I can't tell you how many times we heard "Just one more hill after this, and then it's all downhill!" or "Once you get to mile __ (fill in the blank with 80, 85, 92, etc.), it will be all downhill from there!"
LIES. All of them. Even the topo map lied to me.
This is what I gathered from the map:
1. The first generally more challenging than the second. Sure, there's a long hill from 85-90, but the first half is a long gradual slight uphill. Which I hate. And besides, the steepest hills are only a 3% grade. That's not bad at all.
2. Once you get to mile 90, you're home free.
Both of these were false. The first half was a breeze- didn't feel like I was working at all. We were upbeat and overconfident. The second half was BRUTAL and I don't even remember many parts as I have now blocked it out of my mind.
I had a flat at mile 88. No biggie, change the tube, carry on. Flat again at mile 90 (also a rest stop). Hm. Something's wrong with the tire. A nice guy and his truck fixed me up with another tube and picked out the big whatever that had caused the hole from my tire. Great! It's all downhill from here, right? I'm at mile 90! Mile 93 (still going uphill!) and same tire has a flat. Called the SAG vehicle to pick me up and drive me to the finish- something is wrong with my tire. He found a crack, gave me a temporary patch, and told me to carry on because.... "it's all downhill from here." So, now I'm by myself and I turn down Snow Canyon, have several miles of beautiful downhill, and my computer says 99. Wait a minute... the finish line is still in downtown St. George, definitely more than a mile away. I follow the signs, turn to go to the finish, and what do I see? A hill!
Lies, all these people lied to me.
Anyway, the moral of the story is don't be overconfident and don't assume that a century is truly 100 miles. Because this one was 107. And don't believe the map.
Nonetheless, it was still fun. Support was great, weather was great, etc. etc.
Shaking my Hammer Heed electrolytes in my water bottles!