100MoN Race Report: Winner of the Paradoxical Norwegian Alaskan (Out Of Canada) Open Water Bandit Division

10.28.2014 | 8:14 am

Last year, I participated in my first 100 Miles of Nowhere: 220 mind-numbing laps of insanity around a 0.45-mile course. I loved every minute of it. So naturally, I had big plans for this year.

What could I do to top that? Shorter loops had been done. Insane hill-climby loops had been done. Even completely stationary rides had been done.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that I have achieved the impossible: a 0.0000-mile course in which the rider finishes 100 miles away from the start.* It’s 100 Miles of Nowhere that actually goes Somewhere. The mind boggles! Even more amazingly, the entire course is on water, miles from any land. How can this be??

*Actual event not 100 miles; see below.

The Best-Laid Plans…

Of course, great plans rarely go off without a hitch. I hit a major snag before this even got started.

Like all of you, on registration day I dutifully hammered Twin Six’s website to the point of falling over in a pile of melted electronics and smoke. I was pretty sure I got through because my credit card had been charged.

Or so I thought.

Fast forward a month, and I noticed there was no charge from Twin Six on my CC statement. Panic!

Contact with Twin Six confirmed my fear: while my card was temporarily authorized, no order was actually placed. And 100 MoN was now definitely sold out. Imagine one of those great photos of Fatty with an exaggerated frown on his face here.

[A Note from Fatty: Here, I can help you with that:] 

IMG 0374

There was only one thing to do: bandit the race; I just hoped that I wouldn’t get kicked off the course by race officials.

I planned to wear my 100 MoN t-shirt from last year to help look like I belonged. With any luck, nobody would notice the difference between that and this year’s snazzy new jersey.

Norwegian Sun

Aside from that little detail of registration, the plan was relatively simple:

  • Day 0: take a vacation to the Pacific Northwest
  • Day 1: run a marathon somewhere outside Seattle
  • Day 2: get to Vancouver and board a cruise ship to Alaska
  • Day 3: ride bandit in the 100 Miles of Nowhere

That’s right, my 100 Miles of Nowhere took place entirely in the fitness center of a cruise ship. Clever, huh? This was my view:


Since stationary bikes are notoriously bad at estimating equivalent distance, I decided to measure my progress against the actual distance traveled by the ship while I rode. We cruised at about 18 mph, which would be a reasonable approximation of the speed I might ride on a real bike.

I settled in, loaded up a few movies on the tablet, fired up the GPS, and started the race.



The ride itself was pretty uneventful. The race officials didn’t bother me, though clearly they posted signs designed to scare off bandits:


I’m sure registered participants were told to ignore the signs, as of course it would take much longer than 30 minutes to complete the race.

Additionally, the stationary bike would shut off after 30 minutes of use, another obvious tactic designed to thwart bandits (I’ll bet the official race bibs had some sort of chip in them that would deactivate this feature for registered riders). But I didn’t let that stop me; I used it as a nice reminder to get up and get a drink of water before going back to work.

Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Suddenly, after exactly fifty miles, the race director called off the event. To be honest, I was shocked. The official statement was that “the seats on these gym bikes are excruciatingly uncomfortable,” followed by: “Fifty miles is more than enough just 2 days after running a marathon; what, did you think I was going to jump in the ocean and swim 2.4 miles to complete the reverse Ironman?”

I don’t know what they were talking about, but hey, that was ok with me. And guess what? I still won my division. It was kind of weird that they even had a Norwegian Alaskan (Out Of Canada) Open Water Bandit division, but I’ll take it!

Here’s the actual tracklog of the event (exciting, huh?):


And here’s a zoomed out view:



I’ve never run or ridden a race as a bandit before, and I certainly don’t plan to do so in the future. To make this endeavor as official as possible, given the circumstances, I decided to make a donation directly to Camp Kesem. Apparently the internet gods do not want to make this easy for me:


So a paper check is in the mail. Hopefully it doesn’t get lost or anything.

Finally, I have to give a big shout of thanks to Megan B at Twin Six for making sure I was at the top of the list to buy an official 100MoN jersey after all the race kits went out to registered participants. It just came the other day, and I’ll definitely wear it with pride.


PS: The cruise was great. We had beautiful weather, got lots of gorgeous photos, and most importantly: ate loads of dessert (I had to replenish my dangerously depleted dessert reserves, you know?).


  1. Comment by pbrmeasap | 10.28.2014 | 9:24 am

    Love it.

  2. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 10.28.2014 | 9:28 am

    1. Nice write up from the Swimmer, and another great example of how you all do good things. I am in for a costume.

    2. Kudos to Mike H for doing this just a couple of days after running a marathon. Great creativity in choosing your course and in doing the ride – those fitness center stationary bike do not have comfortable seats, and you a a better man than I for sticking it out for almost 3 hours. My butt hurts just thinking about it.

  3. Comment by Al | 10.28.2014 | 9:31 am

    Good luck Swimmer and kids. $10 donated.

    Unbelievable Mike H. What Cyclingjimbo said…

  4. Comment by Daniel Weise | 10.28.2014 | 9:46 am

    Donation made – 2 costumes. Great job Swimmer!!!

    Mike H. I envy your view on the course and I should have bandited the ride as well since I missed the deadline. Wel done on winning your division. I hope the desserts were up to par for the replenishing of your reserves.

  5. Comment by Charlie Young | 10.28.2014 | 9:48 am

    Please update the collection amount for the Halloween costumes before the end of the day. I’d be happy to donate more if we’re really close!

