Update: Wow, some well-deserved coverage by NPR on a few of the many inspiring stories from this weekend: With Seconds To Spare, 70-Year-Old Woman Finishes 100-Mile Endurance Race
This June 27-28, I had the pleasure of running along side my friend Charley during the last 45 miles of his 8th Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. As anyone who knows Charley is well aware of, he knows exactly how to get himself from Squaw Valley to the Western States finish line in Auburn. He did not disappoint. I was happy to accompany him in for a 28:55:12 finish (even when he dropped the hammer in the last mile and made me want to lay down and watch him run off).
It's no secret that I have been trying to gain entry to this race for years. I've qualified 4 years in a row and have not been selected to run. I'm going to make a potentially long story short here; Friday evening, before the 2015 race, against incredible odds, Charley won two transferable entries to the 2016 Western States 100 (~5 raffle tickets were chosen out of ~5,000 and two of them belonged to Charley). Charley is in again for 2016 and as he informed me at Michigan Bluff (after having run 55 miles with 45 miles to go)... SO AM I! So many thanks to Charley!
I can hardly wrap my mind around it. At 5:00 AM on June 25, 2016, I will line up at the starting line of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run and I will head into the mountains towards the finish line at Placer High School track in Auburn. Boo-F'ing-Yah!
As Antonio Rossmann put it in his 1986 LA Times article, titled "IN RACE OF ENDURANCE, A VICTORY OF THE SPIRIT":
"Shortly before 5 o’clock Saturday morning, a few hundred of us will present ourselves to the staring line of the Western States Endurance Run. A shotgun blast precisely on the hour will send us westward along the Western States Trail – 19,000 feet up, 21,000 feet down, 100 miles distance. Our goal: to traverse the Sierra Nevada and the mighty canyons of the American River, arriving in the Gold Rush town of Auburn in under 24 hours..."
I'll be ecstatic with a sub-30 hour finish... but you get the idea.
|No Hands Bridge, mile ~97.|