Me and Taco drove to SLC, picked up John from Minneapolis, and then headed up to Logan, where I decided I should pack my drop bags.
Taco waited patiently, per usual. Thanks for being my friend, dude.
A photo of the Bear Mountains from Logan, where we would get-goating the next AM.
I ate like 8 of these during the race.
The ubiquitous Combos. Which I like despite their shameless promotion of something called the "Man Zone."
After a couple of hours, it all boiled down to five sleek and unassuming drop bags.
Sunset in Logan...
The Start (Gerber crew photo)
The race started at 6am, this is a shot of the first climb. I was already not winning.
My back, courtesy of Chris. I think I am eating a cookie!
I was also not last. Note Chris Gerber's fabulous Mardi Gras beads directly behind.
I am fast!
Looking back toward the Cache Valley as day breaks...
Chris Gerber from Boulder. His thighs and legs shock even seasoned ultrarunners.
The first aid station, mile 10, at about 2:53. On pace for 30 hours.
It looks like I may be performance-enhancing, no?
Leaving the AS.
After a bit more on the USFS roads, we hit a sweet singletrack (hereafter "ST") stretch...
John Taylor cruising down the ST...
Aid station 2, around 20 miles in, still on pace for 30 hours at 10:45am...
John chugging on the road right after the AS...
Meanwhile, Gerber had already changed outfits...
AS #3, at 22.5 miles, the shortest interval on the course...
We hopped back on the ST for some more climbing...I left my water bottle at the AS and had to go back. Ugh.
After the climb, we ran up a nice high valley...
Then down some more USFS road...
Into AS #4 at mile 30, where I arrived at 1:14.
After climbing for a bit on the road, we hit the ST again...
John, a veteran of the new course, led the way...
Aspeny goodness, right??
AS # 5, mile 37, 2:52pm, still on pace for 30 hours.
This water was way clear and filled with watercress. It made me want to assemble a watercress sandwich...but not a sammy...
Then we scooted off toward Temple Fork, with more climbing
The course markings included a giant finger, directing wayward runners across the pristine high alpine meadows
Obligatory quaking aspen photo.
AS # 6, mile 45, 5pm. This was the celebrity aid station, hosted by Goat King Karl Meltzer. We dished serious goat and I learned all the wisdom.
We finally crossed US 89, the Logan Canyon Highway right after the AS. That softly humming Prius almost goat me.
I still look pretty hot after like 46 miles. I credit the 5 cookies and Rage Against the Machine.
I took this picture to illustrate my bloated hands, but the giant watch totally throws of the perspective.
I was pleased to make Tony Grove Lake, mile 52, without having to use a light.
The aid station. I spent a while here slathering my feet in baby chafing creme, putting on new socks, getting my warm clothes and lights, and being confused. Still, I left by 7:30, comfortably within the 30 hour goal time.
I tried to take pictures at night, but they are all Blair Witch.
I think this was at Logan River, mile 70. The night was cold and all the aid stations had bonfires.
I took this around 3:30am, right before the Beaver Lodge ski area AS. We had to get on the highway briefly to reach the AS and I thought that it was an unusually cruel mile marker.
The aid station, on the other hand, was a welcome respite from the cold, dark night. I was still on pace here, at mile 76, leaving around 4am.
This picture does no justice to the eeriness.
Awesomely, the sun came up, and I shuffled into the 85 mile aid station shortly after daybreak, at 7:30am, still on pace, but not for much longer.
I walked the entire distance between mile 85 and the last AS at mile 92. That was not optimal. Still, the delicious pancakes steeled me for the stretch riz-un.
This was probably around mile 96, the first clear view of the finish area, Bear Lake, Idaho.
I think the lake kept moving farther away...
Then we got into town and had to run on this. It is a road.
Approaching the finish. (Steve Pero photo)
Approaching the finishing banner. That little dude passed me like a second later. I finished around 30:45, just before 1pm on Saturday.
My legs really hurt, so I blamed my shoes.
Relaxing at the post-race stuff in Fish Haven.
Getting my award stuff from Phil "Town Car" Lowry.
Taylor (Mr. Sub 30) follows suit...nice work John!