What a race. After completing the Wasatch 100 in 2008 as my first hundred, in which I suffered immensely, I had no desire to run this race again. After my strong Leadville 100 finish last year (which marked my 2nd under 30 hour finish for a 100 mile race) and pacing a friend at Wasatch I started to reconsider. Have I gotten smarter/faster to possibly get under the 30 hour benchmark? Is that at all possible for me? I decided that there was a good chance of it and applied and got drawn in the lottery. It was now time to determine strategy and training to make sure I could meet my goal of under 30 hours.
I skied all spring specifically because we had a 3 week ski trip in the Alps planned so I didn’t really start my race training until May. I also missed my first race of the year (Pocatello 50) due to a work trip to Japan that I could not pass up. My next race was Tahoe 100 on July 16, so I started a very rigorous training schedule to get ready for that. Although I completed Tahoe, it was not within my goal time as I had a very serious lung infection during the race. This not only took a lot out of me physically but also mentally. After I recovered from that race and my lung infection (my lungs are still healing today), I had one last big training push to make sure I was ready for Wasatch (I was able to do most of this training on the Wasatch course where I made every run count). I also spent a lot of time working on splits, a race plan, studying the course (which I already knew really well), and mentally and physically preparing myself for the race.
I was as ready for Wasatch. I had a great plan, crew, and pacers ready. I also had lucky number 62 (6 is my favorite number and 2 for the 2nd time completing Wasatch). We started out at 5AM and cruised along the single track. Within 38 minutes of the start my light went from bright, to dim, to totally dead – yikes. I knew I still had about 40 minutes of darkness so I moved as quickly as I could using the light around me. This cost me time and at Francis Peak (18.76m) I was about 13 minutes behind my goal pace. I knew I had a long time to make it up so I wasn’t going to let this affect me. I came into Big Mountain (39.4m) at 2:45p and was happy to have Ann join me for the next section.
Big Mountain Pass Aid Station
As we headed up the first hill we were so happy to notice that it had clouded over making this section so much more enjoyable than it usually was (the early racers were treated to an extremely warm section). We got into Lambs (53.13m) at 6:21p and it was amazing to see so many friends there to cheer me on as I made a quick pit stop (thank you Christian, Corrie, Berkley, Mischa, Ray, Katy, Tyson, & Erin). Kristin and I headed up the Lamb’s canyon road on the way to Big Water in Mill Creek. Kristin kept me company for the next 22 miles (with a quick crew stop from Chad at Mill Creek). It was entertaining when she told me about memories that she had of me from this section in 2008 and I didn’t remember many at all. It’s crazy to think that this section took almost an hour and a half longer in 2008 than it did this year. At Brighton, Chad, Brent, and Kristin got me in and out quickly changing socks, shoes (then putting my Hokas back on after taking them off), fixing blisters, and a snack. I then headed out the door with Chad, my #1 pacer. I continued to feel strong going up Catherine’s Pass, down into Ant Knolls, and on. I was able to keep moving, drinking, eating, and just really maintaining a decent pace. I couldn’t believe that we were almost to Pot Bottom before it got light out. We climbed the last big hill coming out of Pot Bottom and then started to run. I ran all but 2 short climbs the entire way to the finish line. At that point my legs were killing me and I had been trying to keep my stomach from going south for quite a while. We hit the road and I was so incredibly happy knowing that I was almost done. We ran in with a couple from the neighborhood going out for a nice Saturday morning run. I remember them stating that they were out for a little run and I said “me too, but I started at 5a yesterday morning.” The gentleman ran on the other side of me to make sure no cars got close to me.
I crossed the finish line at 9:16a (finish time of 28:16:29). I was so happy to be done and incredibly ecstatic that I met (and blasted out of the water) my goal. I was rewarded at the finish line with many friends (thank you Jenny, Terry, Erin, Tyson, Tom, Stephanie, Ann, Anya, Amanda, Ian, Kristin, Brooke, and Jenn) to cheer on me and our friend Suzanne.
I am so happy that I was able run a strong race and that all of my mental and physical preparation paid off. I actually went from the 101st place at mile 53 to 46th place (and 5th female overall) at the finish line.
Thank you so much to my awesome pacers: Chad, Kristin, and Ann. Thank you also to Chad for being there for me at every location that he possibly could and always being so incredibly supportive. Thank you also to everybody that sent me their good vibes to get me through. I could feel the strength of others as I went. I couldn’t have done it without all of my super supportive friends and family!