Somehow, I finished 8th and that started off an annual ritual of heat training followed by turning up in Squaw Valley in late June, followed by a good enough run (top 10) to auto qualify for the next year.
2010 I got to witness the classic battle between Kilian Jornet and Anton Krupicka where Geoff Roes ran past both of them to take down Scott Jurek’s record, as shown in the amazing movie, ‘Unbreakable.’
2012 I ran with Timmy Olson through the Duncan Canyon aid station before he blitzed ahead to take the record below 15 hours, plus my good friend (and fellow coach at Sharman Ultra), Ellie Greenwood, ran the only women’s time under 17 hours to date.
I’ve seen snow courses, super hot years, a cold year and some of the best trail runners in the world nail it as well as blow up or drop out.
I saw 70-year old Gunhild Swanson finish 6 seconds before the cut-off in a moment that went viral online.
And now, somehow, it’s my tenth race and I can’t believe the memories I have and the history I’ve seen.
It gets more exciting each time and I don’t want to stop at 10, hoping I can keep earning my place on that starting line quite a few more times.
I’ve had finishes between 4th and 10th, so I’m driven to get faster and really, really want that win.
The search is for the perfect race and it takes so many things coming together in training and execution that it’s a near impossible task, but that means there’s always room to improve, which keeps the fire burning.