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Just read through the last few days of posts here, and I don't even know what to say other than that I'm humbled. Tri had given me some updates on @BassNBrew's color commentary and analysis, but all o

Hey guys, I'll write more later, but I'm happy to announce that our baby girl, Lenka Ruby, was born at 5:16pm. She was 6 lbs. 11 oz. and 21 inches. Mom and baby are both doing great. Such an amazing C

Western States "Crew B" and Pacer #1 Report What an outstanding experience!  I flew into Sacramento on Thursday and drove up into the mountains and headed to my hotel in Reno, which is quite a pi

Duck ? inspired me to  get off my ### today. Did a thirty minute run. First one in 3 months. The good news is I didn't have to walk. Pace you ask?  The pace of a 61 yo woman who's run for 29 hours straight. 

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10 hours ago, tri-man 47 said:

I'll say this, guys: My 16 overnight miles on single track trail through steep mountains and valleys was one of my toughest challenges ever.  Physically tough, sure.  Well trained (Duck) or not (me), those are still hard miles.  But also, then, the mental challenge of staying alert and focused to avoid a dangerous misstep through the middle of the night.  Not to mention the intense time pressure to keep pushing ...keep pushing.

 But Duck did this after 62 miles of elevation, snow, shoe-sucking mud, and dangerous heat ...and before a 22 mile finish!!! 

It is truly beyond comprehension.  In the pre-race meeting, they said 25 countries and 37 states were represented.  They introduced a couple dozen of the top male and female competitors, and it was a "who's who" of the ultra world (literally).

Duck is holding is own in the pinnacle event of his sport. He has shown us what toughness and courage look like.  It's been such an honor to share this with him.

Heading now to the track to watch finishers!  

One of the things that has always drawn me to running was the shear will to overcome physical limitation most all of you have posted about at some point in this thread. When I was actively running I'm not going to lie, I had a little idolization thing going for guys like Grue, Duck, Ned, Juxt, tri, Bass, Steve, etc. Some of things you guys do is simply amazing. It inspired me to chase a small piece of that and when it was finally through, no matter what the time was, I think we all experienced that exhilaration of running the race.

My running days are over and as I stop in from time to time in this thread I see that fresh blood is always being infused which is awesome. Seeing a group of guys support each other this way is more than just about running a race. It's about that drive I think everyone in this thread possess to push it to the next level. Virtually everyone in this thread (except for maybe Steve :rolleyes::P) started with a couch to 5k program and now the thread is littered with 5k numbers in the 15 to 16 min range, Boston qualifiers to Olympic trials and ultras so tough that the course was originally laid out for horses!

I hope you guys understand how much you continue to inspire me. Stuff like what happened this weekend with Duck might be the apex (for now at least or until Steve makes it to the Olympics or wins Boston or something). It just doesn't get any better than this. I'm so happy for Duck and rising to the challenge that is Western States. I can't fathom what tri described above but we've all had a little taste of it and can appreciate the shear will to overcome that is associated with it. Thanks guys, was a fun weekend :thumbup:

Now Wally, about that foot rub...

 

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Just read through the last few days of posts here, and I don't even know what to say other than that I'm humbled. Tri had given me some updates on @BassNBrew's color commentary and analysis, but all of you guys following along with an iFriend's journey really means a lot. And as I told Tri, I had to finish this thing as there was no way I was coming back in here with anything other than a report of a successful race!

Lying in the hotel bed now with my feet elevated and no sheets covering me, since anything that touches my legs or feet makes me practically cry out in pain. All worth it, though. 

