Kristin caught a few friends finishing the Wasatch 100 last weekend and I thought they would like to see it. So, here it is.
I really want to hear Bruce's story. He came back from the dead a few times: The last I saw him, he was propped up next to a tree about 65 miles into the race and he looked cooked, done, party is over. Then Kristin said he was bundled up, half frozen, and barely breathing at Brighton just before 9am. He was able to rally and run sub 8-hours from Brighton to the finish. Bruce was patient and persistent and got it done. Congratulations! Just amazing.
The 33rd running of the Wasatch 100 is in the books. Congratulations to all the finishers and thank you to the Wasatch 100 organizing committee.
I'm still a bit loopy, dehydrated, down 12 pounds , and in general out of sorts. Kris is going to take me for soup right now. Once I start feeling better I'll write a race report. Here's the video in the meantime.
All I want to say right now is I love my family and thanks for the support.
Okay, I'm back. After some french onion soup, Coke and bread, I feel much better. After finishing Wasatch, I was still feeling very sick with no appetite. It's the first 'meal' I've had since last Thursday's pre-race pizza. For the past 100 miles I've survived on Gatorade, Ensure, vanilla PowerBar gels, and 2% milk. Let me explain:
Going into Wasatch I had zero confidence after my failures earlier this summer at Western States & Hardrock. I just didn't DNF at Hardrock, I curled up under a rock and waited to die. At Western States I started feeling ill 16 miles into the race. I kept my stomach in check up until Swallow Rocks (mile 35) at Wasatch. After sitting down with Julie Hansen, a dietician at WSU, we devised a nutrition plan for Wasatch consisting of lots of Ensure, Gatorade, and gels every 4 hours. The night before Wasatch I received an email from a good friend, Spencer Blodgett, reminding me of the sound advice I once gave him before the OV50: 'the runners who eat and drink the most do the best at ultras.'
So, I knew what I needed to do. It all went well up until the sun came out and it got warm. The 6.66 miles between Sessions (28) and Swallow Rocks (35) truly belong to the devil (100 miles of Heaven & Hell). It's hot, dirty, rocky and exposed with two climbs that have turned my stomach inside out every time I run Wasatch.
After I emptied my gut at Swallow, I was thirsty when when got to Big Mountain (40). Here I would pick up Crazy Bob-Brian Garlock as my first pacer, but not before drinking an Ensure, a bottle of apple juice, a bottle of gatorade, cup of chicken broth and then a bottle of Hawaiian Punch. It all went down okay, but it came out violently moments later. I was a bit 'drunk' from the heat and the sun and am told I was a bit of a TOOL (noun, not a verb) at Big Mountain. I will forever be apologizing to my family for comments I made after drinking broth. There's no evidence, but I'm also told I was flexing as I made my way off the mountain. I am a TOOL.
The hour got darkest after leaving Big Mountain, literally and metaphorically. After all the vomiting and residual apple juice, my stomach was a mess. Nothing was going in and I was fading fast. As I lay in the dirt at Pence Point all I could do was count the runners that went by. There was a belly rubbing incident but the thing that got me back on my feet was a snarky look another runner gave me as he ran by, like I had just made his day seeing me laying in my own vomit in the middle of nowhere. One TOOL recognizes another TOOL and I was determined to run this guy down. Brian saw it too; so we were off. When the sun finally went down, I wouldn't be passed again. We were gazelles, ay Brian!
My cousin Bard paced me from Lambs (53) to Brighton (75). Bard is a real mountain climber; fresh from Alaska and conquering Denali. He knew we needed to make up a couple of hours in the next 22 miles if I was going to have a fighting chance once I got to Brighton. We never wavered going up Lambs Canyon, Bear A** Pass or that damn paved road up Millcreek to Upper Big water; he set a fast pace and I worked like a dog to keep up. Once we got to Upper Big (62), I was tired and sick again. I wondered what kind of wonderful food I could eat then purge at the aid station. Then what happened next was a miracle and saved my race. The aid station volunteer handed me a plate a spaghetti and a cup of milk. The spaghetti didn't get past my lips but the milk made me feel like Captain America. I had another cup and I felt like Superman. That 16oz of milk got me to Scotts Pass (70) before I needed to fuel up again. I drank an Ensure and threw up on another runner's shoes. Oh, how I hoped and prayed they had some milk at Brighton.
