Author’s note: I am in the middle of finishing my race report for Western States 100. I had thought I could get it done in time for the newsletter, but I found myself rushing through, and I don’t want to forget any details that I might not remember when I am 80. So, I decided to just write something a little bit shorter for now, and you all can read my lengthy race report when I finish it!
Western States 100 was more incredible than I ever imagined. It makes sense why so many people are so determined to run this race. It is so well put together, and it runs like a well-oiled machine. From the start to the finish, it is every bit of amazing that you can ever imagine.
I can’t even begin to describe to you how amazing the volunteers are. They are on you like flies on poop. As soon as you roll in, someone comes and takes your pack/bottles and gets busy on getting them filled. Then, another volunteer comes and guides you around and gets you anything that you need. You want something? You ask, and they find a way to make it happen. I was beyond impressed and felt like royalty. It was such a relief to not have to think for myself because they were doing it for me. Way cool. Thank you, volunteers, for contributing to this race and giving back to the runners.
The trails on this course are so well maintained and are beautiful from start to finish. We’ve got some amazing locals that care so much about the trail and the wilderness, and they keep it as close to perfect as possible for us. I found myself appreciating their hard work so many times throughout the day – especially when I was running through a cut downed tree, rather than having to hobble my sore ass legs over an obstacle. So, THANK YOU, if you’re reading this and you’ve been a part of the team that keeps these trails so incredibly maintained.
The spectators are awesome. There are SO many people out there cheering for YOU. Whether you are a local or someone who has never seen the trail before, you can see the excitement pour from these people who are cheering us on. It’s so cool to be able to give them a little bit of inspiration. These people believe in us and they certainly gave me life when I was running on nothing.
There were many highlights of my day!
- My better half, Bert, has been stuck on a mandatory staffing pattern at CalFire and I hadn’t seen him for 2 weeks. While he wasn’t able to see me off at the start, he was able to help crew me during the day, and it was so refreshing to have him there for me.
- I loved seeing so many familiar faces out there, whether they were runners, spectators, or volunteers. I loved that it is so crew friendly – it truly is so uplifting when I was able to see my crew so many times during the day/night/morning. It kept me moving right along.
- I had more highs than lows. I smiled more than I frowned.
- I set out to run a conservative race and take care of myself in the high country and in the canyons so I could have some life in me to run during the second part of the race, and I did just that (advice of many veterans). I found myself passing up quite a few people who tore past me on canyon climbs and descents and they weren’t moving so well on their way down to the river. That’s when I realized that I had run an incredibly smart race, and it gave me a little boost to carry on down to the river.
- I had THE BEST PACERS, ever. They got me to the finish of my first 100 @ TRT and they did it again at WS. Michaela and Dustin know how to handle me and keep me moving. They deal with my stubborn fueling issues and always know what to say to make me eat. Most of all, I have so much fun running with those two.
- The water crossings were still flowing. HUGE highlight and they saved my ass. I took advantage of almost every single opportunity to get wet, and that helped keep my core cool so I could keep moving forward without getting too overheated.
- The finish line was everything that I could have dreamed of. Entering that track (where I graduated in 2004) was one of the best moments of my life. I was HOME. The crowd was cheering like I was the winner of the race. It was incredible and I can’t even describe to you the rush of emotion that I felt as I ran around that track and finally crossed that finish line after 28 hours and 39 minutes of some of the most amazing hours of my life!
Thanks to all you DPMR’s, who were out there cheering us on and supporting us in every way that you possibly could. I hope that if WS100 is one of your ultimate goals, you get to run it because it was one of the best events that I have ever been apart of and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on that!!!