Sunday, 28 June 2009

Western States - scorching competition

Close competition in the early states of WS100

Western States 100 mile took place yesterday and what a race it was - after the mild spring temperatures rocketed in the days before the race with downtown Auburn (the finish) recording over 100degrees. It wasn't just the heat that was fierce either - the competition for top spots saw racing closer than ever experienced in the 35 year history of the race. IN the mens category - 7 minutes separated positions 2 through 5 after 100 miles of racing and, as a result, there were 5 men home in under 17 hours. One of these was Jez Bragg - one of the UKs leading ultrarunners both on road and trail - trying his luck at the oldest 100 miler for the first time. After the disappointment of 2008 where the race was cancelled due to widespread forest fires, Jez came back with fire in his belly and recorded comfortably the best British time and position - 3rd place with 16 hours and 54 minutes. You can read more about his exploits on his blog here.....

Jez Bragg - in control coming into Foresthill - mile 61

On a personal level it was a busy and tiring but satisfying weekend. We watched the race, supported Jez and took a bunch of pictures in the early stages and then I paced Eric Johnson on his first 100 mile event from mile 61 through to the Finish. Meanwhile Lynn was pacing Andy Black on what, for him, is meerely the first of 4 * 100 mile races he plans to tackle this summer as Andy is attempting the Grand Slam which I completed in 2005. In essenceit's been a hot weekend with little sleep, too many gels and not enough fruit and veg. Time for some de-tox and, in my case, an epic journey across California, Nevada and Utah into Colorado for the next chapter - Hardrock acclimatisation training. Watch this space in a few days for news of thunderstorms, snowmelt, bears and breathlessness.

Second Lady - Krissy Moehl - cruising the early trails

Foot note - anyone in the top 50 or so spots in the race just after Robinson Flat, mile 33, I have pictures of you traversing little Bald mountain. Contact me if you are interested - I will try to upload them sometime later this week.

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