Warning: This post has nothing to do with food, unless you count the 20,000 calories The Husband consumed in 28 hours.
You’ve heard me talk about the insanity that is my ultrarunning husband and about getting prepped to go to the Western States 100 mile Endurance Trail Run lately. Well folks, it finally happen and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. I’ve been traumatized. Like alien abduction traumatized, where you know something big happened but your brain can’t function to process it all and I can’t quite be sure — but there could have been probing.
The Ultrarunning Husband, Tim, decided a while back that it would be a great idea to run 100 consecutive miles in one of the nation’s most extreme and prestigious trail runs, the WS100. First of all, to even qualify he had to run a sanctioned qualifying race (50 miles in under 11 hours), then he entered a lottery and low and behold he met both on his first try. Once he heard that he was in he fell into training mode from then on out. Even in Vegas the boy ran in the extreme hot afternoon heat while I wined and dined at the Belagio. I obviously have priorities and sanity.
To say that I’m proud that he finished the WS100 is an understatement. I was proud that he made it there and crossed the start line. I was in awe, inspired, and exuberant when he crossed the finished line. What it took for him to finish was months of extreme training, lots of will power, and an entire crew to help him through the race. That’s where I came in.
His crew was made up of a crew chief, crew, and pacers. The crew chief is responsible for pretty much everything like planning, navigation, and organization (ours had a 25 page document of what was going to happen). The crew pretty much follows what the crew chief has laid out in said 25 page document, preps aid stations (food, water, and medical equipment), and tends to the runner. The pacers are runners that come in at mile 60 and mile 80 to keep the runner on time and to provide that mental boost that you tend to loose around that time. We had an exceptional crew that put Tim in front of it all, cared for him, got him in and out of aid stations as fast as possible, and encouraged him through the finish line.
The run was a complete success and an experience I will never forget. It was inspiring to see what these men and women push their minds and bodies through unbelievable measures to conquer this amazing feat. I could go on and on but instead I will leave you with a brief breakdown and this wickedly awesome video I put together that shows this experience from the eyes of runner, crew, and pacers.
- Thursday: American Airlines cancels our flight out of DFW because the plane was literally falling apart. The duct tape that was holding the wing together was 12 years old and had finally disintegrated.
- American Airlines spends 8 hours trying to re-book everyone with 1 ticket agent and fails.
- American Airlines Twitter account hears my call for help and books us on a flight to San Francisco.
- Our new flight is delayed. We get into SF then realize American Airlines sent our luggage on another flight to another city.
- Drive 3 hours and finally make it to Tahoe at 4 am. (We started at DFW at 7:30am)
- Friday: Get Tim checked and weighed in at race head quarters.
- We spend the next 15 hours driving from town to town hunting down all of his running equipment that was lost. In bed at 11:30pm.
- Saturday: 12:30am lost luggage arrives at the hotel
- 2:30 am the alarm clock goes off and we head to breakfast and start line in Squaw Valley.
- 5am Ws100 begins
- Crews head to their first predetermined locations on the course
- 10:30 am crew#1 takes a school bus up a steep winding hill on a mountain with a first time driver. I look over the edge, swear that we’re falling off, throw my head on the crew chief’s shoulder, and stain her shirt with chapstick and tears. A new band name is formed. Look for the Chapstick and Tears World Tour in 2014.
- 12pm I see Tim at mile 29.7. He looks great and Temps are reaching 95°F.
- 12pm to 8pm Tim runs some of the toughest elevations and canyons of the course in 105° heat
- 8pm I see Tim at mile 55 and to my surprise he’s smiling but has to see the doc for blisters
- 8:30 pm I run into a man with a chicken on his shoulder
- 10pm? The crews combine and Tim picks up his first pacer at mile 62. His feet are in a lot of pain and blistered – the crew tends to them.
- 1:30 am the crew heads to the town of Cool, CA and sleeps for the first time for 30 – 45 minutes.
- 2:30am the crew hikes down to the river crossing
- 3:30ish Tim crosses the river at mile 80 keeping a good pace. He’s again smiling and proof that he has officially lost his mind. He picks up his second pacer.
- 4:00am I kind of sort of pass out on the 1,000 ft elevation hike back up what seemed like a mountain. Thankfully, the crew didn’t have to carry me and a volunteer drives me the remaining 1/4 mile.
- 6am After 30 more minutes of sleep and an orange, I’m fully recharged and the crew heads to mile 94.
- 7:45 Tim runs in and out of the mile 94 aid station after a quick water cool down and a slice of bacon. Bacon cures everything.
- 9:30am Tim crosses the finish line and we all pass out in the grass.
western states 100 mile endurance run – tim steele #308
crunching the numbers
- 383 starters, 277 finishers = 72% finish rate
- 40 countries were represented, including Texas
- 30 hour cut off time
- 95 sub-24 hour finishers
- 182 sub-30 hour finishers
- 102°F official high at the finish line in Auburn
- 15 hours and 17 minutes how long it took the winner, Timothy Olson, to finish
- 20,000 calories estimated that Tim burned
- 1 pound total weight loss for Tim
- 28 hours 33 minutes how long it took Tim to run 100 miles of mountainous trails in extreme temps
- 203 Tim’s placement, not bad for his first 100 miler
- 8 hours of sleep in 72 hours for me
- 12 more gray hairs on my head