Upon arriving at Brighton (75), all I could think about was milk. Kristin offered me chocolate milk, but apparently my TOOL mode had been activated again and I demanded 2% milk of the white variety. Like magic, Terry Foust and Jim McGregor kept producing what I hope now was really milk. It was awesome, I think I had six cups and would have drank 6 more had they let me. I do not understand why everybody was being so stingy with the milk.
Brother Brad has paced me to two prior Wasatch finishers, so I knew I was in good hands. Like Bard, he just runs fast and tells me to keep up. Leaving Brighton, Brad and I had just over 9 hours to cover the last 24 miles of the course. Brighton to Midway is very difficult; it starts with a stiff 2.5 mile climb to Point Supreme (over 10,000 ft elevation) just to make sure your legs still work. Then we drop to Ant Knolls (80); the best aid station of the whole race cuz they had a whole gallon of 2% milk they said I could have all to myself. It felt like Christmas when they gave me the milk. I drank half the gallon and filled my bottle too. The only bad thing that happened on our way to Pole Line (83) was that I ran out of milk. But I was lucky again; they offered me a half gallon they were going to throw out. They even put ice in it; they're parting words were 'milk does a body good.' They were right, Brad and I were killing it at this point.
Once we got to Rock Springs (87), it was starting to get hot again and I had forgot to pack a singlet. I even argued with Kristin at Brighton that I would be fine, I had a singlet in my drop bag at Pole Line. All I had was my hot purple shirt, so I shed it knowing I was going to burn. I didn't care, there was only 13 miles to the end. I won't lie, getting from Rock Springs to Pot Bottom (93) sucks almost as bad as from Sessions to Swallow Rocks. It's hot and dirty, there's nothing but steep ups and downs on trails the motorcycles have ruined. There's absolutely no shade or water and the rocks are like daggers stabbing the bottoms of your feet (even with Hoka's on). I fell a record 4 times coming down the dive and the plunge, but we made it to Pot Bottom with 3.5 hours to cover the last 7 miles. Before hitting Pot Bottom, we saw Professor Oberg. He looked tired but I knew he would make it. When time is running out, it's every man (or women) for himself out there. Climbing out of Pot Bottom is hot and long, but the worst is dropping down that jeep road into the single track trail in Midway. Again, it was like the bottoms of my feet were getting skewered with every step.
Once getting on the pavement in Midway, it's like a victory mile for me as I mostly walked in with Brad before meeting up with Kristin, Shad, Jessica and little Landrie before running the grass to the finish line. I was spent and swore I would never do it again. I do have unfinished business is California and Colorado, However.
I was really excited to have my Father & Mother in law at the finish line (Steve & Nancy). They had traveled all the way to Silverton only to watch me DNF in Telluride at Hardrock. I had to show them this fat boy can still cover 100 miles. I need to thank Michelle for lending me Brad again and always being so supportive. I'm sorry, Mia, for scaring you with my feet. Thank you Amy and Sean for being there and for the upcoming bodywork:-)
Thanks Mom, I would have finished the other 100's had I been able to. Next time maybe.
You've been at Wasatch every year for me, Jen. Thanks for being such a great sister and for putting in all the good words with Kristin & the kids. They think I'm cool cuz I'm your brother.
Thanks Landire for running though the finish line with me on your 7th birthday. Next year we'll pace your Dad through the Wasatch. Thanks for being there Jason.
My pacers rock (like TOOL): Thanks Brian, Bard & Brad.
I'm blessed with the best wife and kids - love you guys.
My Grandmother, who is 92 years old and survived the holocaust, said even the Nazis wouldn't have made them march 100 miles through the mountains. She doesn't understand. It's okay Grandma, not very many understand this sport. You never really will until you've been through 100 miles of Heaven & Hell.
Tomorrow, September 7th, at 5:00am begins the 2012 edition of the Wasatch 100. Phil Lowry has finished Wasatch 15 times, and was scheduled to run again this year, but was called away to duty in Afghanistan. We'll all miss Phil this year and eagerly await his safe return. Thank You for your service, Phil.
Good luck to all the runners and pacers tomorrow and Saturday. It's sure to be another epic Wasatch. There's a lot of friends of STRIDERS running Wasatch this year; if you want to track their progress you can follow them along at the Wasatch 100 website.
