Dylan Bowman (Pearl Izumi) continued his incredibly solid year with a second place showing at the 2012 Run Rabbit Run 100. In the following interview find out where he took and where he lost the lead, where he struggled, and where he’ll be running next.
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Dylan Bowman Post-2012 Run Rabbit Run 100 Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Dylan Bowman after the first Run Rabbit Run 100. How are you doing, Dylan?
Dylan Bowman: Feeling a lot better this morning.
iRF: At the finish line yesterday you looked rough, or beat up, I should say. You were coherent, you were happy, but you were in pain.
Bowman: Yeah, and obviously that’s to be expected after one of those things, but yesterday was certainly uniquely painful.
iRF: In what ways? Was there anything specifically that hurt?
Bowman: Well, the course was just a lot more difficult than anybody really anticipated. For me, I think the night running—I didn’t struggle at all during the night section, and from what I’ve heard, you’re supposed to catch a second wind when the sun rises. But for me, it was essentially the opposite. As soon as the sun came up, I was just done. Luckily, I still had a little bit of a cushion on Timothy [Olson] at that point, but I was looking over my shoulder the whole time because I was moving really slow.
iRF: Was it maybe the same distance as when you hit a rough spot at Western States?
Bowman: Yeah, probably, it could have been. I certainly was not moving well in the last 15-20 miles, which was the case at Western as well.
iRF: But maybe not as bad?
Bowman: Not as bad, and at Western it was like more of a system shutdown. This was more just being sleepy and legs tired rather than a complete energy failure.
iRF: So you did end up second. Tell us how your race played out?
Bowman: The first 30 miles I felt pretty rough as did Mike [Wolfe] and Timothy and Dave [James]. Jason [Schlarb] had taken the lead. I ended up third coming into Cow Creek [mile 30] just a few minutes back of Jason and Dave. Then I ended up catching Schlarb going back up the climb, I don’t know what it’s called, out of the aid station. He was in a really tough spot already at that point. Actually, he told me he was going to drop, but he sort of changed his mind as we ran together down to Olympian Hall. Then from that point, Schlarb got off course somehow after the high school. So I ended up in second and felt pretty good going back up the Fish Creek climb, which I expected to be a doozy especially because you have 3.5 miles on the pavement before you hit the actual real climbing.
iRF: And it’s a real long climb.
Bowman: Yeah, it’s a really long climb. It was over two hours to get back up to that aid station up there. I caught Dave James right at the Long Lake aid station. As I was leaving, Karl [Meltzer] was probably three to four minutes back flying and looking amazing coming in.
iRF: So you held the lead for probably 15-20 miles?
Bowman: Yeah, yeah and actually, as I took the lead there, it wasn’t in any way strategized or anything like that. When I saw Karl and took the lead from Dave, I was sort of like, “Okay, I probably need to try and get a little gap here.” Really, that section of the course played into my hands a lot because after a fairly flat 5 miles, it’s like a 13-mile really bomber downhill which is what I would characterize as a strength of mine. So I figured, “If I can get a gap on Karl it was going to be now.” Turned out I didn’t get any more of a cushion on him all the way through Dry Lake which I was surprised about because I was moving hard and trying to get a little bit of a gap. He was running really strong obviously. Right after Dry Lake, I was feeling awesome, and all of the sudden I just had a little bit of a rough point at a really inopportune moment for me. Then Karl caught me at the high school. Then, yeah, I didn’t see him again.
iRF: Yeah, I heard at one point that somebody said they’d given you an update and he had 25 minutes on you and you just…
Bowman: Oh yeah, I couldn’t believe it because you’re seeing other runners coming back toward you and occasionally I’d ask and it was, “Oh, 5-10 minutes.” Then you get to the aid station and it’s like, “25 minutes.” How is that possible? But I was moving pretty slow, and I knew Timothy was catching me there. He made up a lot of time on me, too.
iRF: Then you sort of found more energy to hold Tim off?
Bowman: Yeah, I guess so. Just that last climb—it’s another 13-mile climb or something like that. It’s a frustrating grade where in training or a 50 miler you’d run every single step. But at that point, you’re 70-some miles in and you’re hurting and it’s the middle of the night… it was frustrating for me because I ended up hiking more than I wanted to in that section. I knew Tim, being the amazing climber he is, was going to be on my tail. So I was looking over my shoulder, and luckily I never saw him.
iRF: You’ve done well at Leadville and at Western States—there are pacers there. What was it like not having a pacer those final miles?
Bowman: I never thought about that once during the race. Afterwards, I definitely enjoyed the solo experience of the 100 miler. The night running was an absolutely amazing, weird experience because I was out there all night alone.
iRF: You weren’t with the Tortoises at that point?
Bowman: Well, you actually do see a lot of the Tortoises out there, which was nice.
iRF: So you were never running with someone in the Hare race? You were alone?
Bowman: Alone, yeah. And you didn’t see that many Tortoises out there, but it was nice having that staggered start and seeing those people out there and giving the sort of mutual congratulations and encouragement.
iRF: How was the weather during the first day of the race?
Bowman: It was hot. Obviously, 75 degrees at 8,000’ feels hotter than 75 degrees at sea level. I had to stop at the bottom of Fish Creek and drink out of the river because I was really dehydrated at mile 18. So I went two bottles from the high school all the way to the finish, which I didn’t really anticipate doing. It was definitely a warm afternoon.
iRF: Then after sundown, it was quite a switch.
Bowman: Yes, but it wasn’t cold either. I basically wore just my PI jersey and some sleeves and some gloves and a little buff on my head, and it was fine the whole way. I didn’t change shirts or anything like that. It actually… I would only get chilly if I was hiking. So it sort of encouraged me to jog a little bit more than I would have otherwise.
iRF: A little hand on the back. So you’ve raced a lot of the top races this year, competitive-wise. Any break coming up for you?
Bowman: Yeah. I don’t anticipate doing much running for a few weeks now. I’m definitely going to rest through mid-October. I’m signed up for The North Face 50. I’ll aim towards that but definitely take a little break in between and hopefully get four to five weeks of training in before that.
iRF: Well, congratulations on a great run, winning some prize money, and see you in San Francisco in a couple of months!
Bowman: Thanks, Bryon.