Of course full report coming later this week,  but a couple high/lowlights:

  • The high country really was brutal. Snow from mile 2-14 or so, and where there wasn't snow it was 100 yard marshes fed by all the melt, or rocky trails that were like creeks. There was just no running for someone like me. I also think the altitude, being up around 7000' for 30+ miles, got to me more than I expected. 
  • Devils Thumb climb crushed me, to the point I was sitting on the side of the trail puking. That'll slow down your pace.  Still kind of upset about that as I thought I had a good plan to attack that after doing the climb twice already this year.  Maybe 105 degrees had something to do with that. 
  • Wouldn't have been in position to close hard after the river if not for our boy @tri-man 47 keeping me moving on the Cal St section. As he said I had a low patch in here, but he stayed positive and encouraging and got me to the river crossing within striking distance of where I needed to be. Such an honor to have him there and a part of this all. 
  • My buddy Jimmy, who I paced in 2012 and I credit/blame for this whole WS100 obsession, took it from there. He told me when he started, "I'm going to be a ####, but you need to move for the next 6 1/2 hours, so that's the way it's got to be."  And he just kept me going. I likely would have ended up in that last group picked up by the sweeper sometime after mile 93 if not for him. I've never worked so hard for so long. I puked 4-5 times in the last 20 miles, a result of him pushing not only the effort but calories to try and sustain that effort. 
  • So cool to have my daughter run the track and cross the finish line with me. She wasn't that into this going in, and I don't blame her - what 13 year old wants to sit around in 100 degree heat waiting to see her smelly dad for 5 minutes?  So I just asked her to "be open to the experience", and gave her my GoPro and made her the videographer so she'd have a role. I'm under no illusions she'll be much more interested in this stuff going forward, but we did just spend 30 minutes of her telling me about people's section splits and asking questions about some of the elites and the course. I almost got teary eyed....for about the 15th time today. 

I've been up for 45 hours straight so I'm going to try and get some fitful, painful sleep. More to come....

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These ultra guys are unbelievable:

"Last year’s M8 Kyle Pietari (post-race interview) rounded out the men’s top 10 as he limped over the finish line, needed to be carried away from it, and claimed his belt buckle at the award ceremony the next day on crutches. At the time of this publishing, he has a suspected lower-leg fracture from an bad ankle roll at mile 7. That makes it all the more of a feat that he landed in the M10 position."

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37 minutes ago, pbm107 said:

These ultra guys are unbelievable:

"Last year’s M8 Kyle Pietari (post-race interview) rounded out the men’s top 10 as he limped over the finish line, needed to be carried away from it, and claimed his belt buckle at the award ceremony the next day on crutches. At the time of this publishing, he has a suspected lower-leg fracture from an bad ankle roll at mile 7. That makes it all the more of a feat that he landed in the M10 position."

:eek:   Mile 97 okay.  But 93 miles on a bad ankle? :shock:   (really hope that doesn't screw him up long term)

Edited by -OZ-
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7 hours ago, SFBayDuck said:

Just read through the last few days of posts here, and I don't even know what to say other than that I'm humbled. Tri had given me some updates on @BassNBrew's color commentary and analysis, but all of you guys following along with an iFriend's journey really means a lot. And as I told Tri, I had to finish this thing as there was no way I was coming back in here with anything other than a report of a successful race!

Lying in the hotel bed now with my feet elevated and no sheets covering me, since anything that touches my legs or feet makes me practically cry out in pain. All worth it, though. 

Of course full report coming later this week,  but a couple high/lowlights:

  • The high country really was brutal. Snow from mile 2-14 or so, and where there wasn't snow it was 100 yard marshes fed by all the melt, or rocky trails that were like creeks. There was just no running for someone like me. I also think the altitude, being up around 7000' for 30+ miles, got to me more than I expected. 
  • Devils Thumb climb crushed me, to the point I was sitting on the side of the trail puking. That'll slow down your pace.  Still kind of upset about that as I thought I had a good plan to attack that after doing the climb twice already this year.  Maybe 105 degrees had something to do with that
  • Wouldn't have been in position to close hard after the river if not for our boy @tri-man 47 keeping me moving on the Cal St section. As he said I had a low patch in here, but he stayed positive and encouraging and got me to the river crossing within striking distance of where I needed to be. Such an honor to have him there and a part of this all. 
  • My buddy Jimmy, who I paced in 2012 and I credit/blame for this whole WS100 obsession, took it from there. He told me when he started, "I'm going to be a ####, but you need to move for the next 6 1/2 hours, so that's the way it's got to be."  And he just kept me going. I likely would have ended up in that last group picked up by the sweeper sometime after mile 93 if not for him. I've never worked so hard for so long. I puked 4-5 times in the last 20 miles, a result of him pushing not only the effort but calories to try and sustain that effort. 
  • So cool to have my daughter run the track and cross the finish line with me. She wasn't that into this going in, and I don't blame her - what 13 year old wants to sit around in 100 degree heat waiting to see her smelly dad for 5 minutes?  So I just asked her to "be open to the experience", and gave her my GoPro and made her the videographer so she'd have a role. I'm under no illusions she'll be much more interested in this stuff going forward, but we did just spend 30 minutes of her telling me about people's section splits and asking questions about some of the elites and the course. I almost got teary eyed....for about the 15th time today. 