Names & Bib numbers:
Troy Anderson - 182
Quintin Barney - 252
Niels Bigler - 197
Richard Boud - 272
Tony Christensen - 211
Celeste Collman - 284
Matt Connors - 54
Corky Esquivel - 299
Seth Hales - 14
Clark Hirschi - 213
Alicia Kirkman - 144
Daren Koldewyn - 145
Aric Manning - 146
Shane Martin - 191
Matt Mouritson - 215
Rick Nef - 158
Bruce Nelson - 289
Steven Newman - 125
Craig Oberg - 282
Pete Petersen - 246
Billy Peterson - 136
Tom Remkes - 232
Jim Skaggs - 261
Jeff Stowell - 242
Jonathon Stuart - 21
Joshua Tanner - 33
Dave Tanner - 262
Tara Tulley - 65
John Wojciechowski - 126
Good luck and we'll see ya out there!
For 17 years our forefather of ultra running, Jim McGregor, has been organizing a trail work day with the USFS Ogden Ranger District so runners can fulfill their 8 hour trail work requirement for either the Wasatch 100 or Bear 100. This year Jim lead the group to Snowbasin to build a loop on the Sardine Canyon Trail. It was hard work but loads of fun: clearing brush, moving dirt swinging the 'Pulaski.'
Music by Bruce Springsteen (Shackled & Drawn)
Thank you to Weber State University and its Cultural Affairs Department (Diane Stern) and the Dean of the College of Arts & Humanities (Madonne Miner) for hosting our Wasatch 100 movie last night. It was an honor for us to be there, thank you so much for the hospitality. It was also a great show of support from the friends and family who came to watch the movie - some of you even for the second or third time. It meant a lot to have you all there: thank you, thank you, thank you.
I'm not sure what to do with the movie now; maybe I'll just let it age and put some patina on it ;-)
We have a date to screen the Wasatch 100 film: Monday, April 16th at 7:00pm at Weber State University; Wildcat Theater in the Shepard Union building. Attendance to the screening is FREE, but it's a small theater so show up early to get the best seats. It's not mandatory, but you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you're coming so we can get a rough headcount. The film runs 72 minutes; it's "clean" but there are a couple of spontaneaous bursts of funny but slightly rough language, so if I were to put a rating on it, I would say it's PG-13. Anytime Kristin and I are together in front of large crowds the banter back and forth can range anywhere from "G" to "PG" to "R", so it might be best to get a sitter for the little ones that night.
We want to thank Diane Stern from Weber State University Cultural Affairs for setting up the whole event; Thanks Diane and GO WILDCATS!
It should be a lot of fun that night, hope to see you there. Let us know if you have any questions.
If you want a see a trailer for the film, click on the 'Wasatch 100' link in the category column on the right.
In 2009 I set out to make a movie about the Wasatch 100 Endurance Run. I bought a cheap video camera (broke it), bought several more and filmed everything that year - the lottery, training runs, races, doctor visits, interviews and Wasatch itself. I was training for Wasatch and trying to make a movie about it at the same time; needless to say I was a horrible husband, father and business partner that year. I have hours and hours of footage; the first edition of my movie was 12 hours long and during the editing process I kept having technical problems with the video clips, I didn't know what I was doing, so I bagged the whole project. I had already put my family through hell and I didn't want to do it again by wrapping myself around a silly home video. My Wasatch movie was dead.
In 2011, after reacquainting myself with my family and getting back to work in the family business, I sat down at the computer and starting playing around with some video clips of a "Vedder" vacation I took with my brothers in Maui. The result was a short vacation video of the trip; it was fun and nostalgic putting the video together, I wanted more, so I opened Pandora's box and began messing around with all the Wasatch footage. I had figured out a few things with iMovie making the vacation video, so this time around I wasn't screaming at the computer while I strung the video clips together. By the end of 2011, I had a 70 minute "movie" about my experience with running the Wasatch 100.
I felt good about the end product, so I showed it to Kris and the kids first. They liked it; while we were watching it they gave me a lot of grief about all the BS I put them through that year, but it was also a lot of fun re-living the good times we had. Next I showed it to a few friends at Christmas; nobody fell asleep and we had a good time watching it. So, I guess the next step is to put my money where my mouth is.
In 2009 I told everybody who came through STRIDERS I was making a movie about Wasatch. Once the race was over, everybody kept asking when I was going to premiere my movie. I didn't have anything to show, so my answer was always "I'm working on it" when in reality I was stuck in the mud. Over the next two years, people slowly stopped asking about my movie. I was relieved but I felt like a huge phony at the same time. But now I have something to show!
