Sean Meissner’s 2007 Tahoe 72 Race Report

montrail nathan ultrarunning team member seans meissner’s account of this race had me on the edge of my seat.. so i just had to post it -way to run buddy!

“So I raced the 72 miler around the lake on Sept. 29, starting at midnight. The short of it:

1st place – 10:39:xx
2nd place – 10:41:xx

As I left my hotel at 11:15 p.m., it was super windy, really cold, icy, and, oh yeah, snowing. What do you do? You deal with it.

Akos Konya and I ran the first 5 miles right at 8 minute pace, then he thought that was too slow so he went around me, put a small gap and was down to 7:30s real quick. Like an idiot, I followed along 50 meters back. I hit 20 miles in 2:28, and 50k in 3:56. By then, Akos was maybe only 10 seconds in front of me. We both started struggling (because we were idiots and ran too hard, too soon, in the snow and ice and 25 degree weather – not including wind chill). He started feeling better by 34. I didn’t. I walked hills. He didn’t. And obviously, I puked. A lot. He didn’t.

By mile 46, he had 40 minutes on me. At mile 50, somehow it was down to 30, and I was walking a lot (guess he was crawling). Finally, at mile 54 I started feeling a bit better. By 57, I was back in the groove. 7:45s and 8:00s all around. I was powering up the hills, and cruising down. At mile 17, my crew told me they thought Akos was only 15 minutes ahead. So they drove up to where he was, and when I got there, he was only 5 minutes up the road (mile 64.5). This was at the base of the last brutal climb. So I ran hard up and just past 66, he was 1 minute up.

I caught Akos with 5 miles to go and I was flying. He looked to be struggling, but he responded. I pushed harder, and ran mile 68 in 6:30 and put about 15 seconds on him. He caught back up and we were shoulder to shoulder, flying after 68 hard miles on the icy pavement, now at 6:40 pace. It was intense. He surged again. I responded. Finally with a little over 2 to go, he made the move. I was red-lining it and I was done.

Akos won in 10:39:xx, I was 2nd in 10:41:xx. It was definitely the hardest I’ve ever run at the end of an ultra. It was intense, fast, and completely awesome! We were both totally wasted at the finish. We both left it all out there – I just left mine a little sooner. Very fun.