Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Western States 100, part 2

Part 2

So it's about 9:15 or so on Saturday night - I walked back along the trail about a mile to meet M, and left Tom to collect himself and get together anything he would need for the night, plus put together a bag for me to bring to the aid stations for him.  Once M came up the hill and out onto the road, we ran the mile back together as it was getting darker by the second.

Quick pitstop at the Forest Hill school aid station
At this point he's run 62 miles, and it's time for Tom to head out with him through the night.  I saw them off, getting to walk a bit down the road with them before they turned down the trail.  With lots of people out waiting for the runners, it was fun to run down the road with all of the cheering for them.  

Back in the car for me, I had a bit of a drive over to the parking lot for the next station.  Once I got there, I had big plans to get a couple hours of sleep....but once I got in the lot, the line for the shuttle was ridiculous.  At this spot, you took a shuttle for a couple of miles, then you had to walk another mile or so to one aid station, and then 2.5 more down to the river.  Most people didn't go all the way down to the river, but I wanted to see it.  So the attendant told me to plan on a couple of hours from the lot to the river...which meant my nap would be cut severely short.  

Parked, car off (and yes Mom, locked), I snuggled up in the front seat to get as much rest as I could.  I set my cell phone alarm and woke up about 90 minutes later.  I checked the line, and luckily it had gone way down.  So I packed up all of the stuff, chair, and layered up to head out.  He was expected to be to the river around 2am, so it was about 11pm now.  I waited for a while for the bus with other crew members, who were all starting to get a little cranky.  Apparently one of the 2 buses they had for this station had broken down, so it was taking much longer than expected...

We finally got on the school bus, drove the mile or so, then started the trek down to the aid station.  It's pitch black, and we're walking down what seems to be like a fire road, down the hill.  (you know what going down means...)  Luckily I met a couple of other crew members to chat with, so it wasn't a bad walk.  Once at the aid station, I set up the chair and some stuff with the others, and set off to the river...about 2.5 more miles down the mountain.  In the dark.  

My new friends were at the river already when I got there, they didn't stop at the aid station.  It was really dark - you can see in the photo below the lights from the aid station across the river, and then the runners in the water.  There were people in wet suits stationed along the way to help, and a big rope to hold onto.  I waited for a while, and we all kept trying to see who was coming...finally I heard from across the river "LINDSEY!!!" I shouted back "TOMMY!!" and was so excited to know they had made it, and were on their way across.  They had been 16 miles since Forest Hill.  

The best part about walking down to the river was that I got to walk back up with them!  I was very impressed with the energy and excitement that they both had - it was great to really spend some time the three of us together!  I know it motivated me for the rest of the evening, hopefully it did them too.

Once up at Green Gate aid station, we did a little changing, put on a jacket, gave the camera our 'hard face' and headed off into the night.  

I think this was about 3am, if I remember correctly...I packed up our chair and all of the gear and walked back up to the bus stop.  Again, only one bus was running, so the wait was a long, cold one.  

While they ran on, I drove back down the mountain to the next spot.  We were supposed to shuttle again, but I decided I was over the shuttling, so I found a parking lot along the highway, right next to where the aid station was.  Perfect!  I had some time to kill, so I snuggled up for another 90 minutes or so of sleep.  Once I got over to the aid station and started talking with a few of the other crew members, I'm so glad I got that parking spot.  Again, apparently they'd stopped the shuttles for a few hours, and had issues with them.  What a mess!  

The runners came down along the hill up where the fence is, and crossed the highway where the flags and cones are.  We are at mile 93.5 here at Highway 49 aid station.

Of course he had to be weighed in again.  He was very consistent with his weights throughout the night, but it was a little off from the very original one the day before.  This woman, appreciate her concern, was a little over zealous ... 

So just to appease her, we made sure he had quite the array of food before heading on.  At this point, "I've run 94 miles, I'm finishing this race!" was our mentality.  I think this was about 7am, if I'm remembering correctly.  

Buffet of goldfish, strawberries, smoothie, some Coke, and freshly grilled pancakes did the trick. 

93.5 miles in, just over 6 to go!  I packed up the car and drove over to the town of Auburn.  The race finish line was set up at the high school.  So I took some time cleaning up and rearranging the car, getting out clean, post race clothes, and then made the final trek to Robie Point, about a mile from the finish line.  

A couple of awesome pictures from Tommy's camera out on the course.

Robie Point is an area in the town of Auburn that is a mile from the finish line.  The neighbors all come out the weekend of the race and have an all night block party, decorate, grill, sing, and cheer on the runners as they make their final climb out of the woods.  

Up the hill he came, smiling and clapping for all of the supporters who were out cheering him on.  Tommy was close behind, taking photos along the way.  What a moment, and super cool sight to see.  In my attempt to get both a video and photos at the same time, this is a bit blurry....

99 miles 

So we all ran the last mile through the town together to the finish line, chatting and laughing every step of the way. 

When we got to the track at the high school, T and I bailed off to the left to run across the field and get in position while M went around the track to do his 'victory lap.' 

They announced each runner as they went around the track, saying where they were from, if this was their first Western States, or first 100, or some other fun facts that you had submitted.  

At 9:42am, he crossed the finish line of the Western States 100.  

Once he received his medal and posed for a couple of photos, he was weighed in one last time, and gave blood.  They were doing testing on every runner to study the effects of 100 miles on the body.  

After we hung around the track for a bit and the boys showered, we loaded up the car and headed over to Sonoma for a couple of days of celebration and rest! 

2012 Western States 100 miler
28 hours, 42 minutes and 17 seconds. 

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