Tim, George, and I left Wednesday morning. We got to Silverton a few minutes before 4pm and Tim ran over to the gym to get weighed in and all that vital stuff. After that we hung out in town and got dinner and visited the Silverton Brewery. After that I drove out to my campground and set up camp for the night and went to bed. The guys went to their hotel room.
Thursday morning I met up with those 2, plus Brownie and Brian Fisher for a run. An easy, shake-out run for them, and I planned on staying out for a few hours. Their easy-because-I’m-running-100-miles-tomorrow pace is still twice as fast as my normal pace, which isn’t depressing at all.
I headed up a local small mountain, then back down to a trail intersection and headed down a trail that lead back towards Gladstone, CO. The trail eventually fizzled out and I figured I would, instead of taking the trail back to town, just start bushwhacking and figure out my own improvised route that lead me down a dried up gulch that I knew would eventually lead me to a river that would then lead me back down to town. There was only a few minutes of panic when I didn’t know if my plan was going to work, but in the end I made it back in one piece 3 hours from when I started.
The rest of Thursday was spent hanging out in town eating/drinking and back at my campsite reading.
Friday morning came around and Kara, Justin, George, and I were at the starting line to see everyone take off. Justin rented a Jeep, threw his 2 dogs Chuck & Ellie in, and George, Kara and I got in our Jeep and drove out of town, over Ophir Pass via a 1-car-width jeep road to the first non-crew aid station just to see the runners. Ophir barely counts as a town. It was 1 road, maybe 20 homes and 1 post office the size of a small bathroom (seriously). Nothing else.
From Ophir we drove down into Telluride to the first aid station with crew support. It was raining at this point. Tim came in and he wasn’t feeling too hot. He changed his socks and got back to it.
From Telluride we drove to Ouray (Justin took Imogene Pass in the rain. We took the highway.), where Brandon was going to pace Tim to the next aid station at Grouse Gulch. After Brandon and Tim left Ouray George, Kara, and I drove back to Silverton where George would lie down for an hour or so and Kara and I got a late lunch/early dinner.
George, Kara, and I left for Grouse Gulch, where George was going to pace Tim in to the finish from mile 54ish. We proceeded to get lost and end up in the middle of nowhere up a jeep road past some abandoned mining towns, while it got dark out.
Eventually we figured out our mistake and did end up at the Grouse Gulch aid station with plenty of time to spare to wait for Tim. We saw some people come in different states….some looked/felt great, some didn’t. One guy was puking and laid down for 8 hours before getting back up and finishing his race under the time limit.
Tim got in with Brandon a little worse for the wear around midnight. He wanted to lay down for a bit, so we made a spot for him on the ground and covered him with blankets/jackets. Brandon fixed Tim’s feet and the rest of the crew just sat with him and got him to eat/drink what he could. Eventually he was back on his feet and he and George left around 12:40am into the night. Brownie strolled in right about then feeling/looking great. Obviously he drank some PBR…
Kara and I had, what we thought at the time, about 8 hours of free time until we were to be at the next aid station. So we went back to Silverton and got some rest. We woke the next morning and drove out to Maggie Gulch – another aid station with no crew support allowed. We wanted to check in on the guys after their night. They both seemed good all things considered. The left Maggie Gulch, mile 87, and we drove to their next aid station – Cunningham Gulch – the last crew aid station.
We were there a while, Justin laid down with his dogs for 20 minutes and got up with a very burnt face. We were able to see way up on the mountain the ridge the runners would descend down. At one point everyone at the aid station saw a giant bear walking up this trail. The bear was spooked quickly and ran the opposite direction and disappeared into brush and presumably far up the canyon where none of the people/racket was.
Tim and George got into Cunningham Gulch aid station and were out quickly. They were both looking pretty good. They had a very steep climb straight up out of there but motored through it. Justin, Kara, and I left and drove back to Silverton where we hung out at the finish line/gym for the guys.
George called me saying they were close, and sure enough they rounded a corner a few blocks down the street and Tim ran it in to finish in 35 hours and 49 minutes.
We had dinner and beers in town, I went back to the campground for the night, and the next morning we all took off in the morning back to Boulder. We had a miserable 10 hour drive due to hours of traffic delays for reasons we couldn’t figure out.