Friday, March 20, 2009

Those Mythical West Coast Races

I'm giddy. Really, really giddy. Tomorrow I'll be tackling the Rucky Chucky Roundabout 50k, which means I get to run on the Western States Trail!! It's hard to put into words what that means to me. Ever since I first started discovered trail running a few years back, I have heard about Western States and other famous races out West. Michigan Bluff, No Hands Bridge, Foresthill, Last Chance, Rucky Chucky River Crossing...all those meant something to me long before I ran my first trail ultra.

Me a few years ago

Reading about races like Western States, Miwok, Hardrock and many others captured my imagination. The blood, sweat and tears that go into training and completing these runs were awe inspiring and motivated me to run more and more (challenging) trails and eventually step up to the ultra challenge.

And here I am running on the Western States Trail tomorrow....I AM THRILLED. In anticipation of this race, I have been thinking a lot about what races were really inspiring to me as a novice. Here they are:

Western States 100: The Rose Bowl of ultra-races (i.e. "The Granddaddy of Them All"). It all started here. I don't think I need to say much more than that.
Hopefully my Western States bid won't be as unsuccessful as Cal's Rose Bowl bids...

Miwok 100k: The images and race reports you see and read from this one are without exception epic. I have been fortunate to run in the area a few times now, including Stinson Beach and Muir Beach races. The scenery of the Marin Headlands is hard to beat.

Hardrock 100: I love alpine vistas as evidenced by some of my travels last summer, so I always loved reading the race reports for this one. HOW these people complete that course....well, I really don't know. I still cannot fathom that race.

Angeles Crest 100: The lady is from L.A., so I read these reports anticipating that this may one day be my first 100. We'll see.

The Dipsea Races: Tradition, tradition, tradition (and steps, steps, steps). Another must, especially the Quad.

There are more, but these were the first that came to mind. I feel so incredibly fortunate that fate steared me out here. So, so lucky!

Btw, I am not trying to slight the East Coast races. This post is more about what initially captured my imagination and got me started in this sport. Today, there are quite a few East Coast races that I still want to tackle (I'm looking at you Mt. Mitchell Challenge, Cheaha, Mist, Vermont.....)


Sunshine Girl said...

Go get 'em tiger!! Have a great race.

I am obsessed with Cheaha and the Pinhoti 100. I think I need to go East soon....

Scott Dunlap said...

Have a great time! Drink as much as you can before the return trip up.

You'll do great!


David Ray said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Way to throw us Easterners a bone. :)

I'm not jealous. Really I'm not.