June 22, 2006
Even though the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run is not the toughest of the US 100-milers, it does have amazing cachet. The account of Gordy Ainsleigh, who "invented" the 100-mile running event with his solo run along the WS course back in 1974, is a story for the ages. It has now become the "Boston marathon" of the 100-milers in the US.
Anil Rao and I are volunteering on Saturday in the Michigan Bluff aid station (just past mile 55). It will be a new experience for me. I'm generally among the runners, not the volunteers. I am looking forward to it.
I am so inspired by all these men and women who are attempting to run this race this weekend, in extremely hot conditions. I wrote a poem for them.
Hail to all you intrepid warriors!
I bow to your indomitable will.
Sunday afternoon you will be victors,
Having vanquished each gruelling long hill.
Into the hot day you will soon be off,
To battle with this beast, this behemoth;
Armed solely with courage in this face-off
That will only end on Christian Sabbath.
Man was born to run but not a hundred:
It was people like you who saw beyond
The horizon that had the rest grounded;
To its unknown challenge you did respond.
Our spirit goes with you on the trails
While we wait for all your conquering tales.