Life can unfold in interesting ways if you let it. I stumbled upon an opportunity to pace the Western States 100 for Leila. Of course I am going to do it! I considered it a privilege to participate. The course has 18,000 ft of gain and 22,000 ft of loss in remote sections of the Sierra Nevada beginning in Squaw Valley and ending at Placer HS in Auburn CA.
This blog is mainly for single track pictures but because of the remoteness of the course, the challenges in driving to the aid stations, and the excessive heat, I don’t have many on course shots. I also felt is was the responsible thing to do as a pacer to stay hydrated and rested so that I could be there 100% from mile 78 to the finish.
Looking at the first climb out of Squaw Valley towards the Escarpment on Friday afternoon.
Gordy Ainsleigh, the guy who decided to turn a horse race into a foot race 40 years ago speaking at the pre-race meeting.
5:00am the next day, the runners were off and Nick and I (The Pacers) didn’t see Leila until Bath Road at mile 60.
Nick and Leila ready to pull out of Foresthill at mile 62.
This is the Chucky River crossing at mile 78.
At around 9pm, #15 was called up on a radio to the Far Side aid station as being “In the River”. Somewhere down in the darkness, is Leila and Nick trudging through the water.
The next six hours we moved very steadily between aid stations. There were five of them total before the finish. Lots of good memories during that stretch seared into the mind….meadows and stars mostly…. Then the finish in 21:59:26 for 9th place amongst women. Amazing…and still smiling!
The top 10 women finishers at the awards later that same day.
And the most exclusive trail running award there is……Congratulations Leila. Incredible work out there!