I've been up for 45 hours straight so I'm going to try and get some fitful, painful sleep. More to come....

over 100 miles intrigues me.  over 100 degrees? NoNoNoNo

Even this guy gets it

Seriously, the temps make you even a bigger badass. :salute:

your daughter is awesome.

Edited by -OZ-
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Well I feel like a giant poooooooosay talking about a marathon after what Duck just did, but I'm 90% sure that I'm going to register for Lakefront and attempt my first fast marathon in more than 3 years.  Don't call it a comeback...

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23 minutes ago, gruecd said:

Well I feel like a giant poooooooosay talking about a marathon after what Duck just did, but I'm 90% sure that I'm going to register for Lakefront and attempt my first fast marathon in more than 3 years.  Don't call it a comeback...

That's a cool race.  If I wasn't heading the other direction (west) that month, I'd come cheer you on.  No feet rubbing though.

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Just catching up after weekend offline, wow. What a thrilling read these last 5 or so pages were. Probably deserved its own thread so others who don't stop by this one might have caught on to what Duck was up to. But it belongs here and it played out beautifully.

So happy for you Duck!

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1 hour ago, gruecd said:

Well I feel like a giant poooooooosay talking about a marathon after what Duck just did, but I'm 90% sure that I'm going to register for Lakefront and attempt my first fast marathon in more than 3 years.  Don't call it a comeback...

It's a long training cycle.

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1 hour ago, gruecd said:

Well I feel like a giant poooooooosay talking about a marathon after what Duck just did, but I'm 90% sure that I'm going to register for Lakefront and attempt my first fast marathon in more than 3 years.  Don't call it a comeback...

It's a long training cycle.

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1 hour ago, gruecd said:

Well I feel like a giant poooooooosay talking about a marathon after what Duck just did, but I'm 90% sure that I'm going to register for Lakefront and attempt my first fast marathon in more than 3 years.  Don't call it a comeback...

:clap:

Everything is going to pale in comparison to duck. But I'm happy to finally run a sub 7 mmile. 

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45 minutes ago, Osaurus said:

That's a cool race.  If I wasn't heading the other direction (west) that month, I'd come cheer you on.  No feet rubbing though.

Yeah, it was the site of my one and only sub-3 marathon (2:59:48) waaaaaay back in 2011, so it holds a special place in my heart LOL

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4 minutes ago, -OZ- said:

:clap:

Everything is going to pale in comparison to duck. But I'm happy to finally run a sub 7 mmile. 

To add on to the boasting--I ran an 8:00 minute mile on a run a couple of weeks ago.  Now I qualify for that insurance discount!

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5 minutes ago, BassNBrew said:

Tri-man - Steal some thunder.  At least tell us about your trip outside of the event.

I'll give a pacer's race report later tonight as a precursor to Duck's main event.  It was fantastic being up on the mountains.  Squaw Valley is a beautiful setting for the start.  Heading today to northern Cali and then over to the coast and the redwoods tomorrow.

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3 hours ago, tri-man 47 said:

I'll give a pacer's race report later tonight as a precursor to Duck's main event.  It was fantastic being up on the mountains.  Squaw Valley is a beautiful setting for the start.  Heading today to northern Cali and then over to the coast and the redwoods tomorrow.

Are you going to rub their trunks?

