brad's race kit ready to go!
o and i hit the road late morning on friday for colorado. brad and a couple of his buddies arrived the day before for a mandatory race meeting. we all stayed in a big condo at the copper mountain ski resort which is right between vail and leadville. it was perfect. the condo was super nice with a great kitchen and a cozy cabin feel to it. our friend tze had a super yummy meal ready for dinner when we arrived:) we studied the map and talked about race strategy for saturday and sunday. timing and location for crew and pacers.
my job was to link up with brad at mile 50 at the windfield aid station. it takes a couple of hours to drive to windfield and there was a pretty big time frame in which he could have arrived. o took me and dropped me off at about 11:30 because we wanted to beat the crowds with no chance of missing brad. i just had my little running pack with my supplies and a peanut butter sandwich to eat for lunch while i waited for brad to arrive. if things were going well around 1:30 and if things weren't, as late as 4:00. so i made myself comfortable on the ground, waited and watched all the front runners come through. the area became more and more crowded with spectators and crews the later into the afternoon it got. it sprinkled off and on and the sun came and went with the clouds. the temperature was awesome. when 3:00 rolled around and i still hadn't seen brad, i knew he was having trouble. he came in around 3:15 looking really rough and he put his arm around me and i steadied him into the aid station. he got a little teary. he had the best 40 miles of his life even running in the top 15 for a while and then hit a wall and got sick and started vomiting on the way up hope pass. so at this point he was really dehydrated, his electrolytes were wacky and he was feeling really really bad. he laid on a cot and i put a sleeping bag on him because he was shivering and we slowly got broth, electrolytes and coke to stay down. after a while we got up and paced back and forth on the road for a while trying to decide if he was going to drop at this point. we went back to the aid station and got lots more broth and electrolyte drink in him and he started to rally. it was about 5:00 at this point and the cut off time was 6 pm. he decided to keep going!
we took off slowly until he was ready to run. we ran a few miles and i had to make sure he kept drinking. once it became steeper, we began power hiking and passing a lot of people. we were almost at the top of hope pass when he started vomiting again(tze made me take his go pro and document everything good and bad. so i videoed poor brad at his worst). all part of the experience right!? it was getting chilly and breezy now at almost 13,000 ft and brad wasn't keeping warm. i made him put on his jacket and i put the ear buff i had in my pack on him and i made him keep a hold of a hand warmer i broke out of my pack. we went over the pass and kept right on going down the back side to the next aid station. he was throwing up again.
cutest aid station workers ever
this aid station was fantastic. they had a firing going. tents set up and the llamas that packed in all the gear were there munching of the grass. we tried to get more broth in brad. i drank a little warm potato soup. i was having so much fun and feeling good! i had my little hood up and my gloves on and i played fetch with the dog and made more video. and of course, took care of brad. we needed to get going to make the cut off time at the twin lakes aid station if he wanted to have the option of staying in the race. we headed out into the dusk and soon the dark and we hiked until brad was ready to run again. i made him suck on some ginger candy and a shot block. we crossed the river and the water was freezing, but it felt so good because i was hot and sweaty now! we kept running and you cross through the water possibly a good 10 times after crossing the river. we made it to angie and o who were waiting for us with supplies for brad just before the aid station. angie was so relieved to see us and know that brad was ok. i ran brad in to the aid station through the cheering crowds. so fun and such amazing energy! he was thinking to go on at this point, but he had some time to rest, fuel and make a decision before crossing the time chip in time. as soon as he ate whole food he was sick again and he made the tough, emotional decision to drop out at 60 miles. he turned in his time chip and we watched the mad dash of racers trying to get across in time! it was nuts.
brad is one of my all time favorite humans and this was an awesome bonding experience for us. it's a bummer things didn't go the way brad wanted them to. he is a rock star! i had a great time and it was so fun to experience being a part of this big race!
we loaded up in our car and o drove us back to copper mountain. it was almost midnight when we got back and we were starving. tze, happy, and mike were awaiting our arrival ready to get us fed and we talked for a long time. then it was hot showers and bed.
on sunday we made a big breakfast and brad's buddies from tennessee that ran the race also (i met them at red hot in moab a couple of years ago) came over for a few hours. naps were had. angie and i went out and got some tea. the boys played in the hot tub. we raced go carts and went out for dinner. angie and i played cards and watched a movie...and on monday morning we all headed home.
uncle owen is their most favorite. o has lost 30 pounds!!
toodles for now lovers!