  6. Comment by Rob L | 10.28.2014 | 9:59 am

    Mike H – Damn! I’m going to have to poach a race like this in the future. Maybe I’ll borrow one of those fancy new exerbikes and poach a section of the TdF. Very entertaining. :)

    Fatty – Hope we can get this done!

  7. Comment by Lin | 10.28.2014 | 10:06 am

    Happy to help out. Every kid deserves a Halloween costume!

  8. Comment by ClydeinKS | 10.28.2014 | 10:09 am

    I believe the sleeve on the jersey reads “Finish or Pie Trying,” I hope you replenished well and left them scrambling for more. Great scenery and job well done stacking this right after the marathon!

  9. Comment by MattC | 10.28.2014 | 10:21 am

    Just sent you what I could afford, way to go Swimmer! Halloween is a special time for kids and they all should have a chance to enjoy it. (Growing up in a small Wyoming town, we lived out in the boonies and my parents had to drive us door to door as the homes were FAR apart…but back in the 60’s you’d get cool things like home-made popcorn balls, candied/carmel apples…stuff like that…back when it was SAFE to eat).

    And MikeH…that’s a great cruise, and nice planning for your bandit ride! I went the other direction a few years back…Anchorage to Vancouver. It was wicked awesome! (and speaking of wicked…we went to the Broadway play “Wicked” the day after we landed in Vancouver…it was amazing!) It was my first cruise ever (and last so far). Took me a day or so to get over feeling strange ordering 2 or 3 meals, and pretty much every dessert they had each night (their cheesecake was the best I’ve ever had!) I think they must still have my picture up in their galley hall of fame…I did my weight-category proud! Everybody at my table was in awe (and QUITE JEALOUS) of my superpower!

  10. Comment by Corrine | 10.28.2014 | 10:33 am

    Great story, Mike H. I loved it!

  11. Comment by Ingrid | 10.28.2014 | 10:43 am

    One Halloween costume paid for. Hope you all have a great time.
    Here in the Netherlands we have Saint Maarten – but that is just lights and songs in exchange for candy. No zombies, underdressed nurses or pumpkins :-)

  12. Comment by Liz M. | 10.28.2014 | 11:02 am

    Congratulations, Mike H! Glad you got the jersey and presumably certified results after the fact. I guess no more excuses for the rest of us if our vacation happens to fall on MoN date.

  13. Comment by sr | 10.28.2014 | 11:17 am


  14. Comment by SLL | 10.28.2014 | 11:18 am

    This might be my new favorite.

  15. Comment by Dave T | 10.28.2014 | 11:43 am

    Love it.

  16. Comment by Heidi | 10.28.2014 | 12:01 pm

    On a cruise ship! Didn’t see that one coming. Excellent report, Bandit Mike.

    Good on all you costume buyers – I arrived a bit late to the party…

  17. Comment by Heidi | 10.28.2014 | 12:02 pm

    And to Ingrid: Underdressed nurses – snort!

  18. Comment by Andy@wdw | 10.28.2014 | 12:25 pm

    Awesome 100MON Mike! Love the idea! Kudos to you for toughing out 3 hours on a fat exercise bike seat.

    Friends of Fatty, I continue to be inspired by all of you. It’s my lunch time, and the donation link is already down because you all attacked Fatty’s PayPal account with reckless abandon to help out these kids! Bravo!

  19. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 10.28.2014 | 1:31 pm

    @Heidi @Ingrid I tried to go as an underdressed nurse one year….all I got was…a citation.

  20. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 10.28.2014 | 1:36 pm

    Way to go Swimmer! (though I prefer the moniker ‘Nails!’) Wishing the kids a great time. Hope you can post a picture of the group.

  21. Comment by The Hammer/Lisa | 10.28.2014 | 1:39 pm

    I can only imagine how bad your butt hurt after that! Stationary bike seats suck! Great job on your “ride”!

  22. Comment by The Hammer/Lisa | 10.28.2014 | 1:44 pm

    A huge thanks to everyone that donated to help my daughter in her attempt to save Halloween for a few kids! As always I’m in awe of the great generosity of Elden’s readers. I’m also extremely grateful to Elden! Thanks Honey for setting such an awesome example for Melisa. I love you!

  23. Comment by ClydeinKS | 10.28.2014 | 1:59 pm

    I was just coming back to donate a costume and saw the chance has been removed because it has been surpassed. DARN!!! But AWESOME – FoF are the best, but stop being so quick.
    The Swimmer – thanks for bringing this to attention and making a difference for many!

  24. Comment by AKChick | 10.28.2014 | 3:28 pm

    So sad I missed the deadline to donate to Tough as Nail’s cause. :( I’m super happy she met her goal though. FoF are awesomesauce!

    I LOVE this write-up! They’ve all be super duper great, but as an Alaskan, it’s fun to read and see photos of Alaska. The Inside Passage is AMAZING. I highly recommend it if you can schedule a cruise or go on the poor person cruise – the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system.

    Kudos for hanging on that long. Those bike seats SUCK epically.

    I plan on my MoN this weekend, but might be confined indoors depending on what the weather does. My spin bike has a regular bike seat so WAY more comfortable. Plus, the race marshall won’t booby trap it by having it shut off after 30 minutes. However, I won’t have as cool of a strava tracking line as Mike H! :)

  25. Comment by Tom in Albany | 10.29.2014 | 5:02 am

    Did Nails-the-swimmer make her goal? I tossed a costume donation into the bucket yesterday and hope she was successful!

    She did! The Hammer and The Swimmer are out buying costumes right now! – FC


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