With the 2012 Wasatch lottery coming up next month and with everybody excited about getting into the race this year (the last day to register is today at midnight), we figure now is a good a time as any to have a one-time screening of my movie. I don't have a venue yet, a date or a time for the premiere, but we're working on it. Once we've worked out where and how to stage this thing, we'll let you know. Hopefully we can do it in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, here's a short trailer for the movie.
The 2011 edition of the Wasatch 100 is in the books. After it was all said and done there were 253 starters and 183 finishers. The top male runner was Evan Honeyfield, from Idaho Falls, who finished in 19:31. The top female finisher was Becky Wheeler, from Casper WY, who finished in 25:53. The top Utah finisher and 3rd place overall was Karl Meltzer, finishing in 20:59. Karl has many 100 mile wins (the most actually) and many, many finishes but this one impresses me the most. His race report is amazing- www.karlmetzler.com. Wasatch tells a lot of inspirational stories this year; Tom Remkes notched his 15th Wasatch finish in 25 hours. Cory Johnson has been in Leadville all year competing in the Leadville-Man (100 mile MTB, 50 mile MTB, 100 Mile Race Across the Sky) and he still nailed Wasatch this year in 27 hours. BJ Burlison ran his first Wasatch as his first 100 and did it in 29 hours. Aric Manning was running his second Wasatch and nailed this one in 29 hours; winning the coveted sub-30 hour buckle. Chris Anderson continues to impress with another finish, this time he did it with his 15 year old son pacing him in the last 25 miles. Phillip Lowry expected to run another sub-24 hour this year but just about died at the Brighton aid station; no kidding. He ran so hard into mile 75 he literally put himself into a 3 hour coma. When he woke up Marc Collman gave him some eggs and sausage and Phil still finished in under 31 hours. Shane Martin has some new jewelry with his 10th Wasatch finish. Jessica LaRoche conquered her first Wasatch in 31 hours and Terry Foust was able to get the 31 hour finish without a pacer during a very critical part of the race. Jim Skaggs completed the Grand Slam of ultra running (4 100 milers in one summer) with his Wasatch finish and my good friend Quintin Barney shaved 3 hours off his finish time from last year with his performance on Saturday. Then there was my race. Oh, how I suffered. It started well enough with some rolling hills but as soon as the real climbing began I wasn't so sure it was going to happen for me. My legs were heavy, my breathing was labored and my head wasn't where it should be. I plowed forward, Paul Hulet helped me get through to mile 40. When I saw my daughter at Big Mountain I was overwhelmed with emotion and now there was hope. Kris got me out of there and Shad worked me good. Sometime during our run together I realized Shad's not a boy anymore. I want to thank Joel Hatch for the help and support during this time of the race. He's a class act. Lambs Canyon was okay until the chocolate milk incident, I'm so sorry if I got any on you Sonia. Brad Olsen kept me moving through the night; it wasn't best my moments but Brad is solid and knew what to do. He got me to Brighton just as the sun was coming up and brother Brad took over. Just like last time, I didn't know if I had it in me but when Brad takes the reins all my issues went away. No more bad stomach, I had some reserve and we got it done. Through it all though Kristin was my rock, she had sisters Jen & Amy in supporting roles but this was Kristin's rock show and there was going to be a encore performance whether I believed it or not. I'm lucky to have her, you're all lucky I share her. She's amazing and I love her more than life itself. Thanks to Michelle, Mia & Mason for coming out and lending me Brad for a few hours. Thanks to our good friends the Smith's & Marston's for their support. It meant a lot to see you at the finish Mom. Brad Olsen; let me know when you're ready and I'm there for you. Jessica, you're the best nurse I could have hoped for, love ya babe. I missed you Mike, I love you Shad. After this Wasatch I thought that would be it, but it gets in your blood and in your head and 30 minutes after all the suffering ends a new chapter begins. Congratulations to all the Wasatch runners and their families. The Wasatch race committe, volunteers and whole organization is top shelf, A-1. Thank You John Grobben.
The Wasatch 100 is 2 weeks away. I'm asked a lot if I'm ready; I have a nutrition plan, I have pacers, Krisitn is ready to crew, my legs and feet feel good and my stomach has been solid all year long. It's going to hurt, however, and that's the toughest thing to prepare for. Mentally you just have to be ready to suffer for a long time - ENDURE. The training has been fun. Shad and I ran from Big Mountain to Lambs Canyon; Shad's pacing this section on race day. We saw three moose and lots of lizards and we turned a 13 mile run into almost 15. Shad's job is not to get us lost and not to let me lay in the grass and whine after Alexander Springs.