Fourteen years in the past, through the summer time of 2009, I had the great fortune to run three of North America’s most iconic 100-mile races. With my household by my facet, we traveled to the Western States 100, Hardrock 100, and Leadville 100 Mile and loved the splendor of those three excellent occasions over the course of 11 weeks. For all 5 of us, it was among the best household summers of our lives.
This 12 months, as luck would have it, I had the chance to journey to every one among these races once more, this time as a volunteer and crew member. In some ways, all three occasions held the identical magic and maintained the identical really feel as they did 14 years in the past however, as one would possibly count on, some issues had modified.
The Western States 100, the granddaddy of all of them, was already immensely common again in 2009. Nevertheless, once I examine what I noticed in 2009 to what I noticed this previous 12 months, one factor stands out. There was a big enhance within the variety of spectators, sponsors, and media members attending the occasion.
Considered one of my duties at this 12 months’s Western States was to work alongside my good pal Scott Wolfe, monitoring parking at Robinson Flat, the mile 30 support station of the race. It was exceptional to see the variety of sponsor autos and media groups that descended on the racecourse. Moreover, it appeared just like the quantity of people that had pushed as much as the help station to easily watch the race was large. I, for one, like to see the elevated curiosity within the race and sit up for being a part of the volunteer staff that works to handle this development within the years to come back.
On the Hardrock 100, I used to be privileged to be a part of the Run Steep Get Excessive media staff that was video streaming the race dwell from the Silverton Excessive College gymnasium. Over the course of 48 hours, we labored to convey the occasion to folks dwell through YouTube. It was a brand new expertise for all of us and one which helped to share the occasion with the extremely world.
Once I examine the 2009 occasion to this previous 12 months the one factor that stood out is how a lot of a worldwide occasion it had develop into. Whereas there was the occasional worldwide runner within the occasion a decade and a half in the past, this 12 months the race was populated by runners from over a dozen international locations, one thing I think will proceed to extend because the attain of the race expands.
Lastly, for my return to the Leadville 100 Mile, I used to be a part of a staff of coaches from CTS offering help to runners at Twin Lakes, a key support station at miles 37 and 62. All through the day and into the night time, we related with dozens of runners in addition to their crews and pacers.
What struck me about so many of those interactions was how many individuals have been working Leadville as their first ever 100-mile race. Again in 2009, I’d guess that only a few folks ran this occasion as their first 100 miler. This 12 months, a minimum of in my expertise, it appeared that greater than half have been doing so.
It was great for me to revisit the Western States 100, Hardrock 100, and Leadville 100 Mile multi functional summer time. The chance to see the vibrancy of the path and extremely neighborhood shut up was inspiring for me and gave me renewed hope for the longer term, even all these years later.
AJW’s Beer of the Week
This week’s beer of the week comes from Eddyline Brewery in Buena Vista, Colorado, simply down the street from Leadville. The Boater Beer Pilsner is a quintessential summer time beer, excellent for a day on the river or within the mountains. Mild and crispy and weighing in at a modest 4.5% ABV, Boater Beer is a pleasant, all-purpose beer for any event.
Name for Feedback
Is there a race that you just’ve been going to for lots years, and what modifications have you ever seen happen?