Cascade Crest 100 is a tremendously well run event. Simply put, there are no hitches. The course is beautiful and involves a lot of climbing. It's not too big of an event, and not too small. It's well worth attempting.
I ended up DNF-ing after spraining my ankle after 48 miles. It was pretty much a fluke. I wasn't going crazy or bombing a descent, just misplaced a foot and the ankle rolled on an unforeseen rock. The tough part was I was doing well. Pacing the way I wanted, conserving energy, eating, drinking, managing electrolytes, and staying happy and ready to 'go' at Hyak. Gotta roll with the trails (preferably not literally, though, when it comes to ankles).
Thanks Thanks to Luke. He was quite possibly the best pacer and crew out there. The man put together a stellar race plan. He provided me daily motivational material leading up to the event. He got me a shirt that said 'Roll with the Trails' on the front, and 'Cascade Crest 100' on the back. He got to know me and how I worked. He e-mailed my crew (parents) and introduced himself. He took pictures before the race. He helped crew at aid stations and knew what to ask and what to provide. The man quite simply put on a professional level performance. I am humbled, and honored, to call him my friend. His blog post is well worth reading on his experience.
Thanks to Martin, for an extremely enjoyable long run together. I had the pleasure of running with him for roughly 30 miles or so. He was positive, funny, and inspiring the entire time. He drank beer at the beer gauntlet with me. He ran a tremendously smart race. I look forward to many more runs in the future with him. His blog post is well worth the read. Martin, major congratulations, you deserve it!
Thanks to my parents. Mom and Dad crewed and provided encouragement the whole way. They picked me up from Olallie in the dark, and drove me back to Seattle the next day. Without their support, I don't know what I would have done.
Thanks to my friends, far and wide, runners and non-runners. Some showed up in Easton for no reason but to cheer me on. You brought food and signs and took some awesome pics. I'm still flooded with beer and snacks that you gave me, and will be enjoying it for weeks (maybe days, depending on if I decide to randomly drink myself into a stupor). I got countless texts before and after the race from many, all wishing me well and checking on my health. I draw inspiration from each and every one of you.
Thanks to every single person I've encountered along the way. From the volunteers at the aid stations, to all the race staff, to anyone else that helped me 'toe the line' on race-day. Sometimes we never fully acknowledge all the people out there that impact us, and I'm grateful for each and every one I've met.
Reflection Crap Personally, I'm still trying to come to grips with the entire event.
I sometimes question why one would do this. I think we do this for the same reason we should do anything in life. We learn things about ourselves. Get to experience intense emotions. Have deep conversations with strangers and friends alike. We cry, laugh, joke around, smile, frown, and break a sweat that drips off our foreheads and burns our eyes. We form invaluable lifelong relationships. We get to shove two pierogis in our mouth at the same time, along with a handful of gummy bears (it tastes glorious). We get to have experiences.
I don't think one should half-ass life. It's too short and there's too much that can go on. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the journey. Keep moving forward.