It’s done, 102 miles in total.
29 hours and 21 minutes. One pair of shoes, one pacer (but only for the last 3 miles) one hydration pack, one water bottle, two pair of socks, two shirts, two headlamps, two jackets, 200 calories at every aid station and a lot of sweat and dirt.
John did it! With the very major help from the aid station crews and very little physical help from his home crew. We had the very best of intentions, the home crew, but we fell to injuries and un-avoidable work conflicts, until there were just the 3 of us. My oldest son, a Cache Valley Native, our awesome neighbor, a cycling sensation in southern Utah, and friend. AND of course, yours truly. We were a small, but hopeful, and well intentioned crew.
My Oldest son and I got him started off right and were there for the first aid station with some stingers, a hat and plenty of cheering. And then we had to leave him to the capable hands of the Aid Station crews for several hours and make a 2.5 hr trip to take care of a simultaneous work project.
John did great, we kept track of him as they updated the app somewhat frequently-ish and mostly just prayed for him. The Aid folks were AMAZING though!!! They took such good care of him, he wanted for nothing and discovered the joys of pickles and pickle juice to stop the cramps that started to plague him around mile 30 .
There were times with other runners but mostly, this Bear was a solitary run. John didn’t even plug into his headphones once because his focus was always on the next step and the next task or his state of health at the moment. The exception being a few times that he simply could not pass by with out taking some beautiful pictures of the view.
The last 14 miles are when his body started telling him that he had gone quite far enough, thank you very much. But HE persisted, every step painful and shuffling like he was 90 years old. John is competitive though and this was a competition with himself. He won, he kept going. We got to see him at the 99 mile mark and having our friend pace and encourage him kept him under the 30 hr mark that was his goal.
SPECIAL THANKS to the fantastic woman from Altra!!! John was invited to use the heated Altra Tent (with actual beds, much nicer than the ground..) to recover because he went into shock for a while. He recovered, got a bite to eat and we were able to load up and take the long drive home to the sound of John snoring.
John Runner Tips –
Do a lot of long runs pre race.
Good nutrition, easy on your body, energy. High calorie, not just sweets.
Pay attention to your body and the signals it’s sending you, not doing so will likely result in something bad that could have been preventable.
Have a home crew. Never forget the value of a good friend who is willing to help you out in a race. They can make all the difference in how or even IF you get to the finish!!
Have a few good pacers, it’s nice to get out of your own head for a while.
Use your poles, they can save you and help to reserve your energy for the grueling end.
Take a moment to enjoy where you are, the world is a beautiful place and you are lucky enough to be able to do what you are doing and see what you are seeing.
After a three week hiatus, John will be back on the (mostly charred) trails again (thanks to the big fires that are still burning here). Kicking up the dust and racking up the miles for his next big races. Where? He is currently undecided. but I can guarantee that there will be a where and a when AND I will keep you updated!
Until he runs again 🙂