Saturday, June 30, 2007

2007 Western States 100 race report

I have always listened to my heart and only on rare occasions has it led me down a path of hurt and pain. More so than not the gamble has been worth the risk and the outcome has been fruitful and rewarding. There are very few people who understand what burns deep within my soul and how I process my thoughts into actions. Those people are the very same people who I call my close friends and they are also the reason I chose to participate in the 2007 edition of the Western States 100 mile endurance run.

In July of 2006 I made a promise to myself that I would never again run in a 100 mile race but when my friends survived the lottery and gained entry into States I had a burning desire to be there as well. Nine years of running in 100 mile events has broken my body down into a shell of what it used to be but I was certain I still had one more run left in me. My mind told me not to go but my heart said run. It wasn’t about the run or the scenery or the sense of satisfaction gained from the achievement but rather the feeling obtained when surrounded by people who honestly care about one another and sacrifice for the sake of others. I longed for one more time running in the mountains where fantasies can come true and the impossible can be achieved.

My decision made it was now time to make my way to Squaw Valley, California to do battle with the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. I would not be alone as in my heart I knew the spirits of those of my family who have past before me would guide me through my journey and comfort me through the challenges that lay ahead. By my side would also be two very good friends, Rick and Lisa, both of whom have gained my trust and admiration. I met Lisa in 2005 when I paced her at Western States and immediately formed a bond with her that has only become stronger since that weekend in June. Rick and I became friends that very same year when he sacrificed an entire day, running, riding and crawling with me for 24 straight hours to raise funds for a charitable cause. We have been inseparable since that day. Both have very big hearts and both have taught me many lessons that have allowed me to open up and be the person I am today.

Read more here

Report by my pacer Lisa Bliss


Blogger olga said...

Dave, congrats on a finish of a great WS 100! Whatever time it is and however you felt (remember out talk last year at the airport?) it is surely a big deal you should be proud of. After so much trouble past couple of years you toed the starting line and you made it all the way to the finish. You are awesome! Rest up now, and I hope to see you some time soon.

3:02 PM  
Blogger stephruns said...

Hi Dave,

Congratulations again! And what a great race report. I'm sure all the pain has vanished by now and only the good memories stand out. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and feeling with us.

5:55 AM  
Blogger Derek said...

Great report Dave! Congrats on a wonderful race!

That was me that was drinking from the spring at the bottom of the thumb, and giving you estimations on the times. It took me 3 or 4 times watching others drink (in training) from the waterfall before I actually did it. The 1 hour time to the top of the thumb is kind of a "bad day" time. That's what I allow myself before I start to get worried. You destroyed that time though with 35 minutes. Great climb! I was right on for the downs though, which is really more of my strength.

I found it interesting how you were worried about the climb to Green Gate and to Robie Point later on when you didn't feel well. You are such a strong climber, that should have been the least of your worries. The mind is a powerful weapon if used against you.

I always admire you out of state folks who come out here with little knoweldge of the course. That has got to be so tough. I think it is a big advatange for me to know every climb and descent and where I can make up times.

Great report.

Recover well, and I'm glad you got to circle the track one more time.

10:12 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

Dave, I found your blog!! It was great to finally meet you at Western States. Congrats on your race and I am excited to read your blog. Take care.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Lora said...

Wow Dave....what an amazing story. I printed it out and read it while relaxing. All the while thinking, could I ever in my wildest dreams do this??? You've always inspired me, so maybe, just maybe, I'll be out there one day!!

Thanks for sharing so much of yourself!

6:57 AM  
Blogger jun said...

I only admire very few people. both in my previous profession and the now here civilian life they are the very few who have seen what's beyond the edge and came back to tell the story. I am honored to read your story in the WS 100. You tell it as it is, not hard, but VERY HARD! you are a true warrior in my book.

one day, when i'm able, in one of those valleys when i don't have anything left, i will dig out from deep in me the lessons of your experience.

congratulations and keep it tight.

11:09 AM  

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