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The day is fast approaching. That day is Saturday September 13th, the start of the legendary Pine to Palm 100 Mile Event. I’m calling it an ‘Event’ and not a race as it is most assured that I will not be ‘racing’!
Today, as I begin pulling together both my gear and my thoughts, I wander back and forth, between exhilaration and fear. I say this because the thought of not only attempting, but being counted amongst those who will not only survive, but complete this challenge is exciting. However, on the other hand, I am also fearful knowing that three injuries have not allowed me to train as hard as I would have liked. Therefore, my goal is to FINISH and to beat the aid station cut-off times! Just ponder this elevation chart for a moment!
The course is a remote and rugged classic point to point course traversing the Siskiyou; Mountains Range in Southern Oregon. Starting in Williams, OR the course winds it way east to Ashland, OR on a mixture of single track trail, dirt road, with less than 4 miles of pavement. The course boasts over 20,000ft of climb and 20,000 ft of loss with 3 epic climbs to 7,000ft and fantastic views of Mt Shasta and Mt McLaughlin.
As I prepare for this event, am a little saddened that my wife, Caryn Lerman, will not be there to cheer me on. During my first 100 mile last year, it made my day to see her smiling face at the aid stations waiting and cheering for me! This year, I will have a great back-up crew to both support and pace me. They will be tasked with not only to encourage, but to also nudge and harangue me to the finish. I want to give a huge shout out to Erin Fitzgerald and my cousin, Dan Roed. Thank you so much for volunteering your time and energy for me! You are much appreciated.
Let me also add, that I will, till he decides to leave me behind, be running with Gene Dykes. I met Gene a few years ago stumbling through the Susquehanna Super Hike. Gene is an incredible runner and will work hard to pull me along. Gene already has us planning next year’s run!
Sorry, before I forget, let me go over my gear list……
- Suunto Ambit 3 Peak
- Garmin 910XT as a back-up
- Hiking Poles
- UD Scott Jurek Vest
- Three water bottles
- ChicaBands for cooling
- Two head lamps
- Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning – get his autograph
- Three drop bags
- Three pair of Hoka’s (one pair of size 13 to wear later after my feet begin to swell)
- Several pair of socks, shorts, and t-shirts
- Hat with neck protection
- Light toboggan hat
- Light gloves
- Long sleeve running shirt
- Light wind breaker
- Mylar blanket
- External battery charger for charging watch on the run if required
- Compression Sleeves
- Nipple Guards
- Roctane salt caps
- Body Glide
- iPod with great tunes (Metallica, STP, Garbage, The Offspring, Chili Peppers, Rob Zombie, etc)
- iPhones, iPad and various chargers and cords
- and oh yeah, boarding passes!
Have I forgotten anything?????? Forgive me for digressing…. Ugh!
I am also looking forward to the camaraderie of the Ultra community. Living here on the east coast, I am always in awe, and may I also say, envious, of the Ultra community found out west. Here in Philadelphia, I am aware of one other ultra runner, Nick Ferrera, an exceptional ultra runner. However, we do not live very close to one another and therefore have never had the opportunity to train together. Whereas, it is not uncommon for me to see Face Book postings of organized and/or impromptu group runs from those of you in the mountain west and west coast. You are lucky and I am jealous!
Lastly, I am somewhat giddy to finally meet a great ultra runner in his own right, Chris Jones. Chris is an ultra runner extraordinaire! Since May of this year, Chris has completed four 100 mile races (DRTE, Tahoe Rim, Angeles Crest, and Cascade Crest) with Pine to Palm to be his 5th. It is my goal, at least initially, to draft Chris… I’ll let you know how that works out!
Ok, that is it.. Time to begin packing….
You can follow this race via Ultralive.net and then click on Pine to Palm.