I was talking running and ultras with a friend the other day when he asked if I had run 100 miles. I said, not yet. I turned the question to him and he, too, said not yet. I followed that up by asking him if he had a particular race in mind. As the words were leaving my lips I sensed he was going to give me the answer I was hoping to hear: Western States.
I practically squealed like a little girl.
Why was I so excited?
Because this is about as close to the race as I am ever going to get!
This iconic, original 100-miler is steeped in history, legend and prestige and nearly everyone who’s dabbled in this thing called ultra wants a part of it.
But this race requires a qualifying time and lottery, two things I can’t beat. To get even a bit of this race it’s going to require a vicarious experience.
I prodded him with questions about when he planned to try for this race and pretty soon the bucket-list adventure was set in motion.
And then I got the question: Do you want to be part of my crew?
“Hell yes,” was my response almost faster than he could get the words out.
The more we talked about the race the more he was shaking his head in disbelief. How could a “someday” goal quickly start becoming a real plan? It happens like that for all of us. We just need the right nudge. Someone to believe in our goal. Someone who thinks our “crazy” is just as normal as we do.
That’s just the push we need, sometimes.
If that wasn’t enough, an hour or so later another ultra friend and I were sending him all kinds of Western States Endurance Run qualifying races, random texts about needing Gu and staying up on hydration. You know, running stuff!
The next morning just before a meeting, as another little boost to our friend Michael’s 100-mile resolve, we created our own aid-station style flash mob complete with questions like, do you need a Clif bar? How’s your hydration? All while we ran around him in a little flurry of chaos. I feel confident that with our little nudge, or in spite of it, he will complete 100 miles. We, however, may be fired from his crew team.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G