The Final Exam

For some, classes have just begun and they’re just getting back into the groove of homework, quizzes, and upcoming tests.  For me and 14 fellow Grand Slammers , tomorrow’s Wasatch Front 100  will be our “Final Exam” for the summer.  A tad shy of 27,000’ of climbing and just over 26,000’ of descending (per the website), it is said to be the hardest of the four Grand Slam runs and boasts the longest course cutoff time of 36 hours.  Elevation profiles, among other things like pace charts, course maps, aid station splits, race results, etc. have fascinated me this summer, and the one below is no exception, which compares the more prominent ultras in North America with the granddaddy Boston Marathon.  Good luck finding Boston in the lower left hand corner!

Now exams, especially final exams, have the ability to bring out the best in us by testing our knowledge and thought process under pressure.  I’m really looking forward to putting the past 11 weeks and 300.2 miles of “studying” and “homework” to good use.  Interestingly, it took some work to figure out exactly where the Wasatch 100 starts and finishes and to be able to easily explain it to friends that ask, so I consulted Google maps.  Of course we don’t follow the recommended route in purple, but rather meander our way through all that green area (mountains and ski resorts) from Kaysville to Midway, Utah.

The weather here outside Salt Lake City is still hitting the 90s during the day, so I’m expecting a warm afternoon.  Some of the leaves are starting to change up in the mountains, which means the evening hours are getting chilly.  Legs are feeling great, my 3 drop bags are packed, pacers are enroute, packet pickup and pre-race meeting are this afternoon, then an early dinner and hopefully a good night of sleep before the 5am start time.  Online race coverage will be available here on race day:  and Meredith and my crew/pacers will try and post as many FB/Twitter updates as possible.  Oh yeah, the celebratory New Belgium Trippel is in the fridge back home awaiting my return!  Thanks for reading and checking in.

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