Monday, August 6, 2012

Summit Ceremony - WS100

In June, MB and I packed up (lots of suitcases) and boarded a plane for San Francisco, and drove over to Tahoe.  It was time.  Time for the Western States 100.  As you probably know, my husband's insane, and likes to torture himself run ultra marathons.  He's done countless 50k's (about 32 - 35 miles), 50 milers, a 100k (66), and before WS, 2 100s.  Yes, that's 100 miles.  Yes, at one time.  No, he doesn't sleep.  Yes, he's crazy.  No, I don't know why.  

The Western States 100 is the original 100 mile endurance run.  According to the WS website, "The Run is conducted along the Western States Trail starting at Squaw Valley, California, and ending in Auburn, California, a total of 100 miles. The trail ascends from the Squaw Valley floor (elevation 6,200 feet) to Emigrant Pass (elevation 8,750 feet), a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4½ miles. From the pass, following the original trails used by the gold and silver miners of the 1850’s, runners travel west, climbing another 15,540 feet and descending 22,970 feet before reaching Auburn."

On the Thursday before the race on Saturday, those who are in town early are invited to participate in the hike to the summit and the summit ceremony.  That whole "a climb of 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4½ miles" - yeah, that's what we climbed to get to the summit ceremony.  

The views from the top were just amazing.  Luckily, this year there was not much snow, whereas in the past they've had to alter the course because of the snow.  You can see some in the photos, and beyond you can see the lake.  

The Summit Ceremony is an annual tradition, and anyone who is in town before the race is invited to participate.  Once at the top, we sang America the Beautiful, talked about the history of the race, shared where we were from, and just enjoyed the (windy) surroundings. 

On Saturday, just as the race begins, they'll 'run' up the first 4.5 miles, and then as the sign below says, take the "Easiest Way Down."

Since we'd opted to hike up the mountain, we hiked back down the first mile....

That's me trying not to bust it coming back down the mountain

And then took the cable car down the rest of the way.

It was really special to be able to participate in the annual Summit Ceremony.  It was a great kick off to the incredible weekend that is the Western States 100.  

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