Last week we did a brief recap of Steve’s attempt at the Western States Endurance Run (see here). Below we get the tale straight from the source:
In case you didn’t already know I DNF’d at Western States. I knew it would be a big challenge and it was. Us back-of-the-packers have little room for error on this thing. It got more challenging the day before when they said the hell with the snow we are not going to use the snow route to get around it. This meant 18 miles of snow and muck and water cascading down the hills and creeks. It was also baking-hot in the high country. I still had some lingering hip (Tom knows this when he saw me in January barely walking) and calf/hamstring weakness I’v been fighting for several months. All of this caught up with me on the relentless hills. In the 30 miles I completed my fitbit registered 700 floors climbed. They ranked this year with other years and said it was the 4th most difficult year of 31 years of data. About a third were DNF’s.
Each of the aid stations has a cutoff. On paper they look generous but in practice they are very tight. I got out of the 2nd one with 12 minutes to spare and out of the 3rd one with 5 minutes to spare. I missed the 4th one by 5 minutes after taking 2 hours to go 5.9 miles. This was at Michigan Bluff where I had the first chance to see Carol and Randal. So 30 miles and 9 hours after the start the staff cut off my wristband. I wonder what the outcome would have been if I had made it. Maybe I would have been late to the next one. I have been thinking about it all week. I should have pushed myself more but going up the hills I was already at max heart rate and very little of the downs were runable (no such thing as flat).
It was an incredible experience for me. I met many great people and it was an awesome event to be part of. Amazing to watch how it unfolded as the hours moved on. Expect the unexpected. Huge thanks to Carol and Randal for coming with me. I’m disappointed that your crewing and pacing skills were not used much. I hope it wasn’t a lost week for you guys.
I will qualify again and enter the lottery again but it may take some years because took me 5 years for this one.