You can’t go out too fast when you are nearly last out the gate. But through these next few spots I think I gained some momentum and a bit of a groove. Plus, if it wasn’t working I could swap back out at Foresthill. This was my longest and probably best stop of the day.
Start to Red Star Ridge We started making our way up the Squaw Valley ski slopes via a crushed gravel and dirt road. After topping out there, we dropped down the backside and found some single track. Fog was still everywhere so you couldn’t see very far. I wish it could have been at Foresthill with the family as planned but I needed it early.
I went to bed the night before the race pretty calmly and slept very soundly. It was a good little piece of emotion that lasted about a minute and set me off on a path to try and make that back up and finish what I started. It cost time but I figured everybody probably stops once. One aid station had me about 5 minutes behind on my 24 hour pace. Devil’s Thumb to Michigan Bluff I probably should have stayed at Devil’s Thumb but I don’t think I stopped moving. Somewhere in the climb a blister on my right big toe developed.
I awoke on my own about 30 minutes before my alarm clock. Spent a lot of time slowly eating some breakfast while putting each piece of gear on just right. I was really excited to get Robinson Flat to see my crew for the first time. Miller’s Defeat to Devil’s Thumb This is where we started getting into the canyons. The rocks and I just weren’t getting in sync and I didn’t seem to be floating downhill today. However, once we hit the ascending side of the canyon, I put my skills to work. But then when I came into Devil’s Thumb, I was 15 minutes ahead of pace! I had to position my foot just right in my shoe to take the pressure off of it.
This all probably looks and is very anal but it was just a way to keep busy and feel like you had done everything you could do prior to the start. Goes with the territory but I had hoped to keep my feet dry for at least a few miles today! Just windy ups and I was passing many just hiking them. Red Star Ridge to Duncan Canyon I was excited that I had a drop bag here at Red Star Ridge. Nobody else was really stopping much while I was there but it took me a few minutes and I probably gave back all those gains. This might have been her first day on the job here. Then I proceeded to just eat them right off her hand to which she says, “I will never forget this.” Thanks! So I was excited to make the turn in the pouring rain and see them yelling and hooting at me. They weighed me and I was just down 1 pound from pre-race weight. I came down the road into Michigan Bluff and saw Kim and Eric waiting on me.
We hung out in this building with all the other runners staying warm until it was just minutes before the race. Oddly, there was no real countdown or announcement. A voice came on with a minute or so to go and said such. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t moving well and the rocks and I were not getting along. It only takes a couple nasty weight loaded foot plants like that to ruin your day. But I got it together and the ankle came back around and we moved through that section with no further issues. What happened to that hot California race I was promised? But I figured some dry socks might help out so I did it out of comfort and just to reset. Volunteers were lined up and as a runner came in, the next volunteer was assigned to you. Then they were good about trying to shove food into you. I told her to peal the banana and shove it in my mouth. Then I had her go into my shorts and retrieve my S-cap (salt capsules) baggie. My hands were ice cubes and so I said thanks and ran off to try and build body heat. Mentally, I thought I was executing the plan but the plan is NOT WORKING. I quickly ran to my crew who had a poncho thrown down in the dirt as a seat for me. It had been hours and I was glad to see them and take what ended up being my longest pit stop of the day. Kim had been reading the blister guide so she was ready to operate.
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All in preparation for what was going to be the 2nd coldest WS100 in history. This was about 30 miles in after 6 hours of running. Pretty much constantly descending to some type of watery bottom the climbing up the other side. I would tuck my bottle in, hands on knees, head down, and push. Maybe I should have just dealt with it but I knew my crew would have a change of socks, shoes and a blister kit at my next stop so push on.
Glenn, Natalee, Eric and Angela accompanied me to the start line in the village for the 5 AM start. Natalee and I spent several minutes folding and positioning the bib just right. In Leadville, I would have seen them 3 times by now. I got on a dry shirt and they gave me my jacket as a rain deflector. Robinson Flat to Miller’s Defeat I lost 24 places in about 5 miles. I would regain the positions I had lost on the descent. I didn’t roll too well through this next section because of it.
They were out hanging out in Farragut Park or Fountain City Park," Griswold said.
"Once everyone went back to school, the mothers, keeping the games up for the kids, there were all the sudden many moms and dads.
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