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Western States "Crew B" and Pacer #1 Report

What an outstanding experience!  I flew into Sacramento on Thursday and drove up into the mountains and headed to my hotel in Reno, which is quite a pit of a town.  (But I did bet on myself that night and hit all the numbers in my first craps roll and won $300.  I also played numbers 1, 9, and 4 in roulette - thinking that was Duck's number - and hit strong on a 4 just before leaving.  Duck was 193, but hey, it worked out).

We all hooked up on Friday in Squaw Valley, which is quite a stunning location, for pre-race activities.  This is when the decision was made that I'd be the first pacer.

Crew B

After watching the 5 am start, the two crews (family, and friends) headed down the road.  For our crew, our focus was to park a couple of the cars and head in one vehicle to the backside of the mountains.  From Squaw, it took about three hours to get to the first aid station, which was mile 24 of the course.  Temp was already in the mid-90s, so it was interesting to see the crews and spectators jostle to be in the shade of a few scraggly pines.  In these early stations, we were also supporting another friend of the guys, and he arrived first.  

When Duck arrived, our crew kicked into action.  Help get the shoes and socks off, use some wipes to clean off the feet, lube them back up, and help get some clean socks and new shoes on. The aid station captain was amused by our diligence, asking is we needed nail polish to add a pedicure as well.  We made sure fluids and gels were loaded up, suntan lotion reapplied, and sent him off.

Our next stop was at mile 38.  It was essentially the same routine.  It struck me that we'd all traveled quite a ways to be there, and put in a big chunk of time that day to be at the station and ready to act ...all that for a few quick minutes of support!  No matter - totally worth it.  At both stops (and subsequent ones), Duck was amazing calm and collected, if increasingly worn down.

 Crew A had covered a couple other stations.  For the latter half of the race, we had more of a mix and match approach.

Pacer #1

So I it was decided I'd pace miles 62-78.  16 miles through the dead of night.  I met Duck at an aid station along a paved road (a rare connection to civilization). Off we went!  Well, no. He was nursing a can of Coke and walking along. So what do I do? Scream at him to ditch the can and take advantage of the downward sloping road and starting running?  Allow him to walk?  Pacer decision crisis!  I let him walk.  After stopping with his crew, we were officially off at 11:24 pm for our jaunt over the next five hours.

As we chatted in the first mile, we missed an early turn.  Thankfully, a team behind us saw it right away and called us back.  Great start, pacer-man.  The big issue for me was lighting.  I'd brought a good headlamp but waited to see if I was pacing to deal with a flashlight.  I planned to pick one up Friday afternoon.  After buying crew groceries, I saw an auto parts store next door, so checked there.  They did have a flashlight, which I bought -   but I learned early in our first segment that it was woefully inadequate for nighttime trail running. I spent the first few miles being frustrated with my poor lighting, which affected my running, and embarrassed that I might not perform well and hinder Duck.  By the second segment, I gave up on the flashlight and just held the headlamp in my hand, and that worked well enough.

Heading into our miles (four segments), we knew Duck was behind schedule for a successful finish.  I was unsure how to approach this. As it worked out, I let him run in front at the pace he wanted.  As I followed, I chattered away with a variety of stories and tales and offered positive support.  (In contrast, his second pacer for the final 22 miles took the tough love approach.) I also kept a close eye on pacing, knowing we needed to make up some time.  Fortunately, Duck has a brisk walking pace.  And other than some hard miles in the  second of our four segments, he dug deep and kept a decent jog going for long segments.  We passed a number of other runners when he did so.  We finished our miles at 4:20 am.

As mentioned already, this was incredibly challenging.  Part of it was my inability to train at all with hills and trails.  But it was more the mix of the physical demands, the mental stress of the night running, and pressure to keep pushing.  And for Duck, these were late miles in a long, long event.  The pacing highlighted for me the amazing accomplishment of what Duck did.  I'm in total awe!!!  So thrilling to see him finish.  Can't wait for the real race report ...

 

 

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Awesome tri! 

