It started with me casually watching the Hardrock and Western States lotteries and knowing Terry was on a plane and unable to watch himself. Suddenly, there it was! Terry Grenwelge, with about the same chance as I had when I got into Hardrock, on the Western States entry list for 2019. Holla! He asked me to be his pacer for the last 38 miles and I of course said yes (though I was nervous about being able to keep up with him!). My parents live in the Bay Area and I used to go to summer camp in Auburn growing up. I've always thought about running Western States since I got into trail running, but these days I know that pacing Terry might be my only chance to run on that course with how hard it is to get in. My mom agreed to be part of the crew, which was exciting because she has never had that pleasure ("pleasure"? haha), since all my races have been so far from her!
Just the vast number of people at the race briefing gave it a very different feel from the 100's I've done. The amount of very-famous-in-the-ultra-world runners was kind of amazing! I knew it was typically HOT at Western States, so I barely brought any cooler weather clothes, which was a huge mistake! I was pretty cold that first day!
Robinson Flat, mile 30.3
Michigan Bluff, mile 55.7
Foresthill, mile 62
Rucky Chucky, mile 78. Goal time: 11:10 p.m. Actual: 10:57 p.m.
I believe it was sometime during this stretch when I. ate. shit. Big time. I've fallen a lot trail running- a lot of superman's where I'll go sliding and scrape up a whole side of leg, but this was different. I went straight down, and all force went directly into my knee on a rock. I yelled at Terry to keep running and that I would catch up, needing a moment to gather myself, but I saw he had taken the opportunity to stop and walk. So, limping, I started running to get him going again.
Auburn Lake Trails, mile 85.2. Goal time: 1:05 a.m. Actual: 1:04 a.m.
We just kept running. I made sure Terry was eating and drinking, but he was doing a great job on his own staying on top of it. I probably drove him nuts with my encouragement. I also got spooked a couple times and was calling out for bears because we weren't talking enough to scare anything away. At one point something darted across the trail and I screamed. I still have no idea what it was! A raccoon maybe?? Skunk?
Quarry Road, mile 90.7. Goal time: 2:25 a.m. Actual: 2:25 a.m.
We passed Dave Mackey and I was really bummed to hear he had to drop out at that point. As we left, knowing yelling at Terry was not the way to go, I gingerly told him, "I know you don't care, but I just want you to know that despite feeling like we're slowing down a little bit, you're actually STILL on sub-24 hour pace. I know you don't want to rush or blow yourself up, but I just feel like I HAVE to tell you that you can still do this! This is WESTERN STATES- you may never get this opportunity again and I'd hate for you to have regrets and wish you had pushed just a little bit harder."
Pointed Rocks, mile 94.3. Goal time: 3:30 a.m. Actual: 3:33 a.m.
No Hands Bridge, mile 96.8. Goal time: 4:05 a.m. Actual: ? 4:07ish
I yelled at Terry, "We have 10 minutes!!" and I saw his shoulders slump a little. So I clarified, "We have 10 minutes to get to the last aid station, and then 20 to get to the finish!" Immediately he perked up and I got all choked up because I knew right then that he was going to do it.
Robie Point, mile 98.9. Goal time: 4:40 a.m. Actual: 4:35 a.m.
Finish, mile 100.2. Goal: 4:59 a.m. Actual: 4:49 a.m.
Strava Data: https://www.strava.com/activities/2493079919/overview