Wednesday, June 10, 2009

what will runners see on the trail this year at States???

well, the big dance is almost here. the big guns are primed and ready. it will be a fun track meet to watch.

i've been on the western states 100 course a few times and even during my limited time on the course i have seen some pretty cool things...

funny, all the cool things that i've seen have been during a race when i wasn't carrying my camera... bummer. so, you will have to take my word for it.

my only races near auburn have been States and rio.

i'm far too slow to run cool .

but i might be able to finish the wildest run in the west some day. i think that would be fun.
what else did i see on that WS historical trail???

well it started in my 1st 100... yes, i ran states as my 1st 100 in '06, the nice cool year...

when i was climbing out of eldorado canyon in that nice cool 115 degrees, i saw two bear cubs 50ish feet off the trail below me. very cool. the bear cubs that is... but lets just say... not seeing mamma bear made that climb up to michigan bluff brisker than i can normally climb.

then when it was dark, after leaving HWY 49, i about ran into a skunk. i think this is where a skunk stalled a former winner in the past. stalled a top ten female this day too.
i had less than 6 miles to finish in my first 100 and what was this??? i even contemplated about getting sprayed if that is what it took. but, with father clem pacing me (i say that with utmost respect) we slowed a bit and just followed the white stripped critter for a bit down the trail. we were still moving forward. all i could think about was i going to have to throw sticks and rocks at the cute little creature like the former winner??? well, we kept running (i call it this after 94 miles) and low and behold the little bugger skirted off the trail. clem and i scooted past it and low and behold we were spared a pungent shower.

running my second rio i saw 4 turkeys, and two dear climbing up K2. pretty neato. (K2 below)

K2 skirts off the WS trail close to no hands...
but the real epic moment that "day" was seeing the cougar about 10 minutes before getting back to no-hands again (on the WS course again). scared the begeezzees out of me for sure. but very cool none the less.

on that day at rio i almost ran into a skunk again. ok, it wasn't on the WS course at this point, but after it stopped me i had to tell Mark Tanaka to slow down on his way to the finish on the second out and back. he did, and we were both spared a spray.

so, there it is. that is what i've seen on the WS trail, or close to the trail.

will the fast boys and girls notice anything? maybe not this year. everything will be a blur to them i'm sure. but for everybody else, the race might present itself as another great day to be alive on the trail.

i hope everybody enjoys the dance. it was no fun last year when the dance partner cancelled.

have fun everybody, enjoy the "music". enjoy the trail even if you are running at break neck speed.