Sunday, July 7, 2013

Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run - Volunteer

Last weekend I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run.  It was an all around incredible experience.  Both humbling and inspiring.

Through the woman I met working at Lake Sonoma 50 miler, Cathy, I signed up at Duncan Canyon Aid Station.  Most of the crew camps the night before and then wakes with the sun to prep the aid station.  The aid station is hosted by the Quicksilver Running Group out of San Jose.  And the captain is Kristina Irvin, a 10 time finisher of the WSER. She asked me to be the AS photographer.  How perfect was that!?

I could ramble on and on (and on!) about the experience... but for now, I'm going to link to the photos and let them tell the story;

Duncan Canyon Aid Station Photos:

Duncan Canyon Aid Station Videos:

Foresthill Photos:

Finish Line Photos:

Finish Line Video:
Pam Smith, women's winner

Being around this race made me realize the levels of fitness that are between me and a feat so monumental.  After watching runners cross the finish line I realized you can't really pick who will do well or not, based on how they look... but they are all very fit.  It made me wonder, how is this possible, running 100 miles... in tough mountainous terrain.  How is it possible?  A part of me, humbled, was in awe of these people who took on the challenge.  Another part of me was inspired, and wondered if I could ever feel confident to take on the challenge.  There's a whole lot of fitness to develop, but what became clear is that is possible to change.  So much of the task comes down to the mental game, the heart, the will to keep moving despite the challenges... so I leave the experience with an open ended question...

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