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Western States Pre-Race Update

Posted by on Jun 24, 2011 | 6 Comments

I haven’t had too much time to write since arriving in Reno and the Olympic Village here in Squaw Valley… so this is my attempt at a brief update.

We had some interesting travel adventures.  Our youngest son Ty (2) developed a case of spontaneous vomiting which required us to find an emergency babysitter at 12 am Tuesday morning.  Luckily our niece Stephanie came to the rescue!

Shelly and I barely caught our plane in Grand Rapids, then had to sprint through the Houston Airport to catch the flight to Reno.  Still, we made it on time.

We met up with Michael Helton, on of my crew members.  We enjoyed dinner with him and his wife Cher.  We had plans to party it up in Reno, but our incredibly long day proved to be too much of an obstacle.  We fell asleep early.

On Wednesday we traveled up to Squaw Valley, checked into our hotel, and attended a “Western States novice” clinic.  It was informative, especially since the course has been changed this year.

There has never been this much snow in the area since records have been kept in the mid 1800’s.  They have an alternate “snow course’ for heavy snow years, but even that had to change.  The worst part of the change- I’ll have approximately 15 miles of slushy snow running and I won’t have access to my crew until mile 55.7.  Logistically I’ll be okay, but I will miss seeing them all day Saturday.

After the meeting, we went back to Reno to pick up Brandon Mulnix, another member of our crew.  We had dinner, did gear shopping, then headed back to Squaw.

Thursday morning Shelly and Brandon hiked to the top of Emigrant Pass.  I walked and took a few pics on the way.  Afterward we drove to Reno to pick up Jeremiah Cataldo and Mark Robillard, the last two members of the crew.  They missed their plane in Grand Rapids and had spent all day Wednesday traveling to Cleveland, LA, then Reno.  They arrived around midnight, so the rest of us were too lazy to pick them up Wednesday night.

When we arrived, we milled about for awhile, attended the “crewing” clinic, then grabbed dinner.  After dinner, we gathered some beer and a camera and went hiking up the mountain from the Western States start line.

Today (Friday) our plan is to travel to the finish line and check out the course along the way.  I also have the official race check-in and medical check.

I’m pumped to start the race tomorrow.  The scenery here is absolutely breathtaking.  I made the decision to carry a small camera to document the run.  It adds a little weight, but will be a worthwhile tradeoff.

Here are our pics from Wednesday:

Here are our drunk pictures from Thursday:
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  1. Barefoot TJ
    June 27, 2011

    So how’d you do, Jason?! We’re dying to know! -TJ

  2. Dave
    June 26, 2011

    Dude, you crushed it!

  3. dogrunner
    June 26, 2011

    Congratulations Jason on finishing, and in under 24 hrs!
    Looking forward to report.

  4. BarefootNick
    June 24, 2011

    I completely envy where you’re at both with your running and the location you’re now at. I hope the race is a great experience!

  5. shel
    June 24, 2011

    have fun. take yer time. don’t pet the mountain lions.

  6. Roger Bonga
    June 24, 2011

    Keep the camera up high. There will be a couple small deepish river crossing and it will be nice to stop for a second or two to soak the legs and hips in the cold water. Very refreshing.