Monday, September 20, 2010

Wasatch 100

So, a few weeks ago, I decided that since I was still in Utah and the Wasatch 100 was coming up, I would try to participate some how. I got onto the website and noticed that there was a section for people looking for pacers. I thought that sounded like a good way to help, so I emailed one of the people and they said they were happy for the help.

The race came and I met up with him on Thursday at the mandatory pre-race meeting. We talked about a few logistics and talked about where I planned to meet him. We decided on Brighton, mile 75, and that was that.

This is a photo he took at the top of the first mountain they climbed. It was probably some time around seven or eight when he took this photo. It had snowed earlier that night up there, but it warmed up enough durring the day to melt it off.

I'm not certain where this photo is taken, probably somewhere before Lambs Canyon (mile 50).

This is the Brighton aid station at Brighton Lodge. He was hoping to be there by about ten o'clock, but he didn't get there until about 12:40 am. Luckily I was able to follow him online. They had a good system of posting the times into and out of aid stations, and they were pretty good at estimating the time of arrival at the next aid stations. I left my house about eleven o'clock. Amanda came with me so that the car wouldn't be left up there.

It was freezing cold, I'd say it was 25 degrees at the top of the climb out of Brighton. The car thermometer said it was about 30 degrees at Brighton. We left this aid station just before 1:00 a.m.

From there, it was a climb up and over Catherine's Pass. That was the highest point on the whole course, 10,450. Phil was pretty tired after having already traveled 75 miles on foot, so it was mostly just walking. It was a pretty steep climb and the trail was not very good for running.

When we started going down the other side, the trail was steep and slippery. It was only about five miles to that next aid station, but it took about two hours. We were in and out of Ant Knolls aids station pretty quickly. As we were leaving they said that it was only about three miles to the next aid station. When we had been going for more than an hour, we started wondering if they were telling the truth. They were, but it was just really slow going. An hour and a half later, we got into Pole Line Pass aid station (mile 83). They had a big fire going, so I warmed my hands just a bit. I let Phil go on so that he would loose any time, and I stayed for another minute or two to grab an extra bite and warm up a bit. I caught up to him pretty quickly.

This section seemed about as bad, it was just slow going. But we did manage to pick it up a bit because we realized how slow we were actually going. It was four miles to the next aid station and it took us about an hour and forty minutes. This was Rock Springs aid station at mile 87. This was a remote aid station and they didn't have much. We filled our bottles up and took off pretty quickly. Shortly after we left Rock Springs, Phil's headlight went out. It's a good thing I was there for that. He probably would have gotten lost or had to slow way down and gotten hypothermia. It was really cold up there. I handed him my mini mag (my spare flashlight) and let him continue while I replaced the batteries in his headlamp with the AAA batteries that I had brought. When I caught up with him, he just wanted to keep the hand held light, so I put the headlamp away. It was dark for about another hour after his light died.

We hit the plunge and the dive and it seemed like this section just kept going and going, but at least we were moving faster. He was able to jog for most of this section, any time there was a down hill, we were running. The ups slowed us down, but there were not many along this section. We made it into Pot Bottom Aid Station from Rock Springs in about and hour and forty five minutes. This was the last aid station before the finish line. We were moving along at a pretty good clip coming into this aid station and Phil did not want to stop for long. We came in and he left within a minute, I stayed an extra minute or so to finish filling his bottle and putting in an electrolyte tablet.

The next stretch was a hill for about a mile. We walked up the whole hill, but when it started coming back down that was it, it was down hill to the finish, and we were jogging at a pretty good clip for most of this section. There was one place just after we passed the water tank, that Phil didn't turn when he should have, so I yelled after him and we had to turn around and climb back up that hill about 50 yards. That was it though, after that there was no stopping, we jogged the whole way to the finish. We started seeing more and more people. There were a couple of photographers, there were people cheering when we came out onto the street, then we just had a little more than half a mile to jog down the street.

When we arrived at the finish line, there were lots of people cheering. Amanda and the kids were there. They had arrived only a few minutes before, just in the nick of time. We crossed the finish line at 9:54 a.m. His time for completing the 100 miles was 28 hours and 54 minutes. Great job Phil!!! Here we are just after we crossed the finish.

And here we are just resting. It hadn't hit me yet that I hadn't slept all night long.

I am very glad that I was able to help Phil for the Wasatch 100. It was a great experience to participate in a 100 mile race.

This race has helped motivate me to really get out and prepare for my own 100 mile race. I have still only done the one 50 mile race two years ago. I've been looking around and I see that there is a 100 mile race in Moab in March. I think I will plan on doing that race and I will train for it. If I happen to still be in Utah for that race, then I will do it. If not, then maybe I will plan my own 100 mile run or something. Who knows? I just really want to run another big race. Right now I am planning on running the Provo Halloween Half Marathon on October 30th. I think I can get a PR. My best half marathon time is something like 1 hour and 36 or 37 minutes. I'm pretty sure I can break, 1:30.

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