Pacing is one of the least selfish things we do in this sport.  Runners world discussed the work that goes into pacing for the 2-marathon attempt in a recent podcast and is worth listening.  While this isn't that level of coordination it's still really really cool that people do this for others. 

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Duck or others, what are your thoughts on the gut as the primary reason people dnf? https://spike-free-blog.com/2017/02/22/the-ultra-gut-impact/

Minimize the ULTRA Gut Impact

The Big 4.

Keep cool, Keep hydrated:  The very nature of endurance exercise will raise our body temperature. But using cool water over our body, and in drinking cool-cold water will help to reduce the known effects of exercise (heat)-driven digestive disturbances.  Obviously you need to become well-sensitized to your own sweat output and fluid intake needs – but make sure you test and document this (weight before/after training, minus total fluid intake of training)…and do this for a variety of temperature/humidity conditions so you know how your body needs/processes water.

Take L-Glutamine:  To further enhance your body’s resistance to exercise (heat) derived digestive disturbance, include L-Glutamine capsules (2 x 500mg) every hour, for training sessions in hot, or humid weather. A number of studies have shown how L-Glutamine directly minimizes the heat-shock impact, to the digestive system.

Avoid high fructose/sugar foods and processed grains in training-racing: Take a look at your training-racing foods and do your homework on what you’re throwing into your body…most of the sugar, grain based products on the market are high in these nasty ingredients.  Eat whole food complex carb-foods (containing mix of carbs, fats, protein AND prebiotic fiber). Download the How-To-Guide ‘The Fuel Switch’ to learn about foods to eat in ultra racing and training.  Finally test and make a call if caffeine/coffee pre-race has an effect on your gut (cramping, gas, need to ‘go’).

Eat foods that make you chew, and avoid others: Real, whole foods need chewing. Any processed food that minimizes chewing will raise the risk of digestive symptoms. Ensure the energy foods used in racing and training require you to chew the food before swallowing. Again you can read more about these foods, by downloading the How-To-Guide ‘The Fuel Switch’.

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5 hours ago, tri-man 47 said:

But I did bet on myself that night and hit all the numbers in my first craps roll and won $300.  I also played numbers 1, 9, and 4 in roulette - thinking that was Duck's number - and hit strong on a 4 just before leaving.  Duck was 193, but hey, it worked out.

Can't describe how much I love this.  :thumbup:

Crew B

After watching the 5 am start, the two crews (family, and friends) headed down the road.  For our crew, our focus was to park a couple of the cars and head in one vehicle to the backside of the mountains.  From Squaw, it took about three hours to get to the first aid station, which was mile 24 of the course.  

I've read that Western States is a tough race to crew, that you basically need two crews due to the logistics of getting around the mountains.  Three hours driving to get to mile 24 drives that point home with a hammer.  Dang.

Temp was already in the mid-90s, so it was interesting to see the crews and spectators jostle to be in the shade of a few scraggly pines.  In these early stations, we were also supporting another friend of the guys, and he arrived first.  

When Duck arrived, our crew kicked into action.  Help get the shoes and socks off, use some wipes to clean off the feet, lube them back up, and help get some clean socks and new shoes on. The aid station captain was amused by our diligence, asking is we needed nail polish to add a pedicure as well.  We made sure fluids and gels were loaded up, suntan lotion reapplied, and sent him off.

Our next stop was at mile 38.  It was essentially the same routine.  

So it's seems a bit silly that ultrarunners sometimes get pampered like this...but think about Duck and this one specific example.  Duck has been waiting for this moment for what, five years?  The day comes and it's not only 100+ degrees, but the trail is also an early mess of snow and mud.  You guys sacrificing (let's be honest, a bit of your dignity :D) and operating as an efficient pit crew was likely the difference between Duck suceeding in completing this incredible accomplishment and looking back in regret until/if he ever got the opportunity to run this again.  Think about that.  

It struck me that we'd all traveled quite a ways to be there, and put in a big chunk of time that day to be at the station and ready to act ...all that for a few quick minutes of support!  No matter - totally worth it.  

