One more person to go and 3 minutes to the start….. I think I might be able to make it out of the bathroom line and have enough time to snap a quick photo with my adorable husband before the gun goes off. A quick kiss and a photo later and I was off on the adventure of a lifetime! The first 35 miles went by in the blink of an eye. The race started with a 5,000 foot climb and then leveled off with rolling terrain on a ridgeline. Did I mention that Wasatch Front has a total elevation gain of 27,000 feet? That’s almost the equivalent of hiking Mount Everest from sea level!
At mile 32, I met my crew at the Big Mountain Aid Station and they were dressed in banana and Superman costumes! I quickly changed my socks, grabbed some snacks, and Cam forced me to drink some Coca Cola. Cam making me drink Coca Cola would quickly become a theme over the next day.
At mile 45, I picked up my best friend and adventure buddy, Ally. Ally covered countless miles with me during my training and even humored some of my crazy running ideas. These included speed workouts up South Boulder Peak before work or post work runs in the Indian Peaks.
It was 4:45 PM and a little less than 12 hours from the start, so I was glad to have some company. We chatted into the night about plans for the winter and upcoming races as we made our way from aid station to aid station. It was beautiful night and besides having some difficulty with my headlamp, the next 22 miles passed by pretty quick and were fairly uneventful. We reached Brighton ski resort around 11:00 PM just as I was getting sleepy. Brighton is a huge aid station in the lodge of a ski resort. It’s warm, has a ton of food, and can eat up a lot of time if you aren’t careful. I had been warned of this, so I was in and out of Brighton as fast as possible!
I knew going into the race that the night would be the hardest part for me. I like to sleep and somehow managed to make it through college without ever pulling an all nighter. I later realized that this would be my first ever all nighter. Probably not one of my better ideas….
Enter Cam. Before September 8th, I hardly knew Cam. We set off into the night on what would become the longest 24 miles of my life. We spent the next couple of hours staying in constant motion, while trying to maintain a good caffeine buzz.
I think I can now say after making me consume countless gels and Coca Cola while moving at a snails pace, we are pretty good friends. Except for when he handed me a coconut chocolate GU at 3AM. Our friendship is still trying to recover from that. Let’s just say the GU did not make it into my stomach. Finally the sun rose and with it the start of a new day.
Anthony joined me the last 9 miles which was only fitting since he supported me during my training and was my crew captain. We stopped at the last aid station to grab some BACON and pushed on for the final few miles. These miles were the hardest of my life, but thankfully I had Anthony by my side. At mile 95, the lack of sleep and exhaustion got the best of me. My smile was quickly replaced by tears, but Anthony provided the motivation to get me to the finish line. We ran those last few miles as strong as the first averaging 10 minute miles.
Crossing the finish line after 100 miles in 28 hours and 36 minutes, was the best feeling (until my legs cramped up when I stopped running)! We all raised some Upslopes to a successful race and a great team! I feel so lucky to have had the best crew out there and the love and support of all of our friends and family across the globe! Thanks for following and supporting me through this crazy endeavor. The best surprise of all was that my parents flew out to Salt Lake to see me after the finish!
While running 100 miles through the Wasatch is the hardest thing I have done, I can’t help but wonder what’s next?!
Questions? Post them below and I am happy to answer them.