Since 2005 in some form of fashion, my wife Meredith and I have been pulled into its gravitational pull every June by this little race called Western States. For the first 6 years, States was her “baby”, as she pursued a sub-24 hour finish with relentless ambition. Meredith’s now moved on to things like swimming around Key West (12.5 miles!) and this other little multi-day race called Ultraman (Florida in 2014). Yet, the allure and pull of Western States this time of year is more than enough to keep her in orbit as a trusted crew-chief and pacer, and thankfully so.
For the second year in a row, I’ll be toeing the line in Squaw Valley. Last year at this time, friend Matt Crownover penned a superb piece https://grandkonaslam2012.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/getting-ready-for-the-big-dance/ on getting ready to pace me at my first 100-miler. As I reread his words 12 months later, I’m struck at how fast our time together went and how much it meant to have him, my sister Nicole, and Meredith share in my first journey to Auburn. This year is different: with over 600 more miles of trail racing experience, a Montrail Ultra Cup slot, and another Memorial Day weekend training camp under my belt, I’m looking forward to applying the trail craft and knowledge that has seeped into my brain and bones. Fellow Rogue Racer and 3-hour Austin Marathon pace group leader Bryan Morton http://rogueracingteam.wordpress.com/rogue-racers/bryan-morton/ is assuming pacing duties from Foresthill (mile 62) to Highway 49 (mile 93), with the Mrs. picking up the last 7 miles. Let’s hope and pray I can run out of Robie Point (mile 99) this year, or there’s going to be hell to pay at home! J Either way, I’ve enjoyed being in the Western States “orbit” for another year, and it will no doubt be another epic journey to the Placer High track.
For now, the aid station bags, drop bags, cooler, camp chairs, and carry-ons are packed and ready to go. Our dogs Flyer and Shiloh are already nervous, “You’re leaving us, again!?” Race day tracking will go live on June 29th at: http://www.ultralive.net/ws100/webcast.php I’m bib #24.
I’m amazingly thankful for the running “gift” that God has allowed me to explore. Huge thanks as always to Rogue Running, Jack & Adam’s Bicycles and High Five Events, Pure Austin Gym, DryMax Socks, Bonk Breaker Energy Bars, Soleus Watches, Advanced Rehab, thinksport, RunSmart, and of course Eating & Living Healthy for enabling me to train and race at my potential!!