience the park. Once Mark Ruhsam and I began training together and he mentioned he was running Zion 100 I realized I could have a training partner for Zion and still visit Bryce Canyon on the same trip.
What did you eat the most at the aid stations? The majority of the food I ate at aid stations consisted of either chips, candy, and soup broth. I found the mix of these three foods sat well with me during training and provided a substantial amount of calories.
High moment? As the sun was getting ready to set, I was able to keep a good running pace around miles 60-65. We had recently came down a super steep downhill section and the terrain was relatively flat, which enabled me to find a rhythm.
Low moment? Definitely the section around miles 85-90. We had just finished our last major climb and were running on slick rock, which is a completely uneven surface that is extremely hard on your feet. At this point my feet were feeling the effects of blisters and every step on the uneven and hard surface of the slick rock was painful.
Do you listen to music? If yes, what's your song of the moment? No, I didn’t listen to any music, but my two crew member were extremely helpful in keeping my spirits high and never let any thoughts creep into my head of not finishing the race.
Would you do it again? Absolutely. The scenery and the challenging terrain of the course only enhanced the accomplishment of completing this 100mile race.
What race is next? I’m still reviewing the specific races, but I will be running a few shorter trail runs this summer, a fall marathon, and another 100miler early next year.
Will you train together? Yes. Mark and I plan on training together over the summer and preparing for our fall races.
What shoes did you wear? Mainly the Altra Timp. I started the race with the Saucony Perragrine’s but found the Altra Timp had more cushion for the rocky terrain.
What race pack did you use? Salomon Advanced Skin Set (5 pack)
Favorite local running store/brand/community? Store: FITniche; Brand: Altra, Salomon; Community: FUR: Florida Ultra Runners
Dream running destination? Race or holiday. I would love to run one of the major ultra-marathons, i.e. Western States, UTMB, Leadville, etc.
Thank you for sharing Bryce!