It's an unreal commitment of time to crew a 100, and as you aptly stated "for a few quick minutes of support."  Those few minutes not only help immensely in the moment, but I'm sure they also aided Duck mentally as he spent hours on the trail knowing that he'd be well taken care of if he could just get to his crew at Mile XX.  As a runner, believe me this feels incredibly selfish at times but it's also so very humbling to know there are people in your life that care enough about you to make such a sacrifice.  Extra kudos to you for volunteering yourself into that sacrifice.

At both stops (and subsequent ones), Duck was amazing calm and collected, if increasingly worn down.

 Crew A had covered a couple other stations.  For the latter half of the race, we had more of a mix and match approach.

Pacer #1

So I it was decided I'd pace miles 62-78.  16 miles through the dead of night.  I met Duck at an aid station along a paved road (a rare connection to civilization). Off we went!  Well, no. He was nursing a can of Coke and walking along. So what do I do? Scream at him to ditch the can and take advantage of the downward sloping road and starting running?  Allow him to walk?  Pacer decision crisis!

This is fantastic.  I can't even imagine. :lmao::lmao:

 I let him walk.  After stopping with his crew, we were officially off at 11:24 pm for our jaunt over the next five hours.

As we chatted in the first mile, we missed an early turn.  Thankfully, a team behind us saw it right away and called us back.  Great start, pacer-man.  The big issue for me was lighting.  I'd brought a good headlamp but waited to see if I was pacing to deal with a flashlight.  I planned to pick one up Friday afternoon.  After buying crew groceries, I saw an auto parts store next door, so checked there.  They did have a flashlight, which I bought -   but I learned early in our first segment that it was woefully inadequate for nighttime trail running. I spent the first few miles being frustrated with my poor lighting, which affected my running, and embarrassed that I might not perform well and hinder Duck.  By the second segment, I gave up on the flashlight and just held the headlamp in my hand, and that worked well enough.

Heading into our miles (four segments), we knew Duck was behind schedule for a successful finish.  I was unsure how to approach this. As it worked out, I let him run in front at the pace he wanted.  As I followed, I chattered away with a variety of stories and tales and offered positive support.  (In contrast, his second pacer for the final 22 miles took the tough love approach.) I also kept a close eye on pacing, knowing we needed to make up some time.  Fortunately, Duck has a brisk walking pace.  And other than some hard miles in the  second of our four segments, he dug deep and kept a decent jog going for long segments.  We passed a number of other runners when he did so.  We finished our miles at 4:20 am.

As mentioned already, this was incredibly challenging.  Part of it was my inability to train at all with hills and trails.  But it was more the mix of the physical demands, the mental stress of the night running, and pressure to keep pushing.  And for Duck, these were late miles in a long, long event.  The pacing highlighted for me the amazing accomplishment of what Duck did.  I'm in total awe!!!  So thrilling to see him finish.  Can't wait for the real race report ...

 

 

Great recap Tri-Man!  Sounds like you had the full experience with night running, a near tragic missed turn, the dilemma of what type of pacer to be, lighting issues, and obviously some gnarly terrain.  Props to you for taking the time to go do this for someone you've never even met! (Right?). 

Congrats on being a part of a Western States finishers experience!  Enjoy the rest of your trip.

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6 hours ago, tri-man 47 said:

Western States "Crew B" and Pacer #1 Report

When Duck arrived, our crew kicked into action.  Help get the shoes and socks off, use some wipes to clean off the feet, lube them back up, and help get some clean socks and new shoes on. The aid station captain was amused by our diligence, asking is we needed nail polish to add a pedicure as well.  We made sure fluids and gels were loaded up, suntan lotion reapplied, and sent him off.

 

:D

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SayWhat, Duck and I met once (a quick dinner last fall with Juxt when Duck was in Chicago).  So we go way back. ?  Years on FB have fostered the friendship that started here in the thread.  The challenges were that we had never run together, so it took some time to learn his tempos and monitor them against our time constraints, and hadn't had enough face time for me to know whether to play 'good cop' or 'bad cop.'  I went with the former, which suits my personality as I encouraged, motivated, and diverted his attention through the night, and then his close friend and WS ultra guy, Jim, went with the latter to force the necessary pace to get him home ,,,with 13 minutes to spare.  It all worked out ...because  ultimately Duck was tough enough and disciplined enough to succeed.  What I saw through the night was amazing enough - I can't imagine those last 22 miles (22!) of vomiting and soul searching and effort to bring it home.  Can't.  Imagine.

