5am start time Kaysville, UT
261 runners in every shape, size, and form are ready to tackle 100 miles. With John Grobbens instructions we are off headed north up the trail. Wayne gets us a good start and we are in a group moving at a nice pace. Then all of the sudden someone yells “WRONG WAY” 30-40 of us have taken a wrong turn and went right instead of left. Oh no the “Troy” getting lost curse has followed me to Wasatch. Well at least it wasn’t me who made the wrong turn, we got it out of the way early, and we didn’t get too far up the wrong trail. I was just following everyone else in the dark. So Wayne and I along with everyone else, get back on the trail only to find we are now near the back and behind slower paced runners. It is a futile attempt to pass on the trail as it is too narrow to pass and “Chinscraper “is upon us. We are in a pack of about 20 runners as we make the ascent. Whomever is in the very front slips, nearly falls, sends a rock down, and brings the entire procession to a complete stop. All of the sudden we have traffic jam on a nearly vertical wall at the top of Chinscraper. I am looking to find something, anything to grab onto that is firmly attached, and there is nothing, so I try to keep my feet firmly planted to keep from backsliding down into Wayne or anyone else. I find a hand hold for a minute and after what seems like forever we get moving again and up over the top. Whew that was spooky! We get to Grobben’s corner at about mile 13, (a water only stop) fill up our bottles and head for Francis peak.
Next up Sessions Lift Off (mile28.23) I wondered about the name but I know it is called that for a reason. It is a launch pad, you are low and you have to go high. There are 4 nasty climbs through brush and poor to nonexistent trail it is difficult and very unpleasant. I lose Wayne along here somewhere during the climbs, and then he catches and loses me. Lots of overgrowth made this section not only memorable, but something I would like to not like to experience again. We get to Swallow Rocks aid station (39.4) feeling really good Wayne catches me there we grab a Popsicle (yummy) fill our bottles and leave together. There is a climb out of Swallow rocks and Wayne tells me to go on up the climb. I am feeling bad about losing Wayne but feeling real good physically and run most of this section as it is slightly down hill. There is a slight breeze and it is hot so I take it easy and enjoy the ride.
Big Mountain (mile 39.4) there are tons of people cheering and cowbells clanging. WOW. Not what I expected. All the other aid stations just had a few volunteers. I weigh in; I am up a few pounds at 209, very good that means I have stayed hydrated. Larry grabs me gets me my stuff I slam an ensure, fill my bottles, grab some goodies from the aid station table, then I remember I need to pick up my pacer Kelly Snyder. I ask Larry where is Kelly? He says you got here faster than your projected time and he is in the bathroom, oops. So I wait a minute and there he is. I grab him and we get out of there. I see Wayne coming down the hill. Go Wayne. I am happy to have Kelly; we take out of there and get a going. It is a real nice stretch through here. We run the ridgeline for quite a ways. It is a long stretch between aid stations and I am out of water and starting to not feel too hot. Kelly keeps me going by giving me some of his. We get to the next aid station Alexander Ridge (mile 47.44) we fill up I get some bananas and food. Off we go. I am starting to feel better and we get moving. Kelly does a real good job of getting out in front of me and pulling me along. We talk, run and enjoy where we are. We go up over Rogers’s junction and can see Lambs Canyon. Trouble is it is 3 miles away. I hate seeing where I need to be, but knowing it will be a while before I get there. We can see that there are lots of cars and you can hear the people cheering. We need to get there before dark and we are cutting it close it is nearly 8 pm. I start to feel a little woozy again, but I stick with Kelly and I keep drinking and take my salt pills. Just as we get to the Lambs Canyon aid station (mile 53.13) I am starting to feel better. And wow, tons of people there, Carl, Larry, Arb, Shay, Steph and all of Wayne’s family to greet me. Shay promised to have ice cold Chocolate milk for me at the finish. How is that for motivation? Wayne is not far behind me, he comes in everyone gets to work on him. Larry goes to work I get new shoes, socks, shirt, eat some stuff, get my light, my hat, and some warm clothes. You would think this was NASCAR. Kelly gets me an ice cold PowerAde, I drink up, Wayne and I leave together with our pacers headed up Lambs canyon.
Kelly and I start to climb up the canyon, I really am feeling good and the cool night air is a welcome change. We are on pavement for 1.67 miles then back on the trail. We get in the groove and start to power up, we settle into a good solid pace. It was really fun. As we come over Bare Bottom pass we can see the lights of the valley in the distance. Down Elbow Fork and we are back to a paved section in Millcreek canyon. The pavement is nice change and Kelly and I get after it. 3 paved miles later we arrive at Millcreek Upper Big Water trailhead (mile 61.68) at ten minutes to 11. There are tons of people again cheering. I get my warm clothes on it is 45 degrees. By the time I leave I am shivering cold. I thank Kelly, he was huge for me he kept me going when I was down, and pushed me hard when I was up. I could tell he wanted to continue with me, but he had put in 21 miles and it was time for me to make the switch. Many thanks to him for a fine job pacing me through a great section.
All the advice I got about Brighton aid was to get in and get out as fast as possible. It is warm inside and some people never leave. So I run in, let out a yell WOOOO! Weigh in at 204lbs, get my drop box, reload, refill, brush my teeth (thanks Mark Collman) wash my face, answer natures call and I am out of there with a yell in 10 minutes (just like NASCAR). I also pick up my next pacer Tommy Thiede. He asks are you ready, I say heck yeah let’s get up this mountain. We power up to Point Supreme (highest point on the course at 10,400) we get to the top and there is a guy hanging out cheering us on at 4 in the morning. Amazing and very cool. We head down to Ant Knolls aid and that is where I make a huge mistake. I sit down. I start to feel nauseous and think I am going to puke. I eat some crackers and anything else I think can to stifle this. Nothing works. I look at Tom and think I do not want to puke that will really mess things up I had just filled my tank. So I decide I have to get up and get going. I figure if I puke I puke, I got to get going. Not too long later, I am feeling good again. I tell Tommy, don’t let me sit down ever again, no more of that. We make it up the Grunt and get to Pole Line Pass Aid