The Wasatch 100 is one of my all time favorite races in the world. Mainly because it was the first ultra I ever heard of, my former neighbor participated in it a few times, and the race starts in my old neck of the woods.
While I love this run and greatly admire everyone who has the courage to toe the line, it terrifies me. I seriously doubt I have what I need “within me” to complete this race, but I love lurking around following it and watching the runners. Last year I volunteered at the last minute to drive one of the support vans. After 3 years of the runners I had agreed to pace either DNF’ing or DNS’ing – I have decided I am a cursed pacer and my time is better spent “behind the scenes.”
This year I once again agreed to drive a van – but for even more time than last year. This allows me to float around the course more and see more runners.
On Thursday night, I picked up the van from Enterprise and headed to the pre-race meeting. I was able to help load vans with drop bags for a couple of hours before getting my instructions for the next day and heading home.
Friday – I woke up ridiculously early. Something you get used to with long distance races. I picked up a runner from Sandy and was at the bus pickup in downtown Salt Lake at 3:20 a.m. We checked runners onto buses until 4 a.m. I hugged a few of my friends as they loaded up. Each person I hugged made it to the finish – so if you have any doubts, get a hug from me next year.
At 4 I led the parade of buses up to the Kaysville Wilderness Park for the start of the race. Near the start time (5 a.m.) I went down the trail a half mile so I could cheer runners on and cheer them on with motivational sayings such as “It’s all downhill from here” and “You are nearly there!”. Once the runners all headed out, we loaded up more drop bags and I went home for a couple of hours to pack for my trip that weekend.
Over the next day or two I drove the van where needed, pickup up drop bags and taking them to the finish, running for supplies, cheering on runners, sitting around waiting, transporting runners back to downtown, etc. The highlight was to be at the finish to watch some friends such as Mike Place and Adriana Vars finish the race. My hat goes off to all participants. Thank you for letting me a part of your adventure.