Somehow we managed to get all the gear and 2 kids loaded by 8:30 and were on our way to Steamboat! I had really wanted to get Dan up there earlier than I had gotten to Leadville. That was way more pre-race stress than I like and I didn't want him to deal with that. Of course a later start time helps with that as well. Overall it was a pretty uneventful check-in and night before a big race. Friday morning we walked over to the starting line, kids in tow. It was shaping up to be a gorgeous day and Dan seemed totally ready to go...until..."shit, my handheld" ie. my calories! In what was easily the fastest couple miles I had ran since Leadville...okay who's kidding I didn't even hit a mile that fast at Leadville...I took off in a dead sprint across the village. Just another reason you want a runner crewing you. I grabbed the bottle from the condo and took off back to the start. Everyone was lined up when I got there with 2 or 3 minutes to the start. I started panning the crowd but no Dan. With 20 seconds to go I knew I had to go past the start line to find him. Worst case I'd meet him at the top of the gondola, but I didn't want him stressed that first hour or without calories. But as luck would have it he ran right by me and we did a quick pass off. After that it really was pretty smooth sailing.
We met Dan at Olympian, mile 20ish. I actually ran up Fish Creek road to meet him and run him in since you can pace this section. He was right on his pace range and looking the best I've ever seen him look in not just a 100 but in any race. We got him in and out quickly and he was off to tour Emerald Mountain. Race tracking was absolutely terrible at least in the beginning and I couldn't get any updates. It was anyone's guess what time he'd be back to Olympian, 42ish. My plan was to pace him up Fish Creek road, go put the boys to bed, get a few hours of sleep and then head to Dry Creek to finish the race with him. But if he was in a bad spot at Olympian I would just finish with him. So I had to be ready to go and had to have the boys ready as well just in case.
|James had to get a hug on our way into Olympian|
|Rockin' the pjs and waiting for Dad|
Coming out of Spring Creek Dan was rocking it. Allisa came in just as we were leaving and even though I could tell she was having a rough patch you could see she was going to make it this time. I tried to reassure her she was looking good and just needed to keep moving and to keep eating. We even passed Amanda Basham, who was having a rough day, but I used it as motivation to keep him running and hiking strong. After leaving Dry Creek for the second time Dan started having another low patch. It was somewhere around 4:00 am at this point, so he was tired, sore, hungry and still going uphill. But really he kept a fairly good pace and we managed to hold our position going up the dirt road. And then the sun came up and I was surprised at how warm I actually was. We were making our way through the coldest part of the night and it was nothing like I had remembered.
|a long dirt road...|
The hike down from Mount Werner is terrible. There is just no good way to describe it. It seems like it shouldn't be that bad or that slow, but it is. We passed Kerrie Bruxxvort at the AS and it looked like she'd had a rough day as well. Slowly we wound our way down and after what seemed like forever I saw James' fluorescent green t-shirt!. He immediately saw Dan and took off in a full blow sprint up to get him. James took Dan the rest of the way to the finish line and I'm pretty sure actually got more cheers than Dan did! And really why shouldn't he!
Congrats Dan on a great race! You ran strong and steady...exactly the way you planned it!
|bringing Dad into the finish|
|no great 100 is complete without a little Mexican food|
|Run like the wind little buddy|