Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Western States Endurance Run Part 1

I started the Western States Endurance Run on Saturday morning at 5 am and WE finished on Sunday morning at 4:57:11. I had the incredibly satisfying experience of running around the Placer High School track to the finish line with my wife Amie, 3 daughters, and pacer - Steve Nelson. I'm fortunate enough not to just have the support of my wife and 3 daughters, but their encouragement during the race as well.

As I recover, gather some thoughts, and vacation I'll start to work on blog post "part 2" that will detail the race. This post focuses on my valuable experience with Steve Nelson.

Steve enthusiastically gave his time and incurred costs to travel across the country to pace me at WS. This alone was pretty selfless, but he gave so much more. I struggled and suffered over the last 25 miles or so of the race as Steve listened to my body rebel by moaning, groaning, and dry heaving for hours. He was my provider, dumping ice water over my head to keep me cool, ensuring that I ate at the aid stations even though I didn't feel like it, picking me up when I fell, was patient, firm and motivating. He endured the quiet of the night as I struggled and couldn't talk. We pushed and pushed for hours to be able to give breaking 24 hours a shot and during one of my low points when I said "I'm not sure there's going to be enough time", he wouldn't let me off the hook, and got me on track. He verbally pulled me the last few miles.

Even though I suffered immensely during the later stages of this race I was determined to get in under 24 hours. However, determination alone wasn't enough. Without Steve's generosity, pacing skills, and attention to details, there's no way I finish the WSER in under 24 hours. I will forever be grateful for all that Steve has given, done, and sacraficed for me.