Although I'd like to think that my 'experiment' of hanging back and trying to enjoy the ride through Bear100 would have worked, I'll unfortunately never know. Things started well, but the record-breaking heat hit me hard. By late afternoon I had to take a 90-minute recovery break, but with the sun finally gone and the temps slowly cooling, I figured I was home free. However, a cold front moved in overnight, bringing heavy rain and mudslide trails (as well as a pretty spectacular lightshow). By 137km, my skin was still burning hot but I was shaking uncontrollably in the wet and cold. My stomach decided it would have no more of the shifts in extremes, and revolted violently. With another 1,500 feet of climbing and 3,600 feet of descending still ahead of me, I knew I needed some more recovery time, but there wasn't enough left before the 36 hour cut off. I called it with 23km to go.
So thankful to Browner for her awesome crewing - I couldn't possibly have made it as far as I did without her. Despite being weather-cursed, this was a fantastic racecourse and a great experience, but definitely an ass-kicker! Highly recommend it if anyone is interested.