Friday, June 26, 2009

Western States 2009: H - 9

It is getting really close and the to do list is down to a very few items: relax, eat well, sleep well, hydrate well, relax, relax.

A short post to point you to a few (well, more than 100!) pictures, for a visual overview of the pre-race activities of this Thursday and Friday:
  1. The trek to the raising of the flag at Emigrant Pass on Thursday morning,
  2. Two clinics on Thursday afternoon: Crewing the Western States Run by (Tropical) John Medinger, and WS Trail by Charles Savage (going for his 17th WS100) and Dana Gard
  3. The registration and medical examination on Friday morning, and
  4. The pre-race meeting on Friday afternoon.
It is going to be hot, although "only" in the high 90s-low 100s. But, with the exceptional competitive field, although some elites got injured in the way of training hard for this even and will not be part of the "track meet" (e.g. Max King, Anton Krupicka, Jon Olsen). Still, there are 20 guys who can win this year and wish all of them good luck for handling the pressure. Myself, I want to get as much fun as in 2007, running this race like it was the last time as it is so difficult to get in these days.

The most moving moment of these two days has been the homage paid to Dan Moores during the pre-race briefing by John Trent. Dan died from leukemia yesterday after a battle matching his passion for ultra running. I med Dan several times on the WS trail and at his store (the Auburn Running Company). We also exchanged emails while he was staying at his brother's place in the Bay Area when receiving treatments and his bone marrow transplant. Last year, Agnès and I got registered on the National Bone Marrow Registry, hoping we have the opportunity to save lives. Similarly to the transplant which worked for Agnès' best friend's son, Pierre-Yves, who has been in remission for 2 years now. Please, please, consider getting on the registry too! In the meantime, John invited use to run with an even more "open heart" to make room for Dan during our run tomorrow, and to smile as we pass through the Bath Road aid station which Dan has manned before running Western States himself. As John recounted, Dan waited a while before running Western States: he wanted to be ready, ready enough to honor this lengendary race. The third recommendation John gave use to commemorate Dan tomorrow was to run smart. Dan, we will think of you during our long day this wekeend. I know you will be watching us!

With that, see the lucky ones who have the honor to toe the line tomorrow morning, see their valorous crew, their supportive pacers, the 1,500 or so volunteers, and you all who will be following our progress on line on the Western States live webcast! There is even a feature to get notified by email for a particular runner. I will wear the bib #45, as in 45 years... (a special favor from Race Director, Greg Soderlund).


Peter Lubbers said...

Good luck, Jean!
See you at Michigan Bluff

Rob Heppell said...

Congratulations Jean. Great run. I look forward to reading all about your experiences.