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Some blurbs from Ultrarunner Podcast daily news from Monday that seemed relevant:

- “You ran in 2017? And you finished? Nice work.” will be a refrain heard for years to come. Those were tough conditions out there, reflected by the 33% drop rate.

- Apparently the early aid stations were overwhelmed with the number of people not making cutoffs and ran out of transport vehicles. The snow in the high country was pretty nuts.

- How hot was it? Hot enough to leave John Burton’s tread in the pavement (see picture in the link!)

- Pacer comment: To piggyback on what you said, every finisher this year will likely hold a wee bit more pride in knowing what was endured out there on the course. It was ugly at points.

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36 minutes ago, tri-man 47 said:

SayWhat, Duck and I met once (a quick dinner last fall with Juxt when Duck was in Chicago).  So we go way back. ?  Years on FB have fostered the friendship that started here in the thread.  The challenges were that we had never run together, so it took some time to learn his tempos and monitor them against our time constraints, and hadn't had enough face time for me to know whether to play 'good cop' or 'bad cop.'  I went with the former, which suits my personality as I encouraged, motivated, and diverted his attention through the night, and then his close friend and WS ultra guy, Jim, went with the latter to force the necessary pace to get him home ,,,with 13 minutes to spare.  It all worked out ...because  ultimately Duck was tough enough and disciplined enough to succeed.  What I saw through the night was amazing enough - I can't imagine those last 22 miles (22!) of vomiting and soul searching and effort to bring it home.  Can't.  Imagine.

Yup, way back!  Although it sure seems like it after this weekend.

Having crew and pacers is so strange, so out of the daily norm as it's just such a damned selfish thing.  And to have two buddies drive down from Oregon, my girlfriend and daughter who are there to support me but really care nothing about the sport, my 67 and 73 year-old parents suffering through the heat, and @tri-man 47 fly out from Chicago makes it seem even more so!  Even doing my best to be gracious and thankful, it still can be uncomfortable.  Add in how easy it is to get caught up in your own head, especially when working hard, and I feel guilty at times.  Maybe I didn't say thank you, maybe I thought I did but no words came out, maybe I threw up on their shoes....

In any case, I can't say thank you enough to Tri for being out there for me through the day and night.  I had given him a heads up earlier in the week that I might need a pacer if he was up for it, and he didn't hesitate.  I knew this was unlike anything he had ever done and likely way outside his comfort zone, but he didn't act like that while we were out there - the focus was on me and keeping me moving, which had to happen if I had a chance to beat the cutoffs.  The only exception was when he was cleaning up a cut on his leg from a fall he had taken, and I pointed out a first aid kit there in the aid station if he needed it, and he just said "I'm fine," and we got moving out of there.  Because of course he did.

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1 hour ago, SayWhat? said:

- Pacer comment: To piggyback on what you said, every finisher this year will likely hold a wee bit more pride in knowing what was endured out there on the course. It was ugly at points.

That pacer comment came from Tim Tollefson, who finished third at UTMB last year and knows a little something about tough conditions!

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Here's the video my daughter took at the track and the few minutes afterward with the whole crew (and Surf, looking showered and refreshed) meeting back up on the infield. 

That "yeah Dad!" a few seconds in will make me tear up for a long, long time whenever I watch this.  Her comment at the 3:15 mark is up there, too.  

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11 minutes ago, SFBayDuck said:

Here's the video my daughter took at the track and the few minutes afterward with the whole crew (and Surf, looking showered and refreshed) meeting back up on the infield. 

That "yeah Dad!" a few seconds in will make me tear up for a long, long time whenever I watch this.  Her comment at the 3:15 mark is up there, too.  

That is so great. Thanks for sharing. 

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