the journey that is, or maybe the start of the adventure that lies before us.
Welcome to what will become the journal of Paul attempting to become the first person to accomplish not just The Grand Slam of Ultra-running in one summer, but also Ironman Hawaii. What are these things you ask? The Grand Slam is 4 100 milers over the course of one summer: Western States in June, Vermont in July, Leadville in August, and Wasatch in September. As if that weren’t enough, Paul will be competing at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii 5 weeks after Wasatch.
To give a little background of how this is even possible, we have to go back to November of 2011. Paul put his name into the lottery hat after qualifying for Western States, and then he earned a slot to Ironman Hawaii at Ironman Cozumel. The pressure was on. If the lottery gods didn’t smile on him in December, then he would have to try to qualify for a Western States slot at one of the Ultra-cup races this winter/spring. BUT, the lottery gods did smile down, and he got his spot to Western States. The challenging seeds were planted, and the weight of Western States entry was lifted…off we go!
Once he got into Western States, he knew he could recover from the Mt. Masochist/Ironman November and just focus on running Bandera 100K for a strong training effort and settle in for what is to come.
Just to catch up from the racing front, Bandera went well and he quickly recovered in time to pace the 3hr group at the Houston marathon the next weekend. He then got to enjoy pacing duties for the 3hr group at the Austin Marathon before it was time to start to really think of the next few months.
And, now it’s time. The fun begins, and he showed that he is ready to log the miles with a solid effort at Nueces 50-miler this past weekend. Nueces marked his first longer than 26.2 miles since Bandera. It was a good day of tests and training lessons.
This will be our story of how we get to and through the next months. Training, racing, food, drink, clothes, shoes, and everything this endeavor will take. This will be our memory book, and his journey. There will be much juggling, time management, and always love and humor.
We ask you to share this time with us, and enjoy the adventure!
Mer and Paul
PS. Incredibly I found this picture that I took of Paul looking over No Hands Bridge (Mile 97 of Western States) from 2006. It is such a symbol of him looking over the ledge of what is possible….the yellow brick road!