Sunday, February 5, 2017


Since 2011, I have raced in several 100-mile races. And with the exception of one that has foiled me twice, I feel I have done fairly well while racing. For a few reasons, I did not compete in this year's Rocky Raccoon 100. It was a very hard decision to make as I have raced it very successfully over the last six years. A friend of mine decided that he was going to run his first 100-miler at Rocky. He completed the Habanero 100 (100k) for his first ultra. And since I was not going to be racing, I felt that I should ask if he wouldn't mind if I helped crew and pace him for the last forty miles. I never dreamed of how much this would affect me.

His first two laps were what I expected. The third was much slower. As I waited for him for two and a half hours, the lazy part of me wanted him to have already decided to quit because I was getting tired and wanted to go to sleep. He came by and I happened to see him. I quickly got up and ran over to him. He was very upbeat and ready to go out. My sleep would have to be put on hold for a while.

I have never paced anybody so I could only guess how I should handle this. I know how I like to be paced, but I did not know if the same would apply for him. We talked about various things, joked around, and avoided root snakes. For the most part, I stayed about 10-15 paces ahead of him. It felt weird, but my thoughts were that he would see me start to run and then he would just follow. I could be his voice in his head (I am the good angel of course) urging him on. It worked very well. We worried a little bit about making the cut-off times, but it all worked out and he finished.

But that is not what I really wanted to talk about. I was thinking about why I race 100-milers and love them so much. They remind me about life. Some parts suck or cause you pain and you just have to get through them. Sometimes you are on the top of the world and nothing can stop you. You get a reward for persevering to the end. There are countless people, most of whom you do not know and will never see again, that are part of your life for a little while and you get to share your life with them before they disappear, sometimes forever. No matter how great or seemingly insignificant you are, there are tons of people pulling for you to be successful. You are never alone. The amount of time that you are out there varies for everyone. To be successful, you need to learn from your mistakes and hopefully share that knowledge with others. Sometimes, no matter how well you prepare, your plans fall apart and you need a Plan B or C. Sometimes you fail, so you try again and again until you figure it out. I'm sure that I can add more if I ponder it during my next race.

I am so fortunate to be a part of Team TROT and the other running families that my family has met. Never in my life did I ever expect to have so many wonderful friends that I can consider family. I cannot imagine a life without running. It is truly a necessity in life.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you had this opportunity to pace! I love racing but my time spent pacing Victor in his hundos has been some of my favorite hours. Sounds like you did a great job